Hit and Run Cases
The requirements for a driver involved in a traffic accident in Texas are set forth by Transportation Code Chapter 550. This chapter differentiates between accidents involving property damage and human injury or death. There are also special requirements for a driver who collides with an empty parked vehicle and even structures and fixtures.
The penalties for hit-and-run offenses in Texas depend on accident type and how much damage occurred. A hit-and-run resulting in death is a second-degree felony, while a hit-and-run involving serious bodily injury is a third-degree felony. If the hit-and-run results in non-serious injuries, the driver will face up to 5 years in jail and a $5,000 fine. A hit-and-run involving damage to one or more vehicles is a Class C misdemeanor if the damage to all vehicles is less than $200. Hit-and-runs resulting in more than $200 are a Class B misdemeanor. The same limits apply in those accidents involving an unattended vehicle.
Austin Hit and Run Lawyer | Travis County, TX
If you have been arrested for a hit-and-run case, it is always important to retain solid legal counsel with a good track record of results. At The Law Office of Jackson F. Gorski, we understand how to navigate the complicated Texas legal system following a hit-and-run collision. Jackson F. Gorski at The Law Office of Jackson F. Gorski has years of experience defending clients arrested for traffic crimes and can do the same for you.
Your first consultation is free, so call 512-960-4646 today. Law Office of Jackson F. Gorski has offices in Austin and Georgetown but accepts clients throughout Texas including Travis County, Williamson County, Bell County, Bastrop County, Burnett County, Hays County, Caldwell County, Blanco County, Lee County, Milam County, Hays County, and Caldwell County.
- Accidents Involving Injury Or Death
- Accidents Involving Vehicle Damage
- Accidents Involving An Unattended Vehicle
- Striking A Structure, Fixture, Or Highway Landscaping
- Texas Penal Code Chapter 12
- Additional Resources
Accidents Involving Injury Or Death
If a driver has been involved in a car accident that has caused or will reasonably cause human injury or death, the driver has a duty to stop and complete specific other requirements. The driver should stop as soon and as close to the accident as safely possible without obstructing traffic more than necessary. If the driver cannot stop the vehicle, they should return to the scene to determine if anyone else was involved and whether they require aid. The driver has an obligation to remain at the scene and complete other actions if necessary. They also must provide their name, address, vehicle registration, and auto insurance information. The driver must also render aid if the other driver requires it. This usually means calling 911, but it could require that you take the other driver to the hospital in limited circumstances. Violating these requirements can be a second or third-degree felony.
Accidents Involving Vehicle Damage
While a car is often a considerable part of most people’s livelihood and lifestyle, it is undeniably less serious to suffer property damage than a severe physical injury or death. When property damage occurs, the driver must stop or return to the scene of the accident just as if there had been human injury or death. However, it is specified if this type of accident occurs on a freeway, the drivers can remove their vehicles to a reasonable meeting point or side street. A vehicle can be driven under this section if it does not require towing and can be operated normally without causing additional damage to the vehicle or roadway. Failure to comply with these requirements is a Class B or Class C misdemeanor.
Accidents Involving An Unattended Vehicle
Most people know it is common courtesy to leave a note if you accidentally hit another parked vehicle and the owner is nowhere nearby. However, this is not just a courtesy in Texas; it is a legal requirement. A driver who strikes an unattended vehicle must attempt to locate the vehicle’s owner or leave them a note describing the accident and giving their name and address. The note must be securely attached in an obvious place. For example, taping the note underneath the vehicle would not satisfy Texas law requirements for a driver who strikes an unattended vehicle. Failure to comply with these requirements is a Class B or Class C misdemeanor.
Striking A Structure, Fixture, Or Highway Landscaping
The requirements for a driver who strikes a structure, fixture, or highway landscaping are stricter than someone who causes damage to another driver’s vehicle or causes serious bodily injury or death. However, the driver must still figure out who is responsible for the damaged property and notify them of the incident as soon as possible. The information for the responsible driver should include their name, address, and vehicle registration. In addition, if the property owner requests it, the driver should supply a copy of their driver’s license. Failure to comply with these requirements is a Class B or Class C misdemeanor.
Texas Penal Code Chapter 12
Penalties for various criminal offenses are set forth by Texas Penal Code Chapter 12. Many Texas hit-and-run offenses are either Class B or C misdemeanors or second or third-degree felonies. A Class B misdemeanor is more serious than a Class C, and a second-degree felony is more severe than a third-degree.
A Class B misdemeanor is punishable by up to $2,000 in fines and 180 days in jail. A Class C misdemeanor is punishable by a fine of up to $500. The critical difference is that a Class C misdemeanor conviction does not include jail time in Texas. It may be a crucial part of your legal strategy to plea bargain to reduce your misdemeanor class and eliminate the possibility of jail time.
A second-degree felony is punishable in Texas by up to $10,000 in fines and 2 to 20 years in prison. A third-degree felony is punishable by up to $10,000 in fines and 2 to 10 years in prison. While avoiding 10 years in prison is beneficial, accepting a reduced-degree felony conviction in plea negotiation may not be as effective as when the defendant faces misdemeanor charges. When a defendant is convicted of a felony, they lose certain civil rights. These include the right to purchase and possess a firearm, vote, and run for public office.
Texas Transportation Code Chapter 550 – Texas’ road laws set forth the requirements for a driver involved in a traffic accident, especially regarding hit-and-run cases.
Texas Penal Code Chapter 12 – The criminal penalties for various offenses in Texas, including misdemeanor and felony hit-and-run convictions.
Georgetown Hit and Run Attorney | Williamson County, Texas
If you’re facing criminal charges for a hit & run related criminal offense in Austin, Travis County, Round Rock, or elsewhere in Central Texas, all hope isn’t lost. The prosecutor has a burden to prove that you knew you hit someone or cause property damage. However, attorney Jackson F. Gorski has the experience necessary to tackle your accusations and obtain a reduction or dismissal of charges.
Austin criminal defense lawyer Jackson F. Gorski is known for having success with tough cases and invites you to call to discuss your case. Call 512-960-4646 to arrange a free consultation with The Law Office of Jackson F. Gorski today.