Penalties for a Hit & Run in Texas
A hit-and-run in Texas is considered a criminal act. Under Texas law, a hit and run occur when a driver involved in a motor vehicle accident fails to stop and provide their contact and insurance information to the other driver(s) or leave a note with the same information at the scene of the accident.
If the accident resulted in injury or death, leaving the scene of the accident without providing information and assistance is considered a felony offense. If the accident resulted only in property damage, it is considered a misdemeanor offense.
What If I Committed a Hit & Run
If you suspect that you may have left the scene of an auto accident and are now being questioned by the police, it can be an extremely daunting and frightening situation. However, it is essential to take certain steps to protect yourself from criminal charges, unfair prosecution, and financial or insurance issues.
Firstly, it is crucial not to speak to the police before consulting with an attorney. Even if they suspect that your vehicle was involved in the incident, they cannot prove that you were driving it unless you admit it. Admitting your involvement can lead to arrest or citation.
Secondly, it is vital not to contact your car insurance company and report the accident without first speaking to an attorney. Insurance companies record calls and can provide evidence to the police, which may be used against you in a criminal case. It is best to seek legal advice before making any statements or reports to insurance companies.
Your Legal Responsibility
If you are involved in a car accident in Texas, you have certain legal responsibilities that you must fulfill. Here are the key responsibilities that you should be aware of:
- Stop at the scene of the accident: Under Texas law, you are required to stop your vehicle immediately after an accident. You must stay at the scene of the accident until you have exchanged information with the other driver(s) and provided assistance to anyone who is injured.
- Exchange information: You must provide your name, address, and vehicle registration number to the other driver(s) involved in the accident. You should also obtain their contact and insurance information.
- Report the accident: If the accident resulted in injury, death, or property damage over $1,000, you must report it to the police within 10 days of the accident. Failure to do so may result in penalties and fines.
- Render assistance: If anyone is injured in the accident, you are required to provide reasonable assistance. This may include calling for emergency medical services or transporting the injured person(s) to a medical facility.
- Do not admit fault: It is important to avoid admitting fault or making any statements that may be used against you in a legal proceeding. Leave the determination of fault to the police and insurance companies.
Penalties of a Hit & Run
The penalties for a hit and run driver in Texas depend on the severity of the offense. Here is a list of potential penalties:
- Misdemeanor hit and run: If the accident resulted only in property damage, leaving the scene of the accident without providing information and assistance is considered a Class C misdemeanor offense. Penalties can include fines up to $500.
- Felony hit and run: If the accident resulted in injury or death, leaving the scene of the accident without providing information and assistance is considered a felony offense. The severity of the offense and potential penalties depend on the circumstances of the accident:
- Third-degree felony: If the accident resulted in injury, but not serious bodily injury, penalties can include up to 10 years in prison and fines up to $10,000.
- Second-degree felony: If the accident resulted in serious bodily injury, penalties can include up to 20 years in prison and fines up to $10,000.
- First-degree felony: If the accident resulted in death, penalties can include up to life imprisonment and fines up to $10,000.
In addition to these penalties, a hit and run conviction can also result in a driver’s license suspension or revocation, increased insurance premiums, and a criminal record that can affect employment and other opportunities. It is essential to seek legal advice if you are facing hit and run charges in Texas.
Arrested? Don’t Plea, Call Me!
If you are facing hit & run criminal charges it is highly recommended that you seek the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. A criminal defense lawyer can provide you with essential legal advice, guidance, and representation throughout the legal process.
As an experienced criminal defense attorney we can review the facts of your criminal case, investigate the charges against you, and develop a strong defense strategy tailored to your specific situation. As well as negotiate with the prosecution on your behalf and advocate for your rights and interests in court.
In addition, we can provide you with information about the potential indecent exposure consequences of a conviction, including the possibility of jail time, fines, and other penalties, and work to minimize the impact of the charges on your life and future.
Overall, the criminal law justice system can be complex and intimidating, and having an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.