Hit and Run Laws in

Florida


Florida laws will change effective October 1, 2006


316.027 Crash involving death or personal injuries.--

(1)(a) The driver of any vehicle involved in a crash resulting in injury of any person must immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the crash, or as close thereto as possible, and must remain at the scene of the crash until he or she has fulfilled the requirements of s. 316.062. Any person who willfully violates this paragraph is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(b) The driver of any vehicle involved in a crash resulting in the death of any person must immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the crash, or as close thereto as possible, and must remain at the scene of the crash until he or she has fulfilled the requirements of s. 316.062. Any person who willfully violates this paragraph is guilty of a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(2) The department shall revoke the driver's license of the person so convicted.

(3) Every stop must be made without obstructing traffic more than is necessary, and, if a damaged vehicle is obstructing traffic, the driver of the vehicle must make every reasonable effort to move the vehicle or have it moved so as not to obstruct the regular flow of traffic. Any person who fails to comply with this subsection shall be cited for a nonmoving violation, punishable as provided in chapter 318.

(4) A person whose commission of a noncriminal traffic infraction or any violation of this chapter or s. 1006.66 causes or results in the death of another person may, in addition to any other civil, criminal, or administrative penalty imposed, be required by the court to serve 120 community service hours in a trauma center or hospital that regularly receives victims of vehicle accidents, under the supervision of a registered nurse, an emergency room physician, or an emergency medical technician pursuant to a voluntary community service program operated by the trauma center or hospital.

History.--s. 1, ch. 71-135; s. 1, ch. 75-72; s. 5, ch. 76-31; s. 1, ch. 82-161; s. 51, ch. 89-282; s. 1, ch. 93-140; s. 9, ch. 94-306; s. 894, ch. 95-148; s. 5, ch. 96-350; s. 82, ch. 99-248; s. 956, ch. 2002-387.

316.062 Duty to give information and render aid.--

(1) The driver of any vehicle involved in a crash resulting in injury to or death of any person or damage to any vehicle or other property which is driven or attended by any person shall give his or her name, address, and the registration number of the vehicle he or she is driving, and shall upon request and if available exhibit his or her license or permit to drive, to any person injured in such crash or to the driver or occupant of or person attending any vehicle or other property damaged in the crash and shall give such information and, upon request, exhibit such license or permit to any police officer at the scene of the crash or who is investigating the crash and shall render to any person injured in the crash reasonable assistance, including the carrying, or the making of arrangements for the carrying, of such person to a physician, surgeon, or hospital for medical or surgical treatment if it is apparent that treatment is necessary, or if such carrying is requested by the injured person.

(2) In the event none of the persons specified are in condition to receive the information to which they otherwise would be entitled under subsection (1), and no police officer is present, the driver of any vehicle involved in such crash, after fulfilling all other requirements of s. 316.027 and subsection (1), insofar as possible on his or her part to be performed, shall forthwith report the crash to the nearest office of a duly authorized police authority and submit thereto the information specified in subsection (1).

(3) The statutory duty of a person to make a report or give information to a law enforcement officer making a written report relating to a crash shall not be construed as extending to information which would violate the privilege of such person against self-incrimination.

(4) A violation of this section is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a nonmoving violation as provided in chapter 318.

History.--s. 1, ch. 71-135; s. 13, ch. 91-255; s. 297, ch. 95-148; s. 84, ch. 99-248.

775.082 Penalties; applicability of sentencing structures; mandatory minimum sentences for certain reoffenders previously released from prison.--

(1) A person who has been convicted of a capital felony shall be punished by death if the proceeding held to determine sentence according to the procedure set forth in s. 921.141 results in findings by the court that such person shall be punished by death, otherwise such person shall be punished by life imprisonment and shall be ineligible for parole.

(2) In the event the death penalty in a capital felony is held to be unconstitutional by the Florida Supreme Court or the United States Supreme Court, the court having jurisdiction over a person previously sentenced to death for a capital felony shall cause such person to be brought before the court, and the court shall sentence such person to life imprisonment as provided in subsection (1). No sentence of death shall be reduced as a result of a determination that a method of execution is held to be unconstitutional under the State Constitution or the Constitution of the United States.

