Failure to Stop & Render Aid

Texas Transportation Code Sec. 550.023 details what one should do if he or she is in a car accident with another person. There are certain conditions one must complete if the other person has had their vehicle damaged, retained an injury, or died during the incident. This offense is normally referred to as a hit and run, leaving the scene of a crash, or a hit and skip.

There are a variety of reasons why the charged may not complete any of these codes. Every situation is different and can be interpreted in various ways. Although circumstances can be complicated, Texas law is unforgiving when it comes to leaving the scene of an accident.

A hit-and-run charge is not something to sit on. Take action, and don’t wait for law enforcement to come banging down your door. If one has been charged with failure to stop and render aid, it is imperative that they contact a qualified criminal defense attorney.

Failure to Stop

Lawyer for Failure to Stop & Render Aid in Dallas, TX

Have you or someone you love been charged with failure to stop and render aid in the Dallas-Arlington-Fort Worth metropolitan area? If the answer is yes, it is crucial that you seek legal counsel.

Our attorneys at Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy will aggressively fight your rights. We attend to each case with utmost care and advocate for the best results for our clients.

We represent people all over the greater Dallas area. You can find our offices in Plano, Allen, Fort Worth, Denton, and Dallas, Texas. The attorneys at Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy are experienced in battling traffic offenses and other related crimes throughout Dallas County and surrounding North Texan communities.

Call (972) 233-5700, or submit an online contact form for a free initial consultation today.

Conditions for a Failing to Stop & Render Aid Conviction under Texas Law

In the Texas Transportation Code sec. 550.021, there are certain elements that the prosecution must prove to obtain a conviction for failure to stop and render aid.

The offender commits the crime of failing to stop and render aid after an automobile accident if:

  • The charged was intentionally or knowingly involved in an accident;
  • The charged was the driver or operator of any vehicle involved in the accident;
  • It was apparent that medical treatment was necessary;
  • The accident resulted in injury to or to death of any person; and
  • The charge failed to render assistance by doing one of the following:
    • failing to immediately return to the scene of the accident if the vehicle is not stopped at the scene of the accident;
    • immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of such accident or as close to the scene as possible; and
    • failing to remain at the scene of the accident and render to any person injured in such accident reasonable assistance, including the carrying or the making of arrangements for the carrying of such person to a physician, surgeon, or hospital for medical or surgical treatment, if it is apparent that such treatment is necessary or if such carrying is requested by the injured person.

Penalties for Failing to Stop and Render Aid in Texas

There are several different consequences for an offender with a “hit and run” case. The way the crime is charged depends on the circumstances and allegations of the incident.

There are a few common key elements to classify the penalty for a “hit and run”. These can be personal injury, serious bodily injury, death, unattended property, hitting an unoccupied and parked automobile, or hitting an occupied and moving automobile. 

Failure to Stop Resulting in Injury or Death

According to Texas Transportation Code § 550.021, the most severe crime regarding “hit and run” is when there is a bodily injury, serious bodily injury, or death.

  • If it is proven that serious bodily injury as a result of the accident, then the crime is charged as a third-degree felony.
  • If it is proven that death was a result of the accident, then the crime is charged as a second-degree felony.

Failure to Stop after Striking Unattended Property

If a driver hits a fixture or landscaping near a highway, it is required they take action to find and notify the owner or person in charge of the property. The driver is also required to present their driver’s license, name, address, and vehicle registration number to the property owner.

Under Texas Transportation Code sec. 550.025 if the charged does not take these reasonable steps to inform the owner, their offense could result in:

  • A Class C misdemeanor, if the damage is less than $200; or
  • A Class B misdemeanor, if the damage is $200 or more.

Failure to Stop after Striking a Parked Car

Texas Transportation Code Sec. 550.024 details that the driver who hits a parked car must locate the owner of the car and leave their information with the owner. The note or verbal information must include their name and address. If the driver does not provide this information or find the owner, they are violating the law.

An offense under these circumstances can be either:

  • A Class C misdemeanor, if the damage is less than $200; or
  • A Class B misdemeanor, if the damage is more than $200.

Failure to Stop after Striking an Occupied Vehicle

The Texas Transportation Code sec. 550.022 states that to leave the scene of an accident involving damage to an occupied vehicle, is a crime. Texas law requires that both drivers involved in the accident must:

  • Remain at the scene until certain requirements of sec. 550.023 have been met; and
  • Stop their motor vehicles at the scene of the crash or as close to the scene without the obstruction of traffic.

If a person does not comply with all the requirements of sec. 550.022, then they are committing a crime. A conviction of failing to stop after striking an occupied vehicle is either:

  • A Class C misdemeanor, if the damage is less than $200; or
  • A Class B misdemeanor, if the damage is more than $200.

Possible Defenses for Hit and Run Cases in Texas

To get a conviction, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the offender was knowingly or intentionally involved in a crash and failed to stop. If the charged did not understand that he or she was involved in an accident, then they may have reduced charges or their case dismissed.

For instance, if the two automobiles did not actually collide completely, then the driver may not have noticed any damage. There must be evidence of intent to be charged with failure to stop and render aid.

Conversely, if the driver was intoxicated by alcohol before the accident, then this information should not be disclosed to the prosecution. “Voluntary Intoxication” is not a defense for failure to stop charges. This information may actually enhance the penalties for the offense.

Additional Resources

Traffic Ticket Fines & Penalties – Visit Texas’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to find information regarding traffic ticket fines and penalties in the different Texas counties. See the different traffic offenses and the financial penalties that go along with it.

Traffic Citation Fines and Fees -Visit the County of Dallas’s website and enter your JP Court ID and citation number to find out the amount of your citation. See the details regarding your traffic offense, and have the option of being able to pay your fine online.

Traffic Transportation Code: Vehicles and Traffic -Visit the Texas Legislature regarding accidents and accident reports. Read the specifics regarding failure to stop and other related traffic offenses and their penalties.

Finding an Attorney for Failure to Stop Charges in Dallas County, TX

If you or someone you know has been charged with failure to stop and render aid charges in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, it is vital that you contact legal aid immediately. Failure to stop charges can affect your personal and professional life forever.

Contact the attorneys at Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy we accept clients in the greater Dallas area and are experienced in criminal defense.

We accept clients of any type of traffic charge in the Northern Texas area, including Plano in Collin County, Allen in Collin County, Denton in Denton County, Dallas in Dallas County, and Fort Worth in Tarrant County, Texas.

The attorneys at Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy are qualified in battling traffic offenses after an arrest by local law enforcement agencies such as Red Oak, Ferris, Desoto, Wilmer, Glenn Heights, Lancaster, Hutchins, Forney, Seagoville, Arlington, Grand Prairie, and Dallas.

We also represent many clients after inquiries involving Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), the Department of Public Safety, and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).

Do not hesitate with your future. Schedule a free consultation online today, or dial (972) 233-5700 for legal assistance with a seasoned criminal defense attorney. Be one step ahead, contact Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy for peace of mind now.

This article was last updated, May 8, 2018.