As a driver, you’re well aware that it’s against the law to
intentionally injure or kill someone with your vehicle. To do so, would
be a form of murder. But, what if you are in a collision and someone else
is seriously injured or killed and you don’t stick around? Can you
face criminal penalties under Texas law?
For starters, whenever you are in any type of collision in Texas, you are
required by law to STOP your vehicle, see if anyone was hurt, and if so,
call the paramedics. Beyond that, you’re supposed to exchange information
with the other driver(s) involved in the accident.
You can learn more about this under
Section 550.023 of the Texas Transportation Code, Duty to Give Information and Render
Aid. Now, let’s take a look at what happens if you’re involved
in a hit and run involving serious bodily injuries or death:
Fleeing the Scene of an Injury Accident
Suppose you are in a serious injury crash. You get nervous and your adrenaline
gets the best of you. Before you know it, you’re speeding away from
the crash. You don’t know if anybody was hurt, but by the looks
of the other driver’s car, there’s a good chance that someone
was seriously hurt. What are the consequences of you fleeing the scene?
Under Section 550.021 of the Texas Penal Code, Accident Involving Personal
Injury or Death, if a driver is involved in an accident that is likely
to result in injury or death, he or she must stop at the accident scene
and determine if anyone involved in the accident was hurt. If an ambulance
is needed, the driver must call 911 for help. If such a driver fails to
follow the above steps and he or she decides to flee the scene, he or
felony of the second degree if the accident involved a fatality, or
felony of the third degree if the accident involved serious injuries.
If the accident simply involved “injuries,” but not serious
injuries and the driver fled the scene of the accident, he or she would
face 1 to 5 years behind bars, or a fine not to exceed $5,000, or both
a fine and imprisonment.
Note: A driver can be charged with leaving the scene of an accident, even if
he or she was not at fault for the crash. Fault is not the issue, leaving
the scene is.
Contact our firm to arrange a case evaluation with a Plano
criminal attorney today!