After an accident, many drivers are scared and in shock. Between not knowing what to do next and fearing they will get in trouble, they may panic and flee the scene rather than wait to ensure everyone is okay.
If you have left the scene of a crash in San Antonio, you should secure representation by a criminal defense attorney experienced with hit and run accident cases. At Sophia Martinez Law, we are led by a former assistant district attorney who knows what it takes to defend hit and run charges in Texas.
Did You Flee the Scene of an Accident in San Antonio, Texas?
Hit and run accidents are so common that it sometimes seems like we see them on the news daily. Despite how frequently these incidents occur, abandoning the scene of a crash is a serious criminal offense in San Antonio. Texas Transportation Code, Sec. 550.021 states that drivers involved in crashes that result in bodily injury or death must either stop or return to the scene immediately and remain there until they have provided:
- Identification and insurance information to the other parties
- Reasonable medical assistance, such as arranging for emergency medical transportation if needed
Texas is typically unforgiving when penalizing hit and run drivers, even if the crash only resulted in property damage. Whether your vehicle hit an occupied vehicle or you have been accused of crashing into another person’s unattended property, it is crucial that you contact a skilled criminal defense attorney to discuss your legal options.
Consequences You Could Face for Leaving the Scene of a Crash in San Antonio, Texas
Car accidents may be scary, especially if you think you could be at fault or think someone might have been injured, but leaving the scene can make what is already a bad situation even worse. If you hit a fixture or landscaping on a Texas roadway and fled the scene or hit a parked car but failed to leave your information or locate the owner, you could be charged with a misdemeanor. Drivers who do not stop their vehicles after an accident that resulted in an injury could face felony charges.
In Texas, failure to remain at the scene of a crash, provide information, or render aid can come with harsh penalties, such as:
- A fine of up to $500 for crashes resulting in property damage under $200, a Class C misdemeanor offense.
- A stint in jail of up to 180 days and a fine of up to $2,000 for crashes where property damage is estimated to be over $200, a Class B misdemeanor offense.
- Incarceration for up to five years and a fine of up to $5,000 for crashes resulting in bodily injury, a felony offense.
- Up to 10 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000 for crashes resulting in serious bodily injury, a third-degree felony.
- Up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 for crashes resulting in death, a second-degree felony.
Technically, you are innocent until proven guilty, but more often, the public will have already assumed a driver who abandons the scene of an accident to be blameworthy. This pressure by the public can make people even more reluctant to turn themselves in after a hit and run. If this sounds familiar to you, contact San Antonio Criminal Defense Attorney Sophia Martinez to discuss what your next steps should be.
Fight a Texas Hit and Run Charge With a San Antonio Criminal Defense Attorney
Suppose you left the scene of an accident in San Antonio or anywhere in Texas. In that case, you should secure legal representation immediately so they can begin assessing your situation and quickly determine your case’s best course of action.
Former Assistant District Attorney Sophia C. Martinez has over 25 years of experience and is familiar with law enforcement’s strategies when investigating hit and run crashes in San Antonio. Attorney Martinez can present your side of the story, deal with the insurance companies, and protect your rights throughout the process. She speaks both English and Spanish, so you can discuss your concerns with her in whichever language you are more comfortable with.
To schedule your free consultation, call Sophia Martinez Law at (210) 226-3000 or submit a completed contact form today.