Jacksonville Hit and Run Accident Carries Minimum Mandatory Sentence

A tragedy occurred in Jacksonville Beach during the 4th of July holiday.  Daniel Stein died after being hit “by a vehicle while crossing the street early Saturday morning. The incident happened at 1:43 a.m. Saturday at the intersection of North 13th Avenue and State Road A1A.”  He died on his way to the hospital.  Stein’s friend Will Halstead spoke about the accident.  Channel 4 News in Jacksonville stated, “Halstead said Stein was heading back toward his apartment with friends at the time of the accident. They were just a couple blocks away from their destination. Halstead described hearing the sound and the impact of the crash from his room.”

Police believed that the vehicle was a black Mercedes.  Therefore, they were looking for a vehicle that matched the description and that may be damaged as a result of the crash.  It appears that they found the suspect vehicle.  News4jax reported:

“A black Mercedes believed to be involved in a hit-and-run crash early Saturday morning has been found. The car is being processed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Police are still investigating. Once the driver is identified, he or she will likely be prosecuted under the new hit-and-run law that went into effect just days ago. The law created a four-year minimum mandatory sentence for drivers who leave the scene of accidents involving death. It also requires the offender’s driver’s license revoked for three years.”

The new law that the article is referring to applies to Jacksonville leaving the scene of an accident cases that result in death.  It is called the Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act.  On June 24 of this year, Florida Governor Rick Scott made the announcement that he signed Senate Bill 102.  The Florida Bill which created “the Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act relating to leaving the scene of an accident.”  This bill changed Florida’s hit and run law by:

“Increasing the punishment for leaving the scene of a crash resulting in serious injury to a person, imposing a mandatory minimum term for imprisonment of four years for a driver convicted of leaving the scene of a crash resulting in the death of a person, increasing the mandatory minimum term of imprisonment from two to four years for a driver convicted of leaving the scene of a crash resulting in the death of a person while driving under the influence, and imposing a minimum driver license revocation period of at least three years.”

I am sure that detectives are questioning any potential witnesses and suspects.  This would include the owner of the vehicle and anyone that may have been driving it.  Those people may want to speak to a Jacksonville criminal attorney before making a statement to police.  There is nothing wrong with consulting with a Jacksonville criminal lawyer or having one present during questioning.

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