When Car Accidents Become Criminal

After getting a speeding ticket recently in Chicago, I became more interested in car-related laws throughout the United States. I know that a lot of Americans have trouble obeying the rules of the road and many people get injured as a result. States are cracking down on their drunk driving and distracted driving laws to prevent accidents from occurring, which I believe is a good thing. 

Some states, like Florida, have no-fault insurance laws, making it hard for victims of car accidents to sue when they’ve been injured by drunk or distracted drivers. However, these no-fault laws don’t apply to every situation and criminal consequences still stand.

If you’ve been injured in a Florida car accident because of a drunk or distracted driver, you may want to speak to a personal injury lawyer from Gross & Schuster, P.A.. A personal injury lawyer can give you guidance on how to get the money you deserve for your injuries. You can let the police deal with how to criminally charge the at-fault party in your case.

Driving-Related Criminal Penalties in Florida

One criminal charge related to driving in Florida is leaving the scene of an accident. If you get in an accident and the person who hit you leaves the scene, they can be charged with a hit and run. 

If only property damage occurred in the accident, the driver may face a second-degree misdemeanor charge for fleeing the scene—which can result in up to sixty days in jail and up to $500 in fines. If you were injured in an accident and the driver flees, the driver may face a second-or third-degree felony. This felony may result in their driver’s license being revoked for a minimum of three years, a prison sentence of up to five years, and a $5,000 fine. 

Drivers may face criminal charges for driving under the influence as well. For a first-time DUI in Florida, the driver may have to spend up to six months in jail and pay up to $1,000 in fines. Penalties are increased if the driver is drinking and causes an accident with bodily injury.

Even though Florida is a no-fault insurance state, drivers aren’t off the hook when they act negligently behind the wheel. Drivers can face both civil and criminal charges for their negligent actions whether they’re drinking, distracted, or if they flee the scene of an accident. As a Canadian in America, I’m glad I know these laws. I’ll definitely stay hyper-aware when behind the wheel!