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Can a Hit-and-Run Lead to Criminal Charges?

If you have been involved in an accident where you have left the scene without stopping, providing identification, or providing any needed assistance, you can be charged with a hit-and-run. No matter the fault of the accident, the goal of these laws is to make sure anyone that needs medical assistance or financial compensation for property damage is able to receive it. If the driver collides with property, they are required to attempt to find the owner of the property, and if they fail to do so, leave identifying information behind.

Sharing Information Is Just As Important As Stopping

It is not enough to simply pull over after an accident and ask if everyone is alright. Under Texas law, the name, address, insurance, registration, and license information of the driver must be given to the other party involved and assistance given to anyone that may have been injured as a result. If this is not done, the driver may be subject to penalties as per the Texas Penal code.

If you fail to stop the vehicle after a death or injury, you may face:

  • A third degree felony charge punishable by 2-10 years in prison and a $10,000; or
  • A misdemeanor charge consisting of 5 years in prison or 1 year in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Any property damage left by a driver that does not stop can result in up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine, depending on the level of damage. If the driver has committed a number of moving traffic violations in a set period of time, they may be classified as a habitual traffic violator and have their license suspended for a certain period of time.

Even if you were not driving the vehicle, you may be charged with a hit-and-run. Any passenger that encourages a driver to leave the scene of an accident can be held just as liable.

If you are involved in an accident, don't leave the scene of the crime. Wondering if you may be charged with a hit-and-run crime? Contact a criminal defense lawyer at the Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC. There are a number of defenses to any criminal charge and working with our firm early can help develop the best outcome for your case.