Texas Hit and Run Laws
- March 16, 2016
- The Law Office of Greg Tsioros
- Comments Off on Texas Hit and Run Laws
Hit and Run Laws in Texas
Drivers throughout the state of Texas rely on the rules of the road to stay safe while driving. Laws governing speed limits and safe driving practices are an essential part of responsible motor vehicle operation. No matter how safe drivers may try to be, sometimes an accident can happen.
When a vehicle collision occurs on a Texas highway, certain laws apply to the way that drivers are supposed to behave. These laws are intended to ensure that an accident is handled in an appropriate manner. Drivers who choose to ignore these laws by leaving the scene of an accident may face criminal prosecution and conviction.
What To Do After an Accident
According to Section 550 of the Texas Transportation Code, Texas drivers are legally bound to abide by certain rules of the road after an accident. Under the law, a driver who is involved in an accident has a duty to give information and render aid if necessary.
For example, Adam is driving home from work when another car pulls out in front of him. He collides with the other car, which spins into a ditch. Adam is legally required to stop his car and check with the other driver. If the other driver is uninjured, Adam is required to exchange insurance information with the other driver. If the other driver is hurt, Adam is legally required to call emergency services and render aid if possible. If Adam simply drives away, he could face legal consequences.
Leaving the scene of an accident, also known as hit and run, is a serious crime in Texas. Engaging in this behavior can lead to serious criminal penalties.
If an accident occurs resulting in the injury or death of another driver or passenger, a driver is required to:
- Immediately stop at the scene of the accident
- Determine if the other person involved in the accident requires aid
- Remain at the scene of the accident until help arrives
- Provide aid or assistance if possible
Failure to stop and render aid at the scene of an accident resulting in a death is a felony of the second degree, punishable by up to twenty years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Failing to stop and render aid in an accident resulting in serious bodily injury is a felony of the third degree, punishable by up to ten years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Failure to render aid in an accident involving non-serious injury is punishable by:
- Imprisonment for up to five years
- A fine of up to $5,000
Accidents which do not result in injury or death also require drivers to stop and perform certain actions. For example, in a non-serious accident that does not result in injury or death, a driver must stop and provide their identification information, registration and insurance information. They must also stop and move the vehicles off of the road and into a safe location if possible.
Failure to do so can result in Class C misdemeanor charges if the total damage to all vehicles involved is less than $200. If the total damage comes to more than $200, the charge can be upgraded to a Class B misdemeanor.
Texas hit and run laws are very serious, and being accused of a hit and run can lead to an intense legal situation. A conviction for this type of offense can result in jail time, fines and potential loss of driving privileges. No matter what kind of charges are being filed, good legal representation is very important. An experienced attorney may be able to help a defendant explore their legal options. With enough evidence, an attorney may be able to help a defendant plead down to lesser charges or avoid a conviction altogether.
Texas hit and run laws require a solid legal defense in order to protect your rights as a citizen. Greg Tsioros is an aggressive and experience Houston-based lawyer who can help you. Contact his office today at (832) 752-5972.