You are charged with a very serious crime and you may have a defense to it. Get to a lawyer right away. A charge of Leaving the Scene of an accident with Death has a maximum sentence of Thirty Years. This could well be a very expensive case so be prepared for a very expensive lawyer and difficult time.
The following is from a lawyer's website in Florida:
Accidents Causing Death or Personal Injury (Florida Statute 361.027)
A driver who is involved in an accident that causes any personal injury must remain at the scene of the accident until completing his statutory duties. These duties also include exchanging pertinent information, presenting a driver’s license, notifying law enforcement, and providing reasonable aid to the injured party. A willful violation of this statute results in a felony of the third degree. A third degree felony carries an imprisonment term of up to 5 years, and a possible fine of up to $5,000. Click Here to learn more about the impact of a felony conviction.
If the accident results in a death of any person and the driver willfully fails to comply with this statute, the driver has committed a felony of the first degree. A first degree felony carries a term of imprisonment of up to 30 years, and a fine of up to $10,000. Click Here for the full text of this statute.
The first thing you should do is contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. You have been charged with a serious felony that carries a potential lengthy prison sentence and a potential multi-year suspension of your driviers license. Before hiring an attorney, be sure to ask if the attorney if he or she has handled similar cases in the past. There are various defenses to the charge of Leaving the Scene of an Accident that may or may not apply to your case. Your attorney would need to review all the evidence including but not limited to the accident report, witness statements, photographs and video (if any) prior to making a determination as to which if any defenses apply to your case. If you can't afford an attorney, you may be eligible for a court appointed attorney (Public Defender). I would also refrain from discussing the case with anyone prior to hiring an attorney. Good luck...
You should obtain a copy of the Traffic Crash Report. You may also want to see if that intersection has any camera videotaping it because often they are not retained for very long and you will want to immediately request copies of the film in writing and, if appropriate, in person. Most importantly, the Traffic Crash Report should have the name and contact information for the witness you spoke to who will be a key witness in your favor. You DO, very definitely need to hire a good criminal defense attorney and s/he will want these things. If you do not know any criminal defense attorneys, the Florida Bar has a referral line which you can contact at 800-342-8011. The referral attorney should provide a consultation at a very reasonable rate to guide you further.
Please be advised that this response is not the providing of any legal advice nor has a professional relationship been established by this response.
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