If you hit another vehicle and then sped off without stopping to exchange information with the other driver, then you are a hit-and-run accident offender. While some people may commit a hit-and-run intentionally, most drivers do not even realize that they are committing a crime when they drive away from an accident.
Sometimes, they are simply so nervous that they don’t know what to do after a crash, and speed off in search of help or in order to get away from the horrific scene. In other cases a driver may not even know that he or she hit another car. This is especially true for drivers in large vehicles such as semi-trucks, because the truck is so large, the driver may not even feel a jolt when the vehicle hits another and sparks an accident.
If you have been charged with a hit-and-run accident and you were not even aware that the accident occurred, then you need to demand evidence. As well, you will want to develop a defense that will help you to prove to the court that you innocent of your alleged crime. If you can prove that the offense was committed without any intentions then you may be able to avoid punishment. In Texas, leaving the scene of an accident often merits a felony.
Laws Surrounding Hit & Runs
The law states that when a driver is involved in an accident that results in injury or death, the offender needs to stop immediately and offer aid to the occupants of the vehicle. The driver also needs to produce a driver’s license and exchange personal information. Any accidents which involve damage to an occupied vehicle must be resulted by pulling over to render aid exchange personal information, and show your driver’s license.
Here are some tips to remember after an accident:
- If you are involved in an accident with an unattended vehicle then you need to locate the driver or owner and provide contact information or leave a note in a place such as the front windshield with your contact information.
- Any time that a driver damages fixtures or highway landscaping, that person needs to take reasonable steps to contact the owner or person in charge of the property and provide contact information or show your driver’s license.
- If the damage is more than $1,000 then you will want to file a report with the law enforcement regarding the accident.
- If you do not adhere to these rules then local law enforcement have every right to arrest you.
Leaving the scene of an accident that involves death or serious injury is considered a third-degree felony and could land you in prison for two to ten years. If the injury is not serious, the offense is still a felony that is punishable by up to one year in a county jail or up to five years in a state prison.
Those who are charged by either of these offenses can be forced to pay a $5,000 fine as well. Whenever there is no injury in a hit-and-run accident, the crime still beings on a Class C Misdemeanor that can include a $500 fine. When the damage on the vehicle is more than $200, it typically means that the offense will be considered a Class B misdemeanor and will merit up to six months in a county jail.
Contact a Plano Criminal Defense Attorney Today!
The same penalties also apply when a driver hits a parked car and damages the vehicle without leaving information or reporting the accident to law enforcement. If you need more information about hit-and-run offense in Texas or if you need a Plano criminal defense lawyer to come to your aid then contact a local attorney today!
Contact us to learn more about your legal options.