(3) A person who has been convicted of any other designated felony may be punished as follows:

(a)1. For a life felony committed prior to October 1, 1983, by a term of imprisonment for life or for a term of years not less than 30.

2. For a life felony committed on or after October 1, 1983, by a term of imprisonment for life or by a term of imprisonment not exceeding 40 years.

3. For a life felony committed on or after July 1, 1995, by a term of imprisonment for life or by imprisonment for a term of years not exceeding life imprisonment.

(b) For a felony of the first degree, by a term of imprisonment not exceeding 30 years or, when specifically provided by statute, by imprisonment for a term of years not exceeding life imprisonment.

(c) For a felony of the second degree, by a term of imprisonment not exceeding 15 years.

(d) For a felony of the third degree, by a term of imprisonment not exceeding 5 years.

(4) A person who has been convicted of a designated misdemeanor may be sentenced as follows:

(a) For a misdemeanor of the first degree, by a definite term of imprisonment not exceeding 1 year;

(b) For a misdemeanor of the second degree, by a definite term of imprisonment not exceeding 60 days.

(5) Any person who has been convicted of a noncriminal violation may not be sentenced to a term of imprisonment nor to any other punishment more severe than a fine, forfeiture, or other civil penalty, except as provided in chapter 316 or by ordinance of any city or county.

(6) Nothing in this section shall be construed to alter the operation of any statute of this state authorizing a trial court, in its discretion, to impose a sentence of imprisonment for an indeterminate period within minimum and maximum limits as provided by law, except as provided in subsection (1).

(7) This section does not deprive the court of any authority conferred by law to decree a forfeiture of property, suspend or cancel a license, remove a person from office, or impose any other civil penalty. Such a judgment or order may be included in the sentence.

(8)(a) The sentencing guidelines that were effective October 1, 1983, and any revisions thereto, apply to all felonies, except capital felonies, committed on or after October 1, 1983, and before January 1, 1994, and to all felonies, except capital felonies and life felonies, committed before October 1, 1983, when the defendant affirmatively selects to be sentenced pursuant to such provisions.

(b) The 1994 sentencing guidelines, that were effective January 1, 1994, and any revisions thereto, apply to all felonies, except capital felonies, committed on or after January 1, 1994, and before October 1, 1995.

(c) The 1995 sentencing guidelines that were effective October 1, 1995, and any revisions thereto, apply to all felonies, except capital felonies, committed on or after October 1, 1995, and before October 1, 1998.

(d) The Criminal Punishment Code applies to all felonies, except capital felonies, committed on or after October 1, 1998. Any revision to the Criminal Punishment Code applies to sentencing for all felonies, except capital felonies, committed on or after the effective date of the revision.

(e) Felonies, except capital felonies, with continuing dates of enterprise shall be sentenced under the sentencing guidelines or the Criminal Punishment Code in effect on the beginning date of the criminal activity.

(edited)

(10) The purpose of this section is to provide uniform punishment for those crimes made punishable under this section and, to this end, a reference to this section constitutes a general reference under the doctrine of incorporation by reference.

History.--s. 3, ch. 71-136; ss. 1, 2, ch. 72-118; s. 2, ch. 72-724; s. 5, ch. 74-383; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 1, ch. 83-87; s. 1, ch. 94-228; s. 16, ch. 95-184; s. 4, ch. 95-294; s. 2, ch. 97-239; s. 2, ch. 98-3; s. 10, ch. 98-204; s. 2, ch. 99-188; s. 3, ch. 2000-246; s. 1, ch. 2001-239; s. 2, ch. 2002-70; ss. 1, 2, ch. 2002-211.

775.15 Time limitations.--

(1)(a) A prosecution for a capital felony, a life felony, or a felony that resulted in a death may be commenced at any time. A prosecution for a felony that resulted in injury to any person, when such felony arises from the use of a "destructive device," as defined in s. 790.001, may be commenced within 10 years. If the death penalty is held to be unconstitutional by the Florida Supreme Court or the United States Supreme Court, all crimes designated as capital felonies shall be considered life felonies for the purposes of this section, and prosecution for such crimes may be commenced at any time.

