Hit and Run Defense
Houston Hit and Run Attorneys :: The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp
According to Texas law, those who are involved in a car accident must stop their vehicle as close to the scene as possible while obstructing as little traffic as possible. They must remain at the scene until information has been exchanged, the incident investigated (if required) and injured passengers have been transported to a hospital. When these elements are not met, criminal charges can result. An individual can be charged with a misdemeanor if there is only property damage or a felony if injury or death occurs.
Punishments for Failing to Stop and Render Aid
A hit and run accident can be charged as a Class C misdemeanor whenever there is less than $200 worth of property damage. In this instance, the punishment can be a fine of up to $500. It becomes a Class B misdemeanor whenever property damage exceeds $200. In this instance, the individual can be jailed for up to 180 days and face a fine of up to $2,000.
The punishment escalates when there is a serious injury or death. In that case, the crime is considered a third-degree felony with punishment that can include:
- Two to 10 years in prison
- Fine of up to $10,000
When there are only minor injuries, a hit and run accident is considered a state jail felony. Punishment in that instance can include:
- State jail term of up to one year
- Fine of up to $5,000
In addition to legal sanctions, offenders may also face the loss of their driving privileges for a period of time afterwards.
Possible Defenses Against Charges
It is entirely possible for an individual to be arrested after being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Since charges often stem from eyewitness testimony, hit and run attorneys often try to challenge the accuracy of their statements to ensure that mistaken identity does not take place. Another way to defend against false allegations is to establish an alibi for the defendant. The following defenses can also be used in some cases:
- Driver couldn’t stop due to an emergency
- Involuntary intoxication
- Operator was unaware there was property damage or injury
How Hit and Run Attorneys Can Help
Those who have been accused of hit and run have a lengthy legal battle ahead of them. These defendants need a quick-witted hit and run lawyer who will meticulously analyze every detail in order to expose flaws in the prosecutor’s case. Houston’s Matthew Sharp aggressively defends clients who have been charged with this crime so he can obtain the best possible outcome. For a free consultation, those in the Houston area should make an appointment with criminal defense attorney Matthew D. Sharp.