Failure to Render Aid

responsibility to assist in florida

The State of Florida may not require individuals to render or call for aid if they find someone struggling for life. This fact recently made national headlines when five boys in Cocoa, Florida discovered a man drowning in a pond and did nothing to help him. Instead, they recorded the man drowning all the while laughing and teasing him during his demise. State prosecutors are unable to prosecute the boys’ behavior because of the state’s lack of law regarding these types of situations.

Traffic Accident Exceptions

Florida law does make an exception for traffic collisions. According to Statute §316.012, if you are involved in a car crash, you must render aid to injured parties. Those involved in auto accidents must do the following:

  • Give your contact information. This means not just your name and phone number, but your physical address as well.
  • Driver’s license number. Give your license information to the authorities and those involved in the accident.
  • Share your vehicle’s registration number.
  • Render aid to anyone that is injured. This can include calling 911 and/or transporting or arranging for transportation to a hospital.

Failure to fulfill your obligations under this statute is punishable and considered a nonmoving traffic violation. Penalties for failing to render aid during a traffic collision can vary greatly depending on the situation. Some possible punishments include:

  • Fines
  • License suspension
  • Jail time
  • Probation
  • Community service if someone dies as a result of your failing to help

If an individual is involved in a hit and run accident, punishments and charges are more severe. Individuals facing charges related to failing to render aid need to hire a lawyer as soon as possible because of the severity of the crime.

Florida Statutes Regarding Dead Bodies

The State of Florida requires anyone that is aware of a death to report it. Statute §406.12 requires individuals to contact the district medical examiner about the passing and share all the circumstances known regarding the situation. If one purposely fails to notify the appropriate authorities, the state may pursue a first-degree misdemeanor charge against him. The punishment for anyone convicted of this crime is harsh. He or she may face a fine of up to $1,000 and jail time of up to a year.

There are additional circumstances which violate this law:

  • Withholding medical or other relevant information. It is illegal not to share information you know about a dead body with investigators.
  • Disturbing the body, clothing or items on or around the corpse. This should only happen with permission from the authorities. To do otherwise could be treated as purposeful tampering of the body and get you in further trouble.

Orlando Defense Attorneys

If charged for failing to render aid at the scene of an auto accident in Central Florida, it’s imperative to retain a seasoned criminal defense attorney to evaluate your best options and form a strong defense. Even if it seems like a minor offense, it can have a lasting impact on your career and reputation.

At The Umansky Law Firm, we put our team of former prosecutors to work and combine our over 100 years of experience to get the best results possible for your case. Our award-winning Orlando based defense team has helped numerous clients successfully defend against charges brought against them. Contact us today at (407) 228-3838 to receive your free case evaluation and learn how we can protect your rights and future so you can move forward in life.