Leaving the Scene of an Accident

In Texas, every driver who has been involved in an accident is required to stop their car after they have been involved in an accident involving death, personal injury, or property damage. If someone does not stop their car, they could be charged with leaving the scene of an accident or hit and run. If death or bodily injury occurs, the charges could increase to a misdemeanor or felony offense.

A misdemeanor or felony hit and run conviction could lead to serious repercussions, including jail or prison sentences, steep fines, a criminal record, surcharges, a negative impact on educational and job opportunities, and/or a driver’s license suspension if classified as a habitual traffic violator.

An individual who has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident should immediately contact a Dallas attorney experienced in defending criminal traffic charges.

Hit and Run

Hit and Run Defense Lawyer in Irving, Dallas, Carrolton, Richardson, TX

If you have been charged with leaving the scene of an accident, contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today at (972) 233-5700 for a consultation about your alleged offense in Irving, Dallas, Carrolton, Richardson, and surrounding areas of Dallas County, Texas. Our firm will work to potentially get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed.

Dallas Hit and Run Laws

Death or Injury – Under section 550.021 of the Texas Transportation Code, anyone who was a driver in an accident involving death or personal injury is required to stop their car at the scene of the accident, or as close as possible to the scene, without obstructing more traffic than necessary, and remain at the scene of the accident until necessary information has been exchanged. If the individual did not stop at the scene of the accident, they are required to return to the accident location to provide their information.

Property Damage – According to section 550.022 of the Texas Transportation Code, any driver who has been involved in an accident resulting in property damage is required to stop their vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close to the scene as possible without obstructing more traffic than necessary and remain at the scene of the accident until the required information has been given to law enforcement officers.

If a driver in Texas has hit a parked car, they are required to find the owner of the car that was hit. If they are unable to find the owner, they are required to leave a note in a noticeable place with their name and address, according to Tex. Transp. Code § 550.024.

An individual involved in an accident causing property damage, damage to a fixture, or damage to landscaping on or near a highway is only required to take reasonable steps to notify the owner or person taking care of the property of the damage under Tex. Transp. Code § 550.025.

Information Dallas Drivers Must Give After an Accident

Under section 550.023 of the Texas Transportation Code, drivers involved in an accident causing death, bodily injury, or property damage must give the following information to anyone injured by the accident, anyone whose property was damaged, or the driver of the other vehicle:

  • Name of the driver;
  • Address of the driver;
  • Information to contact the driver’s insurance company;
  • The car involved in the accident’s registration number;
  • Show proof of driver’s license, if available; and/or
  • Give assistance to anyone injured in the accident, including calling emergency medical providers or transporting the person to a medical facility.

Penalties in Texas for Leaving the Scene of an Accident

An individual who fails to stop their car after an accident involving death or injury can receive the following penalties, as provided in Tex. Transp. Code § 550.021:

  • An accident involving death or serious bodily injury can result in a felony of the third degree, which is punishable by two to ten years in prison and/or a fine up to $10,000; and
  • An accident involving injury can result in a prison sentence up to five years or up to one year in county jail and/or a fine not more than $5,000.

An individual who fails to stop their car after an accident involving property damage can receive the following penalties, according to Tex. Transp. Code § 550.022:

  • An accident involving damage less than $200 can result in a Class C misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine of not more than $500; and
  • An accident involving more than $200 in damage can result in Class B misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine up to $2,000.

If an individual is involved in an accident that resulted in property damage on a highway or freeway, and was able to drive the car to a safe location, but did not can also be charged with a Class C misdemeanor, which can result in a fine not exceeding $500.

If an individual does not leave a note on a parked car they caused damage to, they can be charged with the following:

  • If the damage is less than $200, the individual can be charged with a Class C misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine of up to $500; and
  • If the damage is $200 or more, they can be charged with a Class B misdemeanor, which can result in up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine not more than $2,000.

In addition to jail and fines, a driver could face a license suspension for 90 days if they are classified as a habitual traffic violator. A habitual traffic violator in Texas is someone who has received four moving violations over 12 months or seven moving violations in a 24-month period, according to Tex. Transp. Code Ann. § 521.292.

Driver Responsibility Program in Texas

Texas law provides for a point system where an individual can receive points on their driving record for moving violation convictions, according to Tex. Transp. Code Ann. § 708.052. Any moving violation, such as misdemeanor hit and run offenses, can result in two points on the driver’s record. Offenses involving a crash are assigned three points.

If anyone receives six points or more on their record over a period of three years, they will be required to pay $100 in surcharges for the first six points and $25 for each point thereafter. A surcharge is an administrative fee paid by drivers with too many points on their record to the Texas Department of Public Safety. Driving records are reviewed annually, and anyone who continues to have six points on their record is required to pay surcharges.

Hit and Run Resources in Dallas

Texas Transportation Code – Hit and Run – This link is to chapter 550 of the Texas Transportation Code, which defines requirements drivers in Texas are to follow after they have been involved in a car accident and the penalties for committing a hit and run offense.

Texas Driver Responsibility Program – This link provides access to information about Texas’ Driver Responsibility Program, as provided by the Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS), including details about surcharges for points on a driver’s record or certain convictions, and how to pay the surcharges.

Tarrant County Clerk – This website provides information about paying traffic citations and misdemeanor fines in Tarrant County, access to online records, fee schedules, and information about the court. The courthouse is located at:

Tim Curry Criminal Justice Center

401 West Belknap Street
Fort Worth, Texas 76196
Phone: (817) 884-1066

Collin County Clerk – This link is to the county clerk’s website, where you can access your criminal case information online, pay for traffic violations and misdemeanor fines, and lookup miscellaneous information about the court system. The court is located at:

Collin County Justice Center

2300 Bloomdale Rd.
McKinney, TX 75071
Phone: (972) 548-4100

Find A Dallas County Defense Attorney for Leaving the Scene of an Accident Charges | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy

Contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today at (972) 233-5700 for a consultation about your alleged offense in Irving, Dallas, Carrolton, Richardson, and surrounding areas of Dallas County, Texas. Our firm will work to potentially get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed.

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