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FSU Player Accident Triggers an Investigation

According to recent reports, a Florida State University (FSU) football player was let off with a simple traffic ticket after leaving the scene of a serious car accident. The New York Times is reporting that the accident occurred in the early morning, following a victory by the university football team. As a teenager drove home from work, another car swerved into his path, causing extensive damage to both vehicles. The driver of the car, along with two passengers, reportedly fled the scene by running away. Authorities allege that these individuals were members of the FSU football team.

The Times reportedly investigated the incident and learned that the driver was issued two traffic tickets, though the accident was initially labeled as a hit and run. The examination also reportedly revealed that the driver was operating the vehicle with a suspended license. The Times article additionally questions the decision not to test the driver for alcohol. The police officers are defending their decision not to test, based on the driver’s return to the scene within 20 minutes of the accident. The issued traffic citations were for an improper left turn and unknowingly driving on a suspended license.

Florida Statutes

The facts of this incident include various driving-related offenses.

  • Driving on a Suspended License – Under Florida, law driving on a suspended license is classified as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the number of previous violations. The first and second violations are both misdemeanors. These offenses are punishable by imprisonment less than 60 days, and/or fines less than $500. A third-time offense is classified as a felony, punishable by a prison term up to 5 years and/or fines up to $5,000
  • Leaving the Scene of an Accident – Florida statute includes three classifications under the hit and run laws. The alleged FSU incident falls under Florida statute 316.061, which involves leaving the scene of an accident involving occupied vehicles or attended property. Under the law, drivers are required to remain at the scene, exchanging relevant information and contacting law enforcement. Violations are generally classified as second degree felonies, with up to 60 days in jail and/or the imposition of a $500 fine.
  • Driving Under the Influence – In Florida, DUI charges are instituted when a driver under the age of 21 tests at a blood alcohol content .02%. For drivers over the age of 21, the triggering blood alcohol content is .08%. Depending on the number of previous violations, the punishment may range from six months up to one year in prison. Fines can reach up to $5,000. DUI convictions can also result in the suspension of driving privileges and the installment of interlocking ignition devices on the driver’s vehicle.

All of these offenses may be successfully defended with the assistance of an experienced attorney.

If you or a loved one is facing driving-related criminal charges, Attorneys Mycki Ratzan and Jude Faccidomo can provide you with an aggressive and comprehensive defense. Contact Ratzan & Faccidomo, LLC in Miami today at (305) 330-3905 for a confidential and free consultation.

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