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Failure to Stop and Render Aid

Texas Transportation Code § 550.023 states that 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 must:

  • give his or her name and address, the registration number of the vehicle he or she was driving, and the name of his or her motor vehicle liability insurer to any person injured or the operator or occupant of or person attending a vehicle involved in the collision;
  • if requested and available, show his or her driver's license to a person described by the section above; and
  • 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.

This series of required actions is known as a motorist's duty to give information and render aid. Failure to stop and render aid is a criminal offense in Texas, and alleged offenses involving personal injury or death can result in felony charges.

Lawyer for Failure to Stop and Render Aid in Houston, TX

Were you recently arrested for allegedly failing to give information and render aid in southeast Texas? You should not say anything to authorities until you have first contacted Horak Law.

Matt Horak is a criminal defense attorney in Houston who defends clients accused of serious traffic crimes in communities throughout Liberty County, Montgomery County, Waller County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County, Galveston County, and Harris County. Call our firm at (713) 225-8000 or toll-free at (800) 225-8009 to have our lawyer provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free initial consultation.


Overview of Failure to Stop and Render Aid in Harris County


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Failure to Stop and Render Aid Charges in Texas

Chapter 550 of the Texas Transportation Code places different requirements on motorists involved in motor vehicle accidents, depending on the specific situation. The duties of drivers who are involved in crashes in Texas are as follows.

Accident Involving Personal Injury or Death, Texas Transportation Code § 550.021

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 must:

  • immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close to the scene as possible;
  • immediately return to the scene of the accident if the vehicle is not stopped at the scene of the accident;
  • 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
  • remain at the scene of the accident until the operator complies with the requirements of Texas Transportation Code § 550.023.

The operator of a vehicle required to stop the vehicle by the situation described above must do so without obstructing traffic more than is necessary.

Accident Involving Damage to Vehicle, Texas Transportation Code § 550.022

The operator of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting only in damage to a vehicle that is driven or attended by a person must:

  • 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;
  • immediately 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 the operator complies with the requirements of Texas Transportation Code § 550.023.

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 must move his or her 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 Texas Transportation Code § 550.023 and minimize interference with traffic.

Duty on Striking Unattended Vehicle, Texas Transportation Code § 550.024

The operator of a vehicle that collides with and damages an unattended vehicle must immediately stop and:

  • locate the operator or owner of the unattended vehicle and give that person the name and address of the operator and the owner of the vehicle that struck the unattended vehicle; or
  • leave in a conspicuous place in, or securely attach in a plainly visible way to, the unattended vehicle a written notice giving the name and address of the operator and the owner of the vehicle that struck the unattended vehicle and a statement of the circumstances of the collision.

Duty on Striking Structure, Fixture, or Highway Landscaping, Texas Transportation Code § 550.025

The operator of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting only in damage to a structure adjacent to a highway or a fixture or landscaping legally on or adjacent to a highway must:

  • take reasonable steps to locate and notify the owner or person in charge of the property of the accident and of the operator's name and address and the registration number of the vehicle the operator was driving;
  • if requested and available, show the operator's driver's license to the owner or person in charge of the property; and
  • report the accident if required by Texas Transportation Code § 550.061 (statute requiring operators of vehicles involved in accidents to make written reports of the accidents when accidents are not investigated by law enforcement officers and accidents resulted in injury to or the death of a person or damage to the property of any one person to an apparent extent of $1,000 or more).

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Harris County Failure to Stop and Render Aid Penalties

Failure to fulfill the duty on striking unattended vehicle, the duty on striking structure, fixture, or highway landscaping, or the duty in an accident involving damage to vehicle is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500 when the damage to all vehicles involved is less than $200. If the damage to all vehicles involved is $200 or more, failure to fulfill the duty on striking unattended vehicle, the duty on striking structure, fixture, or highway landscaping, or the duty in an accident involving damage to vehicle is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail and/or fine of up to $2,000.

If a person does not stop or does not comply with the requirements of an accident involving serious bodily injury, it is a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000. It is a second-degree felony if the alleged offender does not stop or does not comply with the requirements of an accident involving death of a person.

When a person is involved in an accident resulting injury to which the requirement to immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close to the scene as possible does not apply, a conviction is punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.


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Failure to Stop and Render Aid Resources in Texas

Texas Driver Handbook | Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) — The primary purpose of the Texas Driver Handbook is to help people qualify for Texas driver's licenses and become safer drivers. Chapter 11 of the handbook is dedicated to motor vehicle crashes. You can also find information to consider when aiding the injured.

Texas Transportation Code | Chapter 550 | Accidents and Accident Reports — View the full text of the state laws governing motor vehicle crashes in Texas. Learn more about which types of accidents the chapter applies to as well as the release of certain information relating to accidents. You can also learn about the difference between the operator's accident report and the officer's accident report.


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Horak Law | Houston Failure to Stop and Render Aid Defense Attorney

If you were arrested in southeast Texas for allegedly failing to give information and render aid, it will be in your best interest to quickly retain legal counsel. Horak Law represents individuals in many communities in and around Harris County, such as Spring, Sugar Land, The Woodlands, Conroe, Galveston, Houston, League City, Missouri City, Pasadena, Pearland, Richmond-Rosenberg, and many others.

Houston criminal defense lawyer Matt Horak will fight to help you achieve the best possible outcome to your case. He can review your case and discuss all of your legal options as soon as you call our firm at (713) 225-8000 or toll-free at (800) 225-8009 today or submit an online contact form to set up a free, confidential consultation.


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Our Office in The Woodlands
1790 Hughes Landing Blvd #400 The Woodlands, TX 77380 (281) 907-4990
Our Office in Houston
5300 Memorial Dr #750 A Houston, TX 77007 (713) 225-8000
Free Consultation Fill out the form below and we'll be in touch within 24 hours!

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Matt Horak Matt Horak is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 2014