Failure to Stop and Render Aid
Texas law states that a person must perform certain duties if he or she was involved in a car accident. If another person is injured or dies because of the collision, then the uninjured driver has certain responsibilities to uphold. Failing to stop and render aid to another person can result in criminal charges.
Failure to stop and render aid, which is also referred to as a “hit and run,” is a serious crime in the state of Texas. A person may have to face felony charges, which can include expensive fines and possible prison time. If you have been involved in an accident and failed to render aid, it’s important that you seek a skilled attorney.
Houston Attorney for Failing to Stop and Render Aid in Texas
A hit and run charge can bring devastating consequences. You may face felony penalties and the negative social stigma of committing a crime. In some cases, failing to stop and render aid charge may be a simple miscommunication. Any person who has been charged with a hit and run should seek legal representation.
Brian Benken is a practiced attorney who has a strong focus in criminal defense. He is compassionate with clients and aggressive in the courtroom. Brian Benken will make sure to exhaust all resources to help you create a strong defense. This is not the time to be idle. Call attorney Brian Benken now at (713) 223 - 4051 for a free consultation.
The Benken Law Firm defends those accused of failing to stop and render aid in all parts of Harris County and surrounding communites including Meyerland, Alief, Houston Heights, and River Oaks.
Overview for Hit and Runs in Texas
- Texas Driver Responsibilities
- Penalties for Failing to Stop and Render Aid
- Accidents with Property Damage
- Accidents with Unattended Vehicles
- Accidents with Public Property
- Additional Resources
Texas Driver Responsibilities in an Accident
In the event of an accident, a driver is required to do certain actions to ensure the safety of all parties involved. Those who do not comply with these requirements are violating Texas law. According to Texas Penal Code § 550.021 and § 550.023, the following are the duties of a driver involved in an accident:
- Stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close as possible;
- If unable to stop at the scene, immediately return to the scene of the accident;
- Determine whether the other parties involved require aid or not;
- Remain at the scene of the accident until law enforcement arrives.
Additionally, the operator of the vehicle is obligated to do give specific information and do certain tasks. A Texas driver must provide the following information and aid in the event of an accideny:
- His or her name, address, registration number of the vehicle, and the name of the vehicle’s liability insurer to the other injured party or occupant of the other vehicle;
- His or her driver’s license if requested;
- Provide reasonable aid to any injured persons, which includes any kind of transportation to the hospital for treatment.
Penalties for Failing to Stop and Render Aid in Texas
If a person does not uphold their duty to stop and render aid in an accident, he or she is committing a criminal offense. The penalties for hit and runs are dependent on the injuries of the other parties.
If a person is injured in an hit and run accident, the alleged offender may face the following:
- Possible fine of up to $5,000;
- Confinement in county jail for not more than one year; or
- Incarceration in prison for not more than five years.
If a person retains a serious bodily injury and the alleged offender does not stop to render aid, the offender will face a third-degree felony. The legal consequences for a third-degree felony include:
- Maximum prison sentence of up to 10 years; and
- Possible fine of up to $10,000.
If a person dies because of an accident and the alleged offender does not stop to render aid, the offender will face a second-degree felony. The penalties for a second-degree felony include:
- Maximum prison sentence of up to 20 years; and
- Possible fine of up to $10,000.
Accidents Involving Damage to Vehicle in Texas
Drivers are required to remain at the scene of an accident, even if there is no injury. It is unlawful to flee the scene of accidents involving property damage to either vehicle. In the case an accident occurs, a driver must give certain information to the other party for legal purposes. This information includes name, address, contact information, and insurance information.
If a person does not stop and comply with their duty to give information, he or she may face criminal charges. A person will face a Class C misdemeanor if the damage to all vehicles is less than $200. The penalty for a Class C misdemeanor is a possible fine of up to $500.
If a person does not stop and give information in an accident where the damage amounts to up to $200 or more, he or she will face a Class B misdemeanor. A Class B misdemeanor is punishable by up to 180 days in county jail and a fine of up to $2,000.
Hit and Run with an Unattended Vehicle in Texas
Striking an unattended vehicle and leaving is a crime in the state of Texas. If a person collides with an unattended vehicle, he or she must do the following:
- Find the owner of the unattended vehicle and give the alleged offender’s name, address to the unattended vehicle’s owner; or
- Leave written notice stating the alleged offender’s name and address and a statement on how the collision occurred.
Those who do not give information after hitting an unattended vehicle are committing a crime. If a person hits an unattended vehicle and the damage involved is less than $200, he or she will face a Class C misdemeanor. The penalty for a Class C misdemeanor is a fine of up to $500.
If the damage involved is more than $200, then he or she will face a Class B misdemeanor. The statutory penalty for a Class B misdemeanor includes up to 180 days in jail and a potential fine of up to $2,000.
Duty on Striking Public Property in Texas
It is illegal to not report any vehicular accidents with public property. If a driver is involved in an accident that created public property damage, then he or she must take reasonable steps to report it. Some examples of public properties include highways, street fixtures, or landscapes.
If a person strikes a public structure with his or her vehicle, they must do the following:
- Take sensible steps to find and notify the person in charge of the property of the accident, their name, address, and registration number of the vehicle; and
- Present a driver’s license if requested and available.
Those who do not report an accident with a public structure will face criminal charges. If the damage is less than $200, then the person will face a Class C misdemeanor, which is punishable with a $500 fine. If the damage is over $200, then the person will face a Class B misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.
Texas Hit and Run Laws – Visit the official website for Texas hit and run laws. Find more information surrounding driver’s duties, written accident reports, and how and when information is released when an accident occurs.
Texas Traffic Citations – Visit the official website for the County of Harris and gain access to your citation tickets and fines. Gain access by entering your JP Court ID and citation number and learn more details about your traffic offense.
Houston Lawyer for Hit and Runs in Texas
If your or someone you know has been charged with failure to stop and render aid, it’s crucial that you gain a skilled attorney. A seasoned attorney can collect evidence, file motions, and do whatever is possible to obtain the best possible result for your case.
Attorney Brian Benken at The Benken Law Firm understands the intricacies of Texas criminal laws. With his resources, Brian Benken has what it takes to cast reasonable doubt on the prosecution’s case. Gain an attorney with drive and experience at The Benken Law Firm.
Brian Benken accepts clients throughout all communities in Harris County and surrounding counties in Texas. Some of these communities include Westchase, Houston Heights, Pasadena, and Alief.
Schedule a free consultation online today. Call us at (713) 223 - 4051 for legal representation with a seasoned criminal defense attorney.
This article was last updated on October 12, 2018.