Always a defense attorney,
NEVER a prosecutor



On Friday a fatal hit and run accident occurred in Tampa.  All police reports refer to “accidents” as “crashes” to inflate the public and eventually jury’s attitude in these tragic cases.  While there are cases where someone leaves on purpose, many times the driver is in shock and scared and leaves the scene, not because they are drunk and afraid of getting caught and arrested.  However, Florida Statute 316.027 makes the penalties are very serious for this 1st degree felony crime punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

If you or a person is involved in an accident or crash that results in injury or death to any person, including a passenger, the driver is required to:

  • Stop immediately,
  • Provide their name, address, registration information, and driver’s license, and
  • Render reasonable assistance to the injured or deceased person by transporting, or making arrangements for the transportation, of the person to a medical professional for treatment if it is apparent that treatment is needed or the person requests assistance.

If the person injured or deceased is not in a condition to receive your information or be transported, you are required to report the accident or crash to the nearest law enforcement agency as quickly as possible and provide your name, address, registration information, and driver’s license.

There are various defenses to these crimes.  First, the prosecutor has to prove who was driving the car.  Often there are no witnesses to these accidents because they happen late at night or the driver never gets out of the vehicle and flees so no eyewitnesses get a good look at them.  In the Tampa case, the car was spotted in a parking garage so if the woman arrested does not make any statements admitting her involvement in the accident, the prosecutor may have a difficult time proving that she was driving at the time of the accident.

Another defense is whether the driver knew or reasonably should have known someone was injured or killed.  Many times we see cases in which the person thinks they hit a deer or other animal.  There was a recent case in Buffalo in which the driver was found not guilty because the BMW is now so well-built that a driver does not feel the impacts of certain accidents.

Finally, if a driver is  rendered physically incapacitated and unable to report the crash or accident, he or she is exempt from fulfilling the requirements of the leaving the scene of an accident statute.

This crime is one of the most serious under Florida law.  It is a Level 7 offense on the Scoresheet and Florida Sentencing Guidelines.  Because the crime of “leaving” the scene does not cause the death, a driver arrested for this crime will not receive the 120 Death points on the Scoresheet.  That means they will only score 56 points for the Level 7 felony offense which will equate to a minimum sentence of approximately 21 months Florida State Prison as a “guideline sentence” for the judge.

The driver arrested in this case is also a nurse so she may be subject to disciplinary action by the Board of Nursing and Department of Health.  She will need an experienced criminal lawyer to defend her in court.

If you have been arrested or the police want to talk to you about your possible involvement in a crime, talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney who knows the laws and will fight to protect you!

Call Thomas C. Grajek 863-838-5549  cell

Tags: arrest BMW Call Thomas felony Florida state prison Florida Statute guideline sentence police reports


Apr 2014


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112 E Poinsettia St Lakeland, FL, 33803

(863) 688-4606


4107 N. Himes Ave #200 Tampa, FL, 33607

(813) 789-6404


24140 FL-54 #101e Lutz, FL, 33559

(727) 457-8660


Thomas Grajek is a great lawyer

After my husbands DUI, I met with a couple of lawyers but NONE were as attentive as Thomas Grajek. Thomas was able to beat the DUI charge that I thought would be impossible. Not only did he save us money, he also helped put our lives back. I would recommend Mr. Grajek to anyone in our situation. Thsnkd Tom!!!

Thomas Grajek is a great lawyer

Excellent Attorney....called this attorney on a Saturday. He was quick to call me back and even gave me free advice as to how to handle the situation we were in. We ended up hiring him best decision we made. Would recommend this attorney to anyone.

Thomas Grajek is a great lawyer

Got a DUI a few months ago and got Toms name from a friend of mine.. I am more then satisfied with the way he handled my case and the way he kept me informed the whole time.. I got off on reckless with a with hold which i am more then happy to have on my record then a dui... He's a very down to earth guy and definitely trys to relate to where ur comin from.. I would with no doubt recommend Tom to friends and family... Thanks Tom ur the best!!!!!!

Thomas Grajek is a great lawyer

Great DUI Lawyer!! He got my DUI dropped to a reckless driving charge!! definitely went above and beyond for my case!!!He is very easily accessible and always promptly returned my phone calls/emails.

Thomas Grajek is a great lawyer

I have just moved to the Tampa area. I was intoduced to Tom after being arrested for a DUI. Within minutes of being bonded out Tom came to my place of employment with all needed documents to "get the ball rolling". He always kept me informed on my case and when the time came for my hearing, I plead guilty to wreckless and had no fines and very little commuity service. Thomas Grajek is a great attorney and I feel he would be a valuable assett in anyone's defense.