If you were involved in an motor vehicle accident with another vehicle in the State of Texas, you have certain obligations you must abide by or you may find yourself being charged with a crime of Failure to Stop and Give Information. These cases are commonly called “Hit and Run” or “FSGI” cases. If you are convicted of this offense, your license may be suspended and you may face up to 180 days in jail and up to a $2,000 fine. Find an attorney that will fight for you and defend you against these charges. Contact our office for a free consultation today.
What are you required to do after an accident?
Technically, you are obligated to stop immediately and or immediately return to the accident scene. You must provide:
(1) the operator’s name and address
(2) the registration number of the vehicle you were driving
(3) the name of the vehicle liability insurance
(4) driver’s license; and
(5) provide any person injured in the accident reasonable assistance
Why wouldn’t someone provide this information?
There are many reasons a person would not comply with the requirements after an accident. There are cases in which the driver didn’t realize there was even an accident. Other times, the driver was injured and needed to get medical attention. In some cases, drivers may be in possession of illegal items in the car or are intoxicated. Some drivers panic and just don’t know what to do and are afraid of getting in trouble or even scared of a physical confrontation with the other driver. With the current political climate, there may be immigration issues at stake, the driver may be driving on a suspended license or may not have had insurance at the time. There are many reasons these cases come about.
Some of these situations will negate your culpability and result in a dismissal of the charges. Regardless, you must find an attorney who will defend you against these charges. Contact our office for a free consultation and let us fight for you.
What if someone got hurt in the accident?
If the accident resulted in injuries, the charges can be more serious depending on the seriousness of the injuries. If there is serious bodily injury, the charges will be a 3rd Degree Felony, which carries a punishment range of 2-10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. If there is a death, the punishment will be a 2nd Degree Felony carrying a punishment range of 2-20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. These charges are typically classified as a “Failure to Render Aid”.
What is considered “Failure to Stop and Give Information”?
Per the Statute:
Sec. 550.022. ACCIDENT INVOLVING DAMAGE TO VEHICLE.
(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), the operator of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting only in damage to a vehicle that is driven or attended by a person shall:
(1) immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close as possible to the scene of the accident without obstructing traffic more than is necessary;
(2) immediately return to the scene of the accident if the vehicle is not stopped at the scene of the accident; and
(3) remain at the scene of the accident until the operator complies with the requirements of Section 550.023.
(b) If an accident occurs on a main lane, ramp, shoulder, median, or adjacent area of a freeway in a metropolitan area and each vehicle involved can be normally and safely driven, each operator shall move the operator’s vehicle as soon as possible to a designated accident investigation site, if available, a location on the frontage road, the nearest suitable cross street, or other suitable location to complete the requirements of Section 550.023 and minimize interference with freeway traffic.
(c) A person commits an offense if the person does not stop or does not comply with the requirements of Subsection (a). An offense under this subsection is:
(1) a Class C misdemeanor, if the damage to all vehicles is less than $200; or
(2) a Class B misdemeanor, if the damage to all vehicles is $200 or more.
(c-1) A person commits an offense if the person does not comply with the requirements of Subsection (b). An offense under this subsection is a Class C misdemeanor.
(d) In this section, a vehicle can be normally and safely driven only if the vehicle:
(1) does not require towing; and
(2) can be operated under its own power and in its usual manner, without additional damage or hazard to the vehicle, other traffic, or the roadway.
Sec. 550.023. DUTY TO GIVE INFORMATION AND RENDER AID. The operator of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in the injury or death of a person or damage to a vehicle that is driven or attended by a person shall:
(1) give the operator’s name and address, the registration number of the vehicle the operator was driving, and the name of the operator’s motor vehicle liability insurer to any person injured or the operator or occupant of or person attending a vehicle involved in the collision;
(2) if requested and available, show the operator’s driver’s license to a person described by Subdivision (1); and
(3) provide any person injured in the accident 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.
When the stakes are high and every piece of evidence is critical, you need a Houston Failure to Stop and Give Information Defense Attorney that will be in your corner and protect you every step of the way. Contact the Law Office of Henry K. Nguyen, P.C. as soon as possible to begin discussing your defense.