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Leaving the Scene: Understanding the Legal Ramifications of Hit and Run in Texas

May 18, 2023

Leaving the Scene: Understanding the Legal Ramifications of Hit and Run in Texas

Hit and run accidents are distressing events that can have serious consequences for both the victim and the fleeing driver. In the state of Texas, leaving the scene of an accident without fulfilling certain legal obligations is a criminal offense. This blog post aims to shed light on the legal ramifications of hit and run incidents in Texas and provide important information for those who may find themselves in such a situation.

I. Definition of Hit and Run:

In Texas, “hit and run” refers to any accident involving a motor vehicle where the driver involved fails to stop, provide identification, and render assistance to the affected parties. This applies to accidents resulting in property damage, injury, or death.

II. Legal Obligations:

According to Texas law, drivers involved in an accident are required to stop their vehicle at the scene or as close as possible, provide their identification information to the other party involved, and, if necessary, render reasonable assistance to any injured individuals. Failure to fulfill these obligations can lead to serious consequences.

III. Penalties for Hit and Run:

The penalties for a hit and run offense in Texas vary depending on the severity of the accident and the resulting consequences. Generally, hit and run incidents are classified as follows:

IV. Criminal Penalties:

The penalties for hit and run incidents in Texas vary depending on the circumstances of the case, including the extent of property damage or bodily injury caused. The potential criminal penalties can be summarized as follows:

1. Property damage:

  • Less than $200: Class C misdemeanor with a fine of up to $500.
  • More than $200: Class B misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000.

2. Bodily injury or death:

  • If the accident causes death, it is classified as a second-degree felony.
  • If the accident causes serious bodily injury, it is classified as a third-degree felony.
  • If the accident does not result in death or serious bodily injury, it is considered a county jail felony.

V. Duty to Report:

Apart from stopping at the scene, providing identification, and rendering assistance, drivers involved in accidents that result in injury, death, or property damage exceeding $1,000 are required to report the incident to law enforcement authorities. Failing to report the accident can result in additional legal consequences.

VI. Civil Liability:

In addition to criminal penalties, individuals involved in hit and run incidents can also face civil liability. The victims of the accident can file a personal injury or property damage lawsuit against the fleeing driver to seek compensation for their losses. The damages awarded in such cases can be substantial and may include medical expenses, property repair costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

VII. Importance of Legal Representation:

If you have been involved in a hit and run accident, whether as a victim or a driver, it is crucial to seek legal assistance promptly. An experienced hit and run attorney can provide valuable guidance throughout the legal process, protecting your rights and helping you navigate the complex legal system.

Key Takeaway

Understanding the legal ramifications of hit and run incidents in Texas is vital to ensuring responsible and accountable actions in the aftermath of an accident. Remember, leaving the scene of an accident can lead to criminal charges, including fines, jail time, and potential civil liability. If you find yourself involved in a hit and run incident, consult with a knowledgeable attorney to protect your rights and obtain the guidance you need.

Contact Chernoff Law Today to Schedule a Consultation About Your Criminal Charges

Have you recently been involved in a hit and run incident in Texas? Don’t face the legal consequences alone. At Chernoff Law, we understand the complexities and gravity of hit and run criminal charges. Our experienced team of defense attorneys is here to provide you with exceptional legal representation and fight for your rights.

Don’t let a hit and run charge derail your future. Contact us today for a confidential consultation. Our experienced hit and run defense attorneys will listen to your concerns, evaluate your case, and provide you with a clear understanding of your legal options. Trust us to be your strong advocate in the face of criminal charges. Your rights, freedom, and future are our priority.

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