(b) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (7), a prosecution for a first or second degree felony violation of s. 794.011, if such crime is reported to a law enforcement agency within 72 hours after commission of the crime, may be commenced at any time. If such crime is not reported within 72 hours after the commission of the crime, the prosecution must be commenced within the time periods prescribed in subsection (2).

(c) A prosecution for perjury in an official proceeding that relates to the prosecution of a capital felony may be commenced at any time.

(2) Except as otherwise provided in this section, prosecutions for other offenses are subject to the following periods of limitation:

(a) A prosecution for a felony of the first degree must be commenced within 4 years after it is committed.

(b) A prosecution for any other felony must be commenced within 3 years after it is committed.

(c) A prosecution for a misdemeanor of the first degree must be commenced within 2 years after it is committed.

(d) A prosecution for a misdemeanor of the second degree or a noncriminal violation must be commenced within 1 year after it is committed.

(e) A prosecution for a felony violation of chapter 517 or s. 409.920 must be commenced within 5 years after the violation is committed.

(f) A prosecution for a felony violation of chapter 403 must be commenced within 5 years after the date of discovery of the violation.

(g) A prosecution for a felony violation of s. 825.102 or s. 825.103 must be commenced within 5 years after it is committed.

(h) A prosecution for a felony violation of ss. 440.105 and 817.234 must be commenced within 5 years after the violation is committed.

(3) If the period prescribed in subsection (2) has expired, a prosecution may nevertheless be commenced for:

(a) Any offense, a material element of which is either fraud or a breach of fiduciary obligation, within 1 year after discovery of the offense by an aggrieved party or by a person who has a legal duty to represent an aggrieved party and who is himself or herself not a party to the offense, but in no case shall this provision extend the period of limitation otherwise applicable by more than 3 years.

(b) Any offense based upon misconduct in office by a public officer or employee at any time when the defendant is in public office or employment, within 2 years from the time he or she leaves public office or employment, or during any time permitted by any other part of this section, whichever time is greater.

(4) An offense is committed either when every element has occurred or, if a legislative purpose to prohibit a continuing course of conduct plainly appears, at the time when the course of conduct or the defendant's complicity therein is terminated. Time starts to run on the day after the offense is committed.

(5)(a) Prosecution on a charge on which the defendant has previously been arrested or served with a summons is commenced by the filing of an indictment, information, or other charging document.

(b) A prosecution on a charge on which the defendant has not previously been arrested or served with a summons is commenced when either an indictment or information is filed, provided the capias, summons, or other process issued on such indictment or information is executed without unreasonable delay. In determining what is reasonable, inability to locate the defendant after diligent search or the defendant's absence from the state shall be considered. The failure to execute process on or extradite a defendant in another state who has been charged by information or indictment with a crime in this state shall not constitute an unreasonable delay.

(c) If, however, an indictment or information has been filed within the time period prescribed in this section and the indictment or information is dismissed or set aside because of a defect in its content or form after the time period has elapsed, the period for commencing prosecution shall be extended 3 months from the time the indictment or information is dismissed or set aside.

(6) The period of limitation does not run during any time when the defendant is continuously absent from the state or has no reasonably ascertainable place of abode or work within the state. This provision shall not extend the period of limitation otherwise applicable by more than 3 years, but shall not be construed to limit the prosecution of a defendant who has been timely charged by indictment or information or other charging document and who has not been arrested due to his or her absence from this state or has not been extradited for prosecution from another state.

(7)(a) If the victim of a violation of s. 794.011, former s. 794.05, Florida Statutes 1995, s. 800.04, or s. 826.04 is under the age of 18, the applicable period of limitation, if any, does not begin to run until the victim has reached the age of 18 or the violation is reported to a law enforcement agency or other governmental agency, whichever occurs earlier. Such law enforcement agency or other governmental agency shall promptly report such allegation to the state attorney for the judicial circuit in which the alleged violation occurred. If the offense is a first or second degree felony violation of s. 794.011, and the crime is reported within 72 hours after its commission, paragraph (1)(b) applies. This paragraph applies to any such offense except an offense the prosecution of which would have been barred by subsection (2) on or before December 31, 1984.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (1)(b) and paragraph (a) of this subsection, if the offense is a first degree felony violation of s. 794.011 and the victim was under 18 years of age at the time the offense was committed, a prosecution of the offense may be commenced at any time. This paragraph applies to any such offense except an offense the prosecution of which would have been barred by subsection (2) on or before October 1, 2003.

