State of Florida v. Camille L. Harper

Aaron J. Slavin

Case Conclusion Date:May 13, 2010

Practice Area:Criminal Defense

Outcome:Not Guilty on Leaving the Scene of an Accident

Description:My client was charged with Leaving the Scene of an Accident with Property Damage, Refusal to Sign a Traffic Citation and Obstruction. At the filing stage, we were able to get the State of Florida to drop the Obstruction charge. They did, however, file the Leaving the Scene with Property Damage and Refusal to Sign a Traffic Citation. While my Client readily admitted that she refused to sign the traffic citation for Leaving the Scene of an Accident, she maintained that she was NOT driving and did NOT leave the scene of an accident. At trial, my Client was identified by the victim of the accident as well as the St. Petersburg Police Department Officers involved in the case. We conceded the Refusal to Sign the Citation charge and fought vigorously on the Leaving the Scene of an Accident with Property Damage charge. Despite being identified as the driver of the vehicle (and found guilty by the Judge of a Careless Driving traffic infraction), we were able to convince the Pinellas County jury that there was insufficient evidence (no photos, no paint transfer, etc.) to find my Client guilty of the Leaving the Scene of an Accident with Property Damage charge. After more than one (1) hour of deliberations, the jury came back with a NOT GUILTY verdict on the contested charge of Leaving the Scene of a Accident with Property Damage. This saved my Client from a jail sentence that was being requested by the State of Florida as well as having to pay restitution to the victim of the accident. Overall, this was a very risky Jury Trial for my Client as she had a lot to lose. Fortunately, we were able to poke enough holes in the State's case to create a "reasonable doubt" of my Client's guilt.