Leaving the Scene of an Accident

Leaving the Scene of an Accident | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy

Leaving the Scene of an Accident


Texas Transportation Code § 550.023 establishes the duty of motor vehicle operators to give information and render aid. Under this law, the operator of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in the injury or death of a person or damage to another vehicle must give their name and address, the registration number of the vehicle they were driving, and the name of the operator's motor vehicle liability insurer to any person injured or the operator or occupant of or person attending a vehicle involved in the collision, display their driver's license when requested, and provide any person injured in the accident reasonable assistance, including transporting or making arrangements for transporting the person to a physician or hospital for medical treatment if it is apparent that treatment is necessary, or if the injured person requests the transportation.


Texas Transportation Code § 550.024 and Texas Transportation Code § 550.025 provide similar duties for striking unattended vehicles and structures, fixtures, or highway landscaping, respectively. A person who leaves the scene of an accident (commonly referred to as a “hit and run” crime) without fulfilling these duties could face criminal charges.

Accident


Denton Leaving the Scene of an Accident Lawyer


If you or your loved one were arrested for allegedly leaving the scene of an accident in the Denton area, do not try to explain yourself to authorities without legal representation. You will want to make sure the first person you speak to is the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy.


Our firm will work to help you achieve the most favorable outcome to your case that results in the fewest possible penalties. Call (940) 222-8004 or contact us online to receive a free consultation.


Leaving the Scene of an Accident Charges in Denton


Violations of Texas Transportation Code § 550.024 and Texas Transportation Code § 550.025 are both classified as Class C misdemeanors when the damage to all vehicles is less than $200. If damage is $200 or more, the offense is a Class B misdemeanor.


Texas Transportation Code § 550.021 establishes that the operator of a vehicle involved in an accident that results or is reasonably likely to result in injury to or death of a person is required to:


  • immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close to the scene as possible;


  • immediately return to the scene of the accident if the vehicle is not stopped at the scene of the accident;


  • immediately determine whether a person is involved in the accident, and if a person is involved in the accident, whether that person requires aid; and


  • remain at the scene of the accident until the operator complies with the requirements of Texas Transportation Code § 550.023.


A person who does not stop or does not comply with the requirements of this section will be charged with a second-degree felony when the accident results in the death of a person. An offense resulting in serious bodily injury is a third-degree felony.


Under Texas Transportation Code § 550.023, the operator of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting only in damage to a vehicle that is driven or attended by a person must:


  • immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close as possible to the scene of the accident without obstructing traffic more than is necessary;


  • immediately return to the scene of the accident if the vehicle is not stopped at the scene of the accident;  and


  • remain at the scene of the accident until the operator complies with the requirements of Texas Transportation Code § 550.023.


If an alleged offender does not stop or does not comply with the requirements of this law, the offense is a Class C misdemeanor if the damage to all vehicles is less than $200 or a Class B misdemeanor if the damage to all vehicles is $200 or more.


Leaving the Scene of an Accident Penalties in Texas


Texas Transportation Code § 550.021(c)(2) states that a conviction for leaving the scene of an accident resulting in injury not classified as serious bodily injury or death is punishable by imprisonment in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for up to five years or confinement in the county jail for up to one year and/or a fine of up to $5,000. For other criminal offenses, the penalties of a conviction are generally as follows:


  • Class C Misdemeanor — Fine of up to $500


  • Class B Misdemeanor — Up to 180 days in jail and/or fine of up to $2,000.


  • Third-Degree Felony — Up to 10 years in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000.


  • Second-Degree Felony — Up to 20 years in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000.


Another consequence of a conviction could be a possible driver’s license suspension. A person who has received four moving violations over 12 months or seven moving violations in a 24 month period will be classified as a habitual traffic violator and can have their license suspended for 90 days.


Leaving the Scene of an Accident Defenses in Denton County


One of the most common defenses to hit and run charges is an alleged offender’s belief that they were not involved in an accident. Not all collisions are necessarily noticeable, but alleged offenders are going to want attorneys to express this belief to authorities.


Another type of defense in cases involving serious bodily injury can be questioning the severity of the injuries that were caused. Texas Penal Code § 1.07(46) defines a serious bodily injury as “bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes death, serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.”


Leaving the Scene of an Accident Resources in Denton County


County Road Closures and Interactive Map | Denton County, Texas — On this section of the Denton County website, you can view local road closures in Denton. You can also subscribe for county road closure notifications. You can also find information about Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) road conditions.


Crash Information | North Central Texas Council of Governments — The North Central Texas Council of Governments is a voluntary association of, by and for local governments serving a 16-county region of North Central Texas. It includes more than 230 member governments, and you can use this website to access information about Denton County bicycle and pedestrian crash locations and density, bicycle and pedestrian crash density, bicycle crash locations, and pedestrian crash locations. You can also view 2013-2017 crash data in Google Earth.


Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy | Denton Leaving the Scene of an Accident Attorney


Were you or your loved one arrested for allegedly leaving the scene of an accident in Denton or another community in North Central Texas? Do not wait to contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy.


Our firm will work to possibly get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed. We can provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case when you call (940) 222-8004 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

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