Texas law sets forth the specific legal duties and responsibilities that individuals have when they are involved in a car accident. The penalties for failing to stop at a crash can be quite severe, especially when an accident results in severe injuries or death to others.
For example, under Tex. Pen. Code § 550.021, individuals who are involved in accidents that result or is reasonably likely to result in injury or death to others must take the following immediate actions:
- Stop at or as near to the scene as possible
- Return to the scene if they do not stop at the scene
- Determine whether others are involved in the accident and if they require aid
- Remain at the scene until they can provide their identifying and insurance information and provide any reasonable assistance to others for their injuries, if necessary or requested
If individuals do not stop or otherwise comply with these duties, they can face criminal charges. More specifically, they can face second-degree felony charges if the accident results in death and third-degree felony charges if the collision results in serious bodily injury. If the accident results in injuries that are not severe or fatal, individuals can face a sentence of incarceration ranging from one to five years, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
Under Tex. Pen. Code § 550.022, if the accident involves only property damage, individuals also must stop at the scene and provide identifying and insurance information. Failing to stop and provide this information is a Class C misdemeanor if the property damage is $200 or less, and a Class B misdemeanor if the property damage is $200 or more. Individuals also commit a Class C misdemeanor if the accident occurs on a main lane, ramp, or adjacent area of a freeway in a metropolitan area and they do not move their vehicles to a more suitable location.
An experienced Texas criminal defense attorney can help you build a strong defense against any criminal charges. We are here to evaluate the facts surrounding your case and explore your options. We then can help you make the decisions that are mostly like to be beneficial to you, based on your situation. Contact Peek & Toland at (512) 474-4445 today and see how we can help.