Hit-And-Run Offenses In Texas

Accidents happen, but fleeing the scene is a serious offense in Texas, known as a “hit-and-run.” Many drivers may need to fully understand the severe legal repercussions of such actions. If you’ve ever wondered what constitutes a hit-and-run or what your responsibilities are if you’re involved in an accident, this article is for you.

Understanding the legal framework and penalties associated with hit-and-run incidents in Texas is crucial for all drivers. Staying informed by knowing your obligations can help you avoid legal trouble and ensure that everyone involved gets the help they need.

What Is A Hit-And-Run in Texas?

Under Texas Transportation Code Section 550.021, a “hit-and-run” occurs when a driver involved in an accident leaves the scene without stopping to assist or provide information. This act is illegal and carries serious legal consequences. Drivers are required to remain at the scene, offer assistance if needed, and take responsibility for their actions.

Complying with these obligations helps avoid legal trouble. Understanding the legal framework and penalties associated with hit-and-run incidents in Texas is crucial for all drivers.

Types Of Hit-And-Run Cases

Minor Property Damage

Accidentally scratching a parked car can happen in different ways. One way is by scraping it with a key or sharp object, which can damage the paint or body.

Another way is by bumping into it with a shopping cart, leaving a dent or scratch. This mistake can be frustrating and costly, as it may require repairs or compensation for the owner. Even in these cases, it’s important to stop and leave your contact information.


Leaving the scene of an accident that results in injuries is illegal. Doing so can lead to worsened injuries or even death for the victims. Drivers who commit this offense may face substantial penalties and potential imprisonment.

Serious Damage

When a driver flees the scene of a major accident, they are likely trying to avoid responsibility and are leaving behind damaged property that needs attention. This can result in felony charges for hit-and-run as well as charges for damaging vehicles or property.

Fatal Accidents

The most serious cases involve accidents that result in death. Fleeing the scene in such situations can lead to long-term imprisonment.

Legal Obligations In A Hit-And-Run Incident

When a car accident occurs, the law requires drivers to:

  1. Stop Immediately: Whether the accident is small or more serious, drivers must stop their vehicles.
  2. Help If Needed: Should an injury occur and you require aid, call 911 and wait for help to arrive.
  3. Exchange Information: Drivers must share their names, addresses, and insurance details with each other.
  4. Report the Accident: If the accident results in injury or substantial damage, drivers must promptly notify the police.

A hit-and-run occurs when a driver does not follow these steps and leaves the scene instead.

Why Is It Important to Stay at the Scene?

Staying at the scene of an accident is crucial for several reasons:

  • Safety: Injured people may need immediate help.
  • Responsibility: It’s important to take responsibility for the accident and provide the necessary information.
  • Legal Requirements: Texas law requires drivers to stop, help, and report the accident.

Legal Offenses and Consequences

Class C Misdemeanor:

  • Leaving the scene of an accident involving only property damage.
  • A fine of up to $500 and a potential license suspension.

Class B Misdemeanor:

  • Leaving the scene of an accident that injures a person.
  • A fine of up to $2,000, 180 days in county jail, and potential license suspension.

State Jail Felony:

  • Leaving the scene of an accident involving serious bodily injury.
  • Punishable by 180 days to 2 years in state jail and fines of up to $10,000.

Third-degree felony:

  • Leaving the scene of an accident resulting in severe bodily injury.
  • Imprisonment ranging from 2 to 10 years, and monetary penalties not exceeding $10,000.

Second-degree felony:

  • Not stopping after causing a deadly accident.
  • The court may sentence you to 2 to 20 years in prison and impose a fine of up to $10,000.

First-degree felony:

  • Leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death with evidence of being drunk.
  • Potential jail time ranging from 5 to 99 years or even life imprisonment, along with fines of up to $10,000.

Additionally, drivers may face suspension or revocation of their driver’s license and increased insurance rates. The police take hit-and-run crimes seriously. Not stopping and reporting the accident can lead to severe consequences.

Arrested? Don’t Plea, Call

Have you been involved in a hit-and-run accident or need more information on the legal responsibilities and consequences? Don’t wait until it’s too late. Stay informed, and take action now. Contact the Texas Criminal Defense Group today for expert legal advice and representation. Our experienced attorneys are here to help you navigate the complexities of hit-and-run cases and ensure the best possible outcome. Call us now for a consultation and to protect your rights on the road.