Failing to Identify Yourself after a Car Accident Can Land You with Serious Charges

police at car crash scene

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If you have been involved in a car accident, you can experience a whirlwind of emotions and sensations. For one, you might be physically injured. Additionally, the shock of being involved in a violent car accident can leave you exceptionally rattled. Things tend to happen quickly, and chaos has a way of ensuing. You are, nevertheless, responsible for identifying yourself at the scene, and failure to do so can lead to a criminal charge, for which you need an experienced Temple criminal defense lawyer.

Your Obligations at the Scene of the Accident

Every person who is involved in a car accident in the State of Texas is responsible for doing all of the following:

  • Stopping your car either at or near the scene in as safe a spot as possible (and returning to the scene if you had to park at a distance)

  • Notifying the police (if the accident is serious enough to warrant it, which is generally the case if there is property damage to either vehicle)

  • Determining if anyone is hurt and, if so, rendering aid to the best of your ability

  • Remaining at the scene, identifying yourself to all the other motorists involved, and exchanging insurance, license, and contact information

Failure to fulfill your responsibilities in this situation can lead to a criminal charge.

Hit and Runs

If you are involved in a car accident that results in a fatality and fail to stop, you could find yourself facing a second-degree felony that could land you in prison from 2 to 20 years. If the accident leads to serious bodily injury, the charge is a third-degree felony that can leave you looking at from 2 to 10 years in prison. If the accident leaves someone with less serious injuries, you could face a jail sentence of up to five years. Even if no one is injured in the accident, the attached charge is a misdemeanor, which can have lasting ramifications and is not something you want on your record.

Do the Right Thing

If you are involved in a car accident, it is always in your best interest to do the right thing and follow the letter of the law. This means pulling safely out of the path of traffic, rendering aid to anyone who needs it, and exchanging the appropriate contact information – including your identity – with the other drivers involved.

Discuss Your Case with an Experienced Lawyer Today

Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Temple, Texas, is a formidable criminal defense lawyer who has decades of experience backing him up. Our accomplished legal team's focus is protecting your legal rights while zealously pursuing your case's most beneficial resolution. We are on your side, so please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 for more information about how we can help you today.


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