Lawrence Taylor, who was one of the most famous linebackers in the NFL, was arrested for hit and run in Dade County, Florida over this past weekend, according to a news article. In Florida, the crime of hit and run, also referred to as leaving the scene of an accident, can be a misdemeanor or a serious felony depending on the circumstances. For instance, if a person is involved in an accident that just results in property damage and fails to stop and provide his/her information, that should be a second degree misdemeanor. However, if the accident involves an injury to another person and the driver leaves the scene of the accident, it can be a third degree felony crime punishable by up to 5 years in prison. If the accident results in a death to another person, the hit and run charge can be a first degree felony punishable by up to 30 years.
Hit and run charges are not always that easy for the state to prove. It is one thing for the state to establish that a particular vehicle was involved in a hit and run accident based on evidence of the make, model and license plate number. However, the state still needs to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was actually the person who was driving the vehicle at the time of the hit and run. Oftentimes, the state just has a description of the vehicle and a vague description of the driver, if at all, and this is not enough to support a hit and run charge.