If you were involved in an motor vehicle accident in the State of Texas and someone sustains an injury, you have certain obligations you must abide by or you may find yourself being charged with a crime of Failure to Stop and Render Aid. These cases are commonly called “FSRA” cases. If you are convicted of this offense, you may face up to 2-20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 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 if there is an injury?
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. These levels are as follows:
(1) If there is just an regular injury then offense carries a hybrid punishment range of up to 5 years in prison, up to one year in county jail, and up to a $5,000 fine.
(2) 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.
(3) 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 Render Aid”?
Per the Statute:
Sec. 550.021. ACCIDENT INVOLVING PERSONAL INJURY OR DEATH.
(a) The operator of a vehicle involved in an accident that results or is reasonably likely to result in injury to or death of a person shall:
(1) immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close to the scene as possible;
(2) immediately return to the scene of the accident if the vehicle is not stopped at the scene of the accident;
(3) immediately determine whether a person is involved in the accident, and if a person is involved in the accident, whether that person requires aid; and
(4) remain at the scene of the accident until the operator complies with the requirements of Section 550.023.
(b) An operator of a vehicle required to stop the vehicle by Subsection (a) shall do so without obstructing traffic more than is necessary.
(c) A person commits an offense if the person does not stop or does not comply with the requirements of this section. An offense under this section:
(1) involving an accident resulting in:
(A) death of a person is a felony of the second degree; or
(B) serious bodily injury, as defined by Section 1.07, Penal Code, to a person is a felony of the third degree; and
(2) involving an accident resulting in injury to which Subdivision (1) does not apply is punishable by:
(A) imprisonment in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for not more than five years or confinement in the county jail for not more than one year;
(B) a fine not to exceed $5,000; or
(C) both the fine and the imprisonment or confinement.
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.