Any time you get into an accident, you have the legal responsibility to stop and remain at the scene until law enforcement says you can leave. This is true even if nobody suffers an injury. Leaving the scene of an accident is a serious crime, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. To protect yourself, you should always remain at the scene, even if the other driver leaves.
The penalties for leaving an accident scene vary depending on the resulting damage. However, even if it is not a severe accident, you still face serious repercussions. A court will not go lightly on you because this is an issue upon which the law takes a strict stance.
If you leave an accident scene where someone died as a result of the crash, you commit a first-degree felony. You will face a $10,000 fine and lose your license for at least three years, possibly more. Also, this crime comes with a minimum mandatory prison sentence of four years. However, the court can give you a sentence of up to 30 years.
It is a second- or third-degree felony if you leave the scene of a crash wherein people sustained injuries. Again, the court will suspend your license for at least three years. You may also pay a $5,000 fine. There is no mandatory prison sentence, but you still face a possibility of up to five years in prison.
If there is only property damage in the crash, it is still a second-degree misdemeanor to leave the scene. You could get a $500 fine and up to 60 days in prison.
Do what is right and remain at the scene of an accident. You may feel anxious about doing so, but consider the punishments above before you do something you are sure to regret.