Leaving the Scene of Crash with Unattended Property

What happens if you are driving a vehicle and crash into an unattended vehicle or other unattended property? Most of these cases involve hitting a parked car, motorcycle, building, fence, or mailbox. Florida Statute Section 316.063 requires you to do immediately stop and do the following after such a crash:

  • locate and notify the operator or owner of the vehicle or other property of the driver’s name and address and the registration number of the vehicle he or she is driving, or
  • attach securely in a conspicuous place in or on the vehicle or other property a written notice giving the driver’s name and address and the registration number of the vehicle he or she is driving.

After stopping to provide the notice, you are then required to notify the nearest office of a duly authorized police authority without unnecessary delay to report the crash and how you complied with the notice requirement in Section 316.063.

You should ALWAYS comply with the law by remaining at the scene because leaving the scene can result in a criminal charge. The law is often unforgiving when you are caught leaving the scene of a crash, even if it involves only unattended property.

Attorney for Hit and Run with Unattended Property in Florida

If you were charged under Florida Statute Section 316.063(1) because you crashed into unattended property and then left the scene (hit and run), then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Sammis Law Firm. Although this charge is less serious because no one was injured, it is still a criminal offense that comes with criminal penalties.

The attorneys at the Sammis Law Firm are experienced in fighting these cases in state court in Hillsborough County and throughout the greater Tampa Bay area including Hernando County, Pasco County, Pinellas County, Manatee County and Polk County. Our main office is conveniently located in downtown Tampa, FL, just a few blocks from the courthouse. We also have a second office located in New Port Richey across from the courthouse at the West Pasco Judicial Center.

Contact us to discuss your case for leaving the scene of a crash that occurred in Hillsborough County or the surrounding areas. Call 813-250-0500.

Penalties for Hit and Run with a Parked Car or Unattended Property

If you leave the scene of the crash without stopping or otherwise fail to comply with the reporting requirements in Section 316.063, then you can be charged with a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable by a $500 and up to 6 months in jail.

The citation for hit and run under Section 316.063(1) will often use the phrase “LEAVE CRASH W/O GIVING INFORMATION W/O PERSON PRESENT.” The investigating officer will then file that citation with the Clerk of Court for the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit which will trigger a case number and judge being assigned to the case. The Clerk of Court for Hillsborough County will list the offense as 316.063(1) – 312 FAIL TO LV INFO UNATTEND VEH – PROP DMG – SECOND DEGREE MISDEMEANOR.

If you have already been cited for this crime, then hire an attorney who can appear on your behalf at your first court appearance. If you do not hire an attorney and miss one of your court dates, then the court can issue a capias (warrant) for your arrest and suspend your driver’s license with a D6 suspension.

Procedures for Investigating Hit and Run Cases with Damage to Unattended Property

If you leave the scene then a criminal investigation begins. An investigating officer will be assigned to investigate the “hit and run” case with the goal of finding the driver and charging them with a violation of Section 316.063(1), which is a criminal traffic misdemeanor that requires a court appearance. The officer can either make an arrest or just cite you with the crime by providing you with a “notice to appear” in court and then releasing you immediately.

The investigating officer also has the task of completing a crash report so that the property own can pursue money damage caused by the crash.

If you retain an attorney, the attorney can find the investigating officer and notify the officer in writing that you are represented by an attorney. Once the officer knows that you are going to assert your 5th amendment privileges to remain silent and your 6th amendment privileges to have an attorney represent you, the officer will not travel to your home or work for the purpose of interrogating you about why you left the scene of the crash. Your attorney can also help you deal with questions from your insurance company and the insurance company for anyone else who suffered damages because of the crash.

This article was last updated on Monday, December 31, 2018.