Traffic Citation With Serious Bodily Injury or Death
Car accidents continue to be a leading cause of death in the United States. Today, you are more likely to be injured by a car than murdered, assaulted or robbed. However, out of all the traffic fatalities that occur every year, only a small percentage of these are treated as a homicide while the rest result in no more than a traffic ticket.
Florida Penalties for Traffic Offense with Serious Injury or Death
In Florida, if you are found guilty of a non-criminal traffic violation that involves serious bodily injury or death, such as careless driving, violation of a traffic control device, failure to stop, speeding, or an Illegal lane change, you could face the following penalties:
- Mandatory $500 fine for serious bodily injury or $1000 fine for death.
- Mandatory 90-day drivers license suspension for serious bodily injury or 6-month suspension when someone has been killed.
When a traffic violation results in death you are also required to complete 120 hours of community service at a trauma center or hospital that regularly receives victims of car accidents. Additionally, you will not be eligible for traffic school and you must attend the court hearing.
What is Considered “Serious Bodily Injury”
Florida Statute § 316.1933(1) defines a “serious bodily injury” as any injury that causes a considerable risk of death, physical disfigurement, or the loss/impairment of any body part or organ. However, this is still not a clear definition, and the prosecution could stretch the definition to include injuries that many wouldn’t normally consider serious. Again, this is why it’s crucial to have an experienced lawyer by your side.
Defending a Traffic Citation with Serious Bodily Injury or Fatality
Since this is an infraction that requires a mandatory court appearance, your defense options are limited. Your first option is to plead guilty and accept the judge’s sanctions along with the mandatory penalties. Your second option is to plead not guilty or no contest and elect to have an infraction hearing.
Choosing to plead guilty or to fight a charge is an impactful decision that you should carefully consider. In some instances, an attorney may be able to identify a defense that you would not have otherwise thought of due to their knowledge of the law. Some questions to ask yourself when deciding how to proceed, include:
- What are the minimum and maximum penalties for this crime?
- Is this crime punishable by jail time?
- Can I enter a plea agreement?
- Can a conviction on this case be used against me in the future?
If you can’t confidently answer the questions above, it’s important that you get help from an Orlando traffic violation lawyer with The Umansky Law Firm to represent you. The laws that surround traffic accidents with serious injury or death can be complicated and having an experienced attorney by your side can make all the difference.
Under any circumstance, it is always best to have a lawyer who understands the complex laws that surround these types of cases. For example, we defended a client who was issued a citation for failure to yield at an intersection that caused an accident with a fatality. We worked tirelessly to prepare her defense and we were able to get the judge to remove the fatality finding. Ultimately, our client only had to pay court costs and was able to avoid the license suspension and community service.
We Are Here to Help. Contact Us Day or Night
If you have received a traffic ticket after being involved in a car accident that caused a serious injury or fatality in Orlando, it’s important that you contact us right away. Not only will we provide you with aggressive representation, but we will guide you through the entire process while we work to get you the best possible outcome. With over 100 years of collective experience helping people with fatal traffic accident cases, you’re in good hands with our qualified team of traffic attorneys who have served Central Floridians for over 20 years. Contact us today via the 24/7 live chat service or by calling 407-228-3838 for a free case evaluation.