Hit and Run / Leaving the Scene

According to Texas law, every individual is required to immediately stop their vehicle after an accident involving person injury, death or property damage. Failure to do this act is frequently known as hit and run or leaving the scene. A person who does not stop after an accident in Texas can be charged with a criminal offense. Depending on whether death or bodily injury occurs from the accident, an individual can be charged with a misdemeanor or felony offense if they fail to stop their vehicle after an accident.

It is important to hire a criminal defense attorney who is experienced in Texas traffic violations to represent your best interests for any hit and run offense. A conviction for leaving the scene of an accident without stopping can result in severe punishments and repercussions, including fines, jail or prison sentences, a criminal record and/or a driver’s license suspension.

Houston Hit and Run Lawyer

Contact Matt Horak Attorney at Law today for a free consultation about your alleged hit and run in Houston. Matt Horak is an experienced criminal defense attorney and will make every effort to help you find the best possible outcome for your particular situation. Contact the law office of Matt Horak at (713) 225-8000 for a consultation today if you have been charged with leaving the scene of an accident in Harris County and the surrounding counties in Texas.


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Texas Requirements to Stop After an Accident

According to Tex. Transp. Code Ann. § 550.021, immediately after an accident involving injury or death, every individual is required to:

  • Stop their vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close to the scene as possible;
  • Stop without obstructing more traffic than is necessary;
  • Return to the scene of the accident if the vehicle is not stopped at the scene of the accident; and
  • Remain at the scene of the accident until certain requirements have been met.

Under § 550.022 of the Tex. Transp. Code Ann., immediately after an accident involving damage to the other vehicle in the accident, every individual is required to :

  • Stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close to the scene without obstructing more traffic than necessary; and
  • Remain at the scene until certain requirements have been met.

If the accident occurs on a main lane, ramp, shoulder, median or adjacent area of a freeway in a metropolitan area, and each vehicle can be safely driven, the operators are required to move their vehicles to a suitable location where they can exchange information with minimal interference with freeway traffic.

Tex. Transp. Code Ann. § 550.024 requires an individual who hit a parked car to stop immediately and find the owner of the car that was hit or leave a note for the owner of the car giving the name and address of the individual who hit the car in a noticeable place.

Section 550.025 of the Texas Transportation Code requires an individual who is involved in an accident that results only in damage to a fixture or landscaping on or next to a highway is required to take reasonable steps to find and notify the owner or person in charge of the property and give them information required after an accident.


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Penalties for Leaving the Scene in Texas

A person who does not stop their vehicle after an accident involving death or serious bodily injury can be charged with a felony of the third degree. Under § 12.34 of the Tex. Penal Code, this can result in imprisonment from two years to 10 years in state prison and/or a fine up to $10,000.

If a person does not stop their vehicle after an accident involving injury, they can face up to five years in prison or up to one year in county jail and/or a fine not more than $5,000.

An individual who does not stop after an accident involving property damage can be charged with a Class C misdemeanor if the vehicle damage is less than $200. Class C misdemeanor offenses can result in a fine not more than $500. If the vehicle damage is $200 or more, the individual can be charged with a Class B misdemeanor. A conviction for a Class B misdemeanor can result in a fine not more than $2,000 and/or a jail sentence up to 180 days.

An individual who is involved with an accident resulting in property damage on a freeway in a metropolitan area where the vehicles are able to be driven to a suitable location, but does not do so can be charged with a Class C misdemeanor.

A person who hits a parked car, but does not find the owner or leave a note can be charged with a Class C misdemeanor if the damage to the vehicle is less than $200 or a Class B misdemeanor if the damage is $200 or more.

An individual who hits a fixture or landscaping on a highway can be charged with a Class C misdemeanor if the property damage is less than $200 or a Class B misdemeanor if the damage was $200 or more.


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Information Required After a Hit and Run Accident

According to Tex. Transp. Code § 550.023, any driver involved in an accident in Texas must stop and give the following information to the other driver, vehicle occupant, or any person injured:

  • The vehicle operator’s name;
  • The vehicle operator’s address;
  • The name of the operator’s insurance company;
  • The registered number of the vehicle;
  • Show the operator’s driver’s license if requested and available; and/or
  • Provide any person injured in the accident assistance, including transporting the person to a hospital or doctor for treatment if apparent the treatment is necessary or if the person requests transportation.

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Matt Horak Attorney at Law, PLLC | Houston Hit and Run Attorney

Contact Matt Horak Attorney at Law today for a consultation about allegedly leaving the scene of an accident in Houston. Matt Horak is an experienced traffic lawyer in Houston and will make every effort to fight the charges against you. Call the law office of Matt Horak at (713) 225-8000 for a free consultation about your traffic offense in Harris County and surrounding counties, including Montgomery County, Fort Bend County, Waller County, Galveston County, Liberty County and Brazoria County in Texas.

Texas Criminal Defense Attorney
Principal Office
Harris County Texas
Matt Horak, Attorney at Law, PLLC
4119 Montrose Blvd. Suite 200
Houston, TX 77006
Secondary Office
Montgomery County Texas
Matt Horak, Attorney at Law, PLLC 2203 Timberloch Place Suite 100
The Woodlands, TX 77380
(office visits by appointment only)
Matt Horak Attorney At Law, PLLC - Houston Criminal Defense
Local: 713-225-8000
Fax: 713-521-1845

This website is sponsored by Matt Horak. Principal office located at 4119 Montrose Blvd. Suite 200, Houston, Texas 77006. Information provided on this website is for general purposes only and should not be interpreted as legal advice for any situation. Legal advice can only be given after an official attorney-client relationship has been formally agreed upon with the defense lawyer.

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