(8)(a) In addition to the time periods prescribed in this section, a prosecution for any of the following offenses may be commenced within 1 year after the date on which the identity of the accused is established, or should have been established by the exercise of due diligence, through the analysis of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) evidence, if a sufficient portion of the evidence collected at the time of the original investigation and tested for DNA is preserved and available for testing by the accused:

1. An offense of sexual battery under chapter 794.

2. A lewd or lascivious offense under s. 800.04 or s. 825.1025.

(b) This subsection applies to any offense that is not otherwise barred from prosecution on or after July 1, 2004.

History.--s. 78, Feb. 10, 1832; s. 1, ch. 4915, 1901; RS 2357; GS 3181, 3182; RGS 5011, 5012; CGL 7113, 7114; s. 1, ch. 16962, 1935; s. 10, ch. 26484, 1951; s. 109, ch. 70-339; s. 10, ch. 74-383; s. 1, ch. 76-275; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 12, ch. 78-435; s. 6, ch. 84-86; s. 1, ch. 84-550; s. 10, ch. 85-63; s. 4, ch. 89-143; s. 2, ch. 90-120; s. 2, ch. 91-258; s. 16, ch. 93-156; s. 17, ch. 95-158; s. 139, ch. 95-418; s. 1, ch. 96-145; s. 3, ch. 96-280; s. 3, ch. 96-322; s. 4, ch. 96-409; s. 1, ch. 97-36; s. 1, ch. 97-90; s. 1812, ch. 97-102; s. 1, ch. 97-104; s. 17, ch. 98-174; s. 7, ch. 99-201; s. 5, ch. 99-204; s. 3, ch. 2000-246; s. 1, ch. 2001-102; s. 1, ch. 2002-168; s. 1, ch. 2003-116; s. 1, ch. 2004-94.

Note.--See former ss. 932.05, 932.06, 915.03, 932.465.

Source

Case Law

TERRANTON HUNT,
Appellant,
v.
STATE OF FLORIDA,
Appellee.

_________________________

Opinion filed October 4, 2000.

Appeal from the Circuit Court for Pinellas County; Lauren C. Laughlin, Judge.

James Marion Moorman, Public Defender,

and Robert D. Rosen, Assistant Public Defender,

Bartow, for Appellant.

Robert A. Butterworth, Attorney General, Tallahassee,

and Patricia E. Davenport, Assistant Attorney General,

Tampa, for Appellee.

STRINGER, Judge.

The appellant, Terranton Hunt, challenges two of his convictions arising out of an automobile accident. He was convicted of vehicular homicide/leaving the scene of an accident involving death; causing death while driving with a suspended license; aggravated fleeing and eluding; resisting an officer with violence; leaving the scene of an accident involving injury; and possession of cocaine. He argues for the first time on appeal that the vehicular homicide/leaving the scene of an accident involving death charge bars prosecution for the charges of leaving the scene of an accident involving injury and causing death while driving with a suspended license, pursuant to the double jeopardy doctrine. We agree and reverse both convictions on that basis.

Initially, we observe that double jeopardy allegations may be addressed for the first time on appeal, absent waiver, because such errors constitute fundamental error. See Novaton v. State, 634 So. 2d 607, 609 (Fla. 1994); Jones v. State, 711 So. 2d 633, 634 (Fla. 1st DCA 1998); Grene v. State, 702 So. 2d 510, 511-12 (Fla. 3d DCA 1996). In this case, Hunt did not waive his double jeopardy claims, where he entered an unbargained plea of guilty, the violations are apparent from the record, and there is nothing in the record to indicate a waiver. See Novaton, 634 So. 2d at 609; Melvin v. State, 645 So. 2d 448, 449 (Fla. 1994).

