The Hive Law

Hit And Run In Texas (How Long Will You Spend In Jail?)

Hit And Run Texas - Texas Hit And Run Laws - Texas Hit And Run Lawyer - Texas Hit And Run Charges Penalties

Have you been involved in a hit-and-run in Texas?

In this article, you’ll learn about:

  • the laws for hit and run
  • the criminal charges you’ll face (your fine and jail time)
  • what evidence to gather for a hit-and-run case
  • how to report a hit and run to the police
  • what to do if you were just involved in a hit-and-run accident
  • how to beat hit-and-run charges
  • what defenses someone can use in a hit-and-run case

Let’s dig in.

Table of Contents

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Introduction To Texas’s Hit And Run Laws

Hit-and-run accidents can lead to serious injuries or fatalities.

Victims of hit-and-run accidents are left on their own to deal with:

  • medical bills
  • personal injuries
  • vehicle repairs
  • increased costs from their insurance company

Not everyone leaves the scene of an accident intentionally.

Some people go into shock, get scared, or are not able to stay on the scene.

What Is A Hit And Run?

A hit and run is when a driver intentionally leaves the scene of an accident without:

  • providing contact information
  • giving aid to an injured person

Hit And Run Laws In Texas

In the state of Texas, drivers are legally required to remain at the scene of the accident.

For hit and run statutes, you can leave the scene of an accident after you:

  1. stop immediately at the scene or as close as possible
  2. provide your name, address, vehicle registration number, and driver’s license number
  3. help injured people
  4. notify law enforcement of the accident
  5. file a written report to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within 24 hours

These are the Texas hit-and-run laws under 550.021.

If you fail to follow these rules, you can get charged with hit and run in Texas.

Some hit-and-run examples are:

What Are The Penalties For Hit and Run In Texas?

This section will cover the following:

  • criminal charges you’ll face
  • how much someone can sue you for
  • fines and jail time you’ll get
  • penalties for hitting a parked car

Criminal Penalties

We’re going to cover all of the scenarios that you can face with a hit-and-run accident.

Here are the penalties for a hit and run resulting in:

  • minor property damage: misdemeanor, up to $200 in fines, and up to 180 days in jail.
  • serious injury: felony, up to $4,000 in fines, and up to 2 years in prison.
  • death: felony, up to $10,000 in fines, and up to 2 years in prison.
  • an animal’s death: felony, up to $4,000 in fines, and up to 2 years in jail.
  • law enforcement’s death: felony, up to $10,000 in fines, and up to 2 years in prison.

With all of these, your driver’s license can get suspended for up to 1 year.

If you kill two people during a hit-and-run, you won’t serve two 15-year sentences.

The judge will likely lump them together and give you, say, 20 years instead.

They have the ability to impose different jail sentences on you.

Civil Penalties

The civil penalties for a hit-and-run depend on the severity of the car accident.

You’ll get sued for:

  • medical expenses (i.e., hospital stays, doctor visits, prescription medications, etc.)
  • lost wages (i.e., salary, overtime, bonuses, commissions, tips, etc.)
  • property damage (i.e., vehicles, buildings, fences, light poles, etc.)
  • pain and suffering (i.e., physical pain, emotional distress, mental anguish, etc.)
  • related costs (i.e. towing fees, rental car fees, hiring a personal injury lawyer)

There are two scenarios for a hit-and-run settlement.

Let’s say someone sues you and wins $1,000,000, who pays that?

It can either be:

  • the driver that has to pay out of pocket
  • the insurance company that pays (if they have this coverage)

When an insurance company pays the settlement, they will issue:

  • a check directly to the victim of the hit and run
  • a check to the personal injury lawyer, who then pays the victim

Let’s say that insurance doesn’t cover it and the driver has to pay out of pocket.

They have the options to:

  • set up a payment plan
  • make a lump sum payment

A payment plan would get set up for monthly payments.

If the person doesn’t pay each month, they could face more fines and jail time.

