Car accidents are stressful for everyone involved, and some people do not react well to that stress. In fact, some people experience a fight or flight response and end up leaving the scene of the accident. The adrenaline rush that accompanies a traffic accident can propel an otherwise sensible driver to drive away, but doing so is illegal in the State of Texas.
If you accidentally hit another car or a person and do not stop to leave your contact and insurance information in Texas, you could face a charge of leaving the scene of an accident. Such a charge can range from a misdemeanor all the way to a third-degree felony. Processing the fact that you may have accidentally injured someone can be difficult, and many people react by succumbing to their fight or flight instinct. It is not, however, in your best interest to make this case to the court on your own; an experienced personal injury attorney will help you bring your strongest defense against hit and run charges.
Hit and run charges can range from a Class C misdemeanor all the way to a third-degree felony, and they break down as follows:
An accident that causes less than $200 in total damages is a Class C misdemeanor, which carries $500 in fines.
An accident that causes a total of more than $200 in damages (and nearly every accident does) is a Class B misdemeanor, which carries up to 180 days in jail and/or up to $2,000 in fines.
An accident that leaves someone injured (but not seriously so) is a felony, which carries up to one year in jail (or up to five years in prison) and a fine of up to $5,000.
An accident that leaves someone seriously injured or dead is a third-degree felony, which carries from 2 to 10 years in prison.
If the case does not involve any aggravating factors and is your first offense, a conviction may lead to probation and community service. Further, a conviction can lead to suspension of your driver's license.
You are alleged to have left the scene of an accident, and that is a serious charge. Leaving the scene of an accident, however, does not necessarily mean that you intended any harm. Instead, you might have panicked in the heat of the moment, might not have realized that the accident happened in the first place, or might not have recognized the seriousness of the accident. The fact is that these cases are complicated, and the best path forward is to work closely with an experienced criminal defense attorney.
An Experienced Killeen Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help
Hit and run charges are serious charges, but Brett Pritchard is an experienced criminal defense attorney with extensive experience successfully defending the rights of clients like you. The outcome of your case is critical to your future, so please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 for more information today.