Addressing the leaving the scene of an accident involving injury conviction first, Hunt argues, and the State agrees, that to convict Hunt of both vehicular homicide/leaving the scene of an accident involving death and leaving the scene of an accident involving injury constitutes double jeopardy. Section 782.071, Florida Statutes (1997), provides, in pertinent part:

"Vehicular homicide" is the killing of a human being by the operation of a motor vehicle by another in a reckless manner likely to cause the death of, or great bodily harm to, another. Vehicular homicide is:

(2) A felony of the second degree, . . . if:

(a) At the time of the accident, the person knew, or should have known, that the accident occurred; and

(b) The person failed to give information and render aid as required by s. 316.062.

The statute criminalizing leaving the scene of an accident involving injury, section 316.027, Florida Statutes (1997), provides, in pertinent part:

(1)(a) The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury of any person must immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident, or as close thereto as possible, and must remain at the scene of the accident until he or she has fulfilled the requirements of s. 316.062. Any person who willfully violates this paragraph is guilty of a felony of the third degree, . . .

Both the First and Fourth Districts have held that double jeopardy bars prosecution under section 316.027(1), Florida Statutes (1991), because that section is subsumed by section 782.071(2), Florida Statutes (1991). See Pierce v. State, 744 So. 2d 1193, 1196 (Fla. 4th DCA 1999); Wright v. State, 573 So. 2d 998, 1001 (Fla. 1st DCA 1991). This analysis applies to the 1997 version of the vehicular homicide statute as well. Section 782.071 subsumes the requirement found in section 316.027 that the motorist stop and comply with the requirements of section 316.062, Florida Statutes (1997). See generally Garrett v. United States, 471 U.S. 773 (1985) (holding the test of double jeopardy is statutory elements, not evidence produced at trial). On that basis, we reverse Hunt's conviction for leaving the scene of an accident involving injury.

This court's decisions in Williams v. State, 732 So. 2d 431 (Fla. 2d DCA 1999), and Waldecker v. State, 707 So. 2d 777 (Fla. 2d DCA 1998), support this conclusion. Although those cases do not address a vehicular homicide/leaving the scene of an accident involving death conviction, their analysis of multiple convictions for leaving the scene of an accident is relevant. In Waldecker, 707 So. 2d at 778, this court held that only one leaving the scene of an accident conviction could stand because the defendant failed to stop at only one accident, regardless of how many people were injured. Citing Waldecker, this court held in Williams, 732 So. 2d at 432-33, that leaving the scene of an accident resulting in injury is a necessarily lesser-included offense of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death and that "only one conviction was permissible when a defendant leaves the scene of a single accident." Likewise, Hunt cannot be convicted of vehicular homicide/leaving the scene of an accident involving death and leaving the scene of an accident involving injury. As in Waldecker and Williams, Hunt left the scene of only one accident.

Hunt also asserts that double jeopardy bars his conviction of both vehicular homicide/leaving the scene of an accident involving death and causing death while driving with a suspended license. We agree. In State v. Cooper, 634 So. 2d 1074, 1074-75 (Fla. 1994), the Florida Supreme Court held that a defendant could not be convicted of both DUI manslaughter and causing death while driving with a suspended license. The Florida Supreme Court reasoned that a single death could not support both convictions. Id. at 1075. In Pierce v. State, 718 So. 2d 806, 810 (Fla. 4th DCA 1997), the Fourth District relied on Cooper to hold that double jeopardy likewise bars convictions for both vehicular homicide and causing death while driving with a suspended license. We agree with this analysis and reverse Hunt's conviction for causing death while driving with a suspended license on this basis.

Accordingly, we affirm Hunt's conviction for vehicular homicide/leaving the scene of an accident involving death. We also affirm the convictions as to counts III, IV, and VI, not challenged on appeal. However, we reverse Hunt's convictions and sentences for leaving the scene of an accident involving injury and causing death while driving with a suspended license. Because our reversal affects the scoresheet in this case, we reverse the sentences of the four remaining convictions and remand for resentencing.

Reversed in part and affirmed in part.

PATTERSON, C.J., and WHATLEY, J., Concur.



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