Have you been arrested for Failure to Stop and Render Aid in Fort Worth or in the surrounding cities of Tarrant County, Texas? If so, you are facing a serious criminal charge that must be defended zealously by an experienced criminal defense attorney with experience dealing with Failure to Stop and Render Aid cases in Tarrant County, Texas.

According to the Texas Transportation Code, Title 7: Vehicles and Traffic, Chapter 550: Accidents and Accident Reports, Section 550.021, the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office will be required to prove the following elements of Failure to Stop and Render Aid beyond a reasonable doubt:

The operator of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or death of a person shall:

  • 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; and
  • remain at the scene of the accident until the operator gives 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; if requested and available, show the operator’s driver’s license; 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.

Additionally, Texas Transportation Code, Section 550.021(b)-(c) state that if you are required to stop under this law, you must do so without obstructing traffic more than is necessary and a person that does not stop or strictly comply with the requirements of this law, will commit the offense of Failure to Stop and Render Aid.

Making a determination as to the severity of the charge and possible range of punishment for Failure to Stop and Render Aid requires a determination as to the extent of the injury of the alleged victim involved in the accident. The Texas Transportation Code states that if there is an accident resulting in death or serious bodily injury, as defined by Section 1.07 of the Texas Penal Code, the crime will be classified as a felony of the third degree. A felony of the third degree is punishable by a term in prison of not less than 2 years but not more than 10 years in prison. As defined by Texas Penal Code, Section 1.07, “Serious bodily injury” means bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes death, serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.

If death or “serious bodily injury” cannot be established from the facts of your case, then Failure to Stop and Render Aid is treated with a hybrid punishment range. In other words, Failure to Stop and Render Aid with no proof of death or serious bodily injury is punishable by 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 and/or a fine not to exceed $5,000.

What if you were involved in an accident and there was only property damage and you did not stay at the scene? Under Texas Transportation Code, Section 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 shall:

  • 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 give(s) 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; if requested and available, show the operator’s driver’s license; 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.

The Texas Transportation Code states that an offense under this subsection is a Class C misdemeanor (punishable by fine only of up to $500), if the damage to all vehicles is less than $200; a Class B misdemeanor (punishable by up to 180 days in Tarrant County jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000), if the damage to all vehicles is $200 or more.

At The Hampton Law Firm, I believe you should not lose your job and your reputation over a bad decision made under stressful circumstances involving an accident. I will work tirelessly on your Failure to Stop and Render Aid case and work to have your case dismissed or reduced to a lower level crime to prevent a conviction from being on your criminal record.

Call The Hampton Law Firm now for a free consultation to discuss your legal rights and options under Texas law. Contact Jeff Hampton at 817-877-5200.

Contact the Hampton Law Firm now to schedule a free consultation to determine your rights and legal options.

 

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