Failure to Stop & Render Aid (Hit and Run)

By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

(972) 369-0577

After a car accident a person has several duties dictated by the Texas Transportation Code. The duties vary slightly based on the type of accident, injury or damage that occurs, but in general a person has the legal duty to stop and provide other persons damaged with identifying information.

Chapter 550.021 — 550.026 of the Transportation Code list the specific duties as they apply to different situations based on severity and the type of damage that has occurred.

Specific Scenarios:

Accident causing personal injury or death (550.021):

  • Duty:  Duty to stop, return or remain on the scene and provide reasonable assistance, including transporting or making arrangements for transporting the person to a physician or hospital for medical treatment if it is apparent that treatment is necessary, or if the injured person requests the transportation/ Duty to report immediately to police;
  • Information: Must give name, registration and insurance information;
  • Penalty:  Third Degree Felony if accident caused death or serious bodily injury/ Between 1 and 5 years of prison if accident caused bodily injury only.

Accident Involving Vehicle Damage Only (550.022)

  • Duty:  Duty to stop, return or remain on the scene;
  • Information: Must give name, registration and insurance information;
  • Penalty:  Class B misdemeanor if damage $200 or more/ Class C Misdemeanor if damage is less than $200.

Accident When Hitting Unattended Vehicle (550.024)

  • Duty:  Find the owner or leave information/ statement in a conspicuous place;
  • Information:  Name & address of the operator and owner of the vehicle/ statement of how the accident occurred;
  • Penalty:  Class B Misdemeanor if $200 or more in damage/ Class C if $200 or less.

Accident Hitting Structure, Fixture or Highway Landscape (550.025)

  • Duty:  Person must make a reasonable attempt to locate property owner or person in charge/ also duty to file police report if damage more than $1,000;
  • Information:  Identifying information of the operator and owner of vehicle and registration;
  • Penalty:  Class B Misdemeanor if $200 or more in damage/ Class C if $200 or less.

For specific questions you should review the statute provided.

Defending Hit & Run Cases

You should never attempt to explain or discuss an alleged hit and run with law enforcement without the assistance of a lawyer.  Remember that police in this situation are often not looking for your truthful explanation but are trying to build a case against someone they have long since decided was guilty.  You cannot lie to law enforcement but you do have a right to remain silent and have counsel involved.  The stakes are just too high in a hit & run case.

*Jeremy Rosenthal is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and licensed by the Supreme Court of Texas. Nothing in this article is intended to be legal advice.  For legal advice in any situation you should consult an attorney directly.  Contacting the attorney through this blog does not create an attorney-client relationship an communications through this blog are not confidential nor privileged.

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