Recently in Denton, a man was walking to his apartment when four unidentified men approached him in an unidentified vehicle. One of the men pointed a pistol and victim and instructed him to get in the vehicle. After the man got in the car, the four men attacked him. In the process, the four unidentified men took the man’s backpack, which had money and a phone in it. The victim contacted law enforcement from a nearby medical facility where he was being treated for assault. Currently, no arrests have been made in this case.
Under Texas law, though, every person is required to immediately stop their vehicle after an accident involving death, personal injury, or property damage. Failure to act in such a way is considered a hit and run. Based on the offense from which a person fled, the individual can be charged with either a misdemeanor or felony. In these situations, it is critical to obtain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney who understands these charges and who can help create a strong defense.
Texas Requirements to Stop After an Accident
After an accident involving an injury or death, a person must perform in a certain way. This includes stopping a vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close to the scene as possible, stopping without obstructing more traffic than is necessary, returning to the accident if the vehicle does not stop at the scene, and staying at the accident until specific requirements are met.
One of the requirements, under Texas Transportation Code 550.023, is that a driver in Texas is required to stop and provide information to another driver, vehicle occupant, or any person who is injured. This information includes the driver’s name, the driver’s address, the name of the driver’s insurance company, the registered number of the vehicle, and the operator’s driver’s license number. The driver must also provide any person injured in the accident with assistance, which includes transporting the injured person to a nearby medical facility if treatment is necessary or the person requires transportation.
The Consequences of Leaving the Scene of an Accident
A person who does not stop his or her vehicle at an accident involving death or serious bodily injury can be charged with a third-degree felony, which can result in a maximum of 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000. If the accident involves injury, a person can face up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000.
Speak with an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney
Not everyone who is involved in a hit and run accident has bad intentions. Sometimes, motorists leave the scene of an accident not knowing that something is wrong or being uncertain about what to do. If you have been involved in an accident that includes leaving the scene of an accident, do not hesitate to contact the seasoned legal counsel at Wheeler Law Office. We understand your rights and will make every effort to fight for them. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation.
(image courtesy of Bethany Legg)