A Clay County man accused of driving a stolen car into a pedestrian and leaving the scene of the accident has been arrested and is now facing several charges. An 18-year-old man was in a crosswalk when a man drove into him, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. The pedestrian was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries, the newspaper reported. Witnesses said the driver immediately drove off and the car was found abandoned in a nearby parking lot, the newspaper reported. The car had been reported stolen two hours before the accident, though it is not clear how police connected the dots between the car and the suspect.
The driver is in this Clay County Traffic Case charged with leaving the scene of an accident causing serious bodily injury, grand theft of a vehicle and driving without a license. Two of the three charges are felonies: leaving the scene of an accident resulting in serious bodily injury is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in state prison, while grand theft is a third-degree felony with a maximum penalty of five years in state prison. The driving with a suspended license charge is a misdemeanor. While the charge does not carry any prison time, only a year in the county jail, it could play a major role in the offer from prosecutors and the potential sentence from the judge.
In Clay County Traffic Cases, judges know that accidents happen and the overwhelming majority occur without criminal intent. However, when a person has a suspended license because of numerous traffic tickets, drives anyway, causes an accident and then leaves the scene of the accident to avoid getting caught, judges can tend to lean away from a lenient sentence. If the driver has past convictions for driving on a suspended license, as appears to be the case in this Clay County Traffic Case, prosecutors and judges will be even less inclined to give the defendant the benefit of the doubt. The fact that the crash happened in what is alleged to be a stolen car certainly doesn’t help the driver’s case either. Even when felony charges are not in play, Clay County Traffic Cases can have serious consequences for drivers. As tickets and point accumulate, they can result having a driver’s license suspended and lead to skyrocketing car insurance rates. Our Clay County Traffic Attorney represents people charged with all types of traffic charges – from speeding tickets on up to serious felonies such as this Clay County Traffic Case.
If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Clay County Theft Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.