What are the Criminal Penalties for a Hit & Run in Texas?
Car accidents are often a civil liability issue. But when one of the individuals involved in a crash flees the scene, then such action can result in criminal charges.
A hit-and-run accident—also known as leaving the scene of an accident—happens when a driver strikes another vehicle or a bicyclist, pedestrian, or property, then leaves the scene before checking for injuries or providing any contact information. All parties involved in a car accident are legally required to remain on the scene and exchange information with one another in order to help insurance companies establish fault and distribute monetary damages.
If a hit and run in Texas involves vehicle damage that is less than $200, then it is a Class C misdemeanor, which carries a maximum $500 fine. If a hit and run involves vehicle damage worth more than $200, then it is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by a jail sentence of up to six months and/or a maximum $2,000 fine.
If a hit and run involves an injury that is not serious, it is considered a felony offense that carries a prison term of up to five years and/or a fine not exceeding $5,000. If a hit and run involves a serious injury or death, then it is a third-degree felony, punishable by a prison sentence of up to ten years and/or a fine worth up to $10,000.
The following are a few potential legal defenses to hit-and-run charges in Texas:
- A driver is responding to an emergency – A driver was involved in an accident while in route to the hospital or another place because of an emergency.
- Involuntary intoxication – A driver was drugged without his/her knowledge and then became involuntarily intoxicated before being involved in a crash.
- Unaware of an accident and/or injury – A driver had no knowledge that he/she caused someone else’s injury or damage to another person’s vehicle.
If you have been charged with a hit and run in Fort Worth, contact The Clark Law Firm today at (817) 435-4970 and schedule a complimentary consultation to discuss your case with our legal team.