Hit And Run Parked Car Charges

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Here are the penalties for a hit and run of a parked car, resulting in:

  • minor property damage: misdemeanor, up to $200  in fines, and up to 180 days in jail.
  • serious injury: felony, up to $4,000  in fines, and up to 2 years in prison.

The same rules apply here as normal.

It’s likely that you’ll just cause minor property damage to a parked, unattended vehicle.

How Much Is A Hit And Run Ticket?

The fines for a hit and run are:

  • up to $4,000 if there were injuries
  • up to $10,000 if there was a death

If you hit two people, you will owe fines for EACH person you hit.

You’ll have to pay $20,000 in fines if you kill two people.

Penalty For Hit And Run With No Injuries

The penalty for a hit and run with no injuries is:

  • misdemeanor
  • up to $200 in fines
  • up to 180 days in jail

Reporting A Hit And Run Accident In Texas

In this section, you’ll learn about:

  • how to report a hit and run
  • what to do when you’re involved in a hit and run
  • what the police will do
  • what information to gather for your insurance company
  • what evidence you’ll need to convict someone of hit and run

How To Report A Hit And Run

  1. Contact The Police: call 911 and give them information about the accident (i.e., the location, time, vehicle descriptions, and any identifying information about the suspect)
  2. Call Your Insurance Company: give them information about the accident (i.e., photos, police statements, and witness statements)
  3. File A Report With The DMV: give them the time, location, vehicle descriptions, and any identifying information about the suspect. This will help with insurance and legal claims later on.
  4. Call An Attorney: your accident lawyer can give you legal advice and representation, negotiate with the other party or their insurance company, and get you properly compensated for damages and losses.

Fill out the form on this page to get a free consultation with our law firms.

We handle both:

  • the defense of someone committing a hit and run with our dedicated defense lawyers

the representation of someone with personal injuries with our accident lawyers

What To Do In A Hit And Run Accident

Someone just hit you and left the scene of the accident.

Your next steps should be to:

  1. Immediately check yourself and any passengers for injuries and call 911 if necessary.
  2. If you are able, move your vehicle to a safe place, such as the side of the road.
  3. Call the police and provide them with as much information as possible.
  4. Take photos and document the date and time of the incident.
  5. File a police report and provide any photos taken.
  6. Obtain contact information from any witnesses.
  7. File an insurance claim with either your own company or the other driver’s.
  8. Fill out the form on this page to determine your rights and options.

What Do The Police Do In A Hit And Run?

Police will investigate the accident scene, looking for:

  • tire skid marks
  • vehicle debris
  • vehicle parts

They use this information to try to figure out the make and model of the car.

Then, they will talk to the witnesses of the accident.

If possible, they will look at local surveillance footage.

Once they find the driver, they will issue an arrest warrant for them.

Reporting To Your Insurance Provider

Your insurance company will need information like:

  • date
  • time
  • location
  • a description of the vehicle involved
  • if you sustained any injuries

If you sustained personal injuries, you’ll need to give your insurance company medical records.

This will show them the following:

  • what injuries you sustained
  • the medical bills for those injuries
  • related expenses to your medical care

Your personal injury lawyer will also need this information.

What Evidence Is Needed To Convict A Hit And Run?

The evidence that you need to convict a hit-and-run are that the accused person:

  • was involved in an accident
  • was aware of the accident
  • intentionally left the scene without helping or giving contact information

This evidence can include things like:

  • witness statements
  • tire skid marks
  • missing car parts
  • photos of their car missing said parts
  • surveillance footage

It’s the prosecutor’s responsibility to prove that the person committed hit and run in Texas.

How To Fight A Hit And Run Charge In Texas

Let’s talk about your defenses against a hit and run and how to beat your criminal charges.

How To Beat A Hit And Run Charge

You need to work with your criminal defense lawyer to come up with a strong defense.

They will review your evidence and tailor a defense to your case.

Our attorneys can challenge evidence and surface weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case.

They can also reduce the severity of your criminal charges under Texas law.

The steps you need to take to beat a hit-and-run charge are:

  1. Immediately contact a criminal defense attorney.
  2. Gather evidence and eyewitness testimony that could help your case.
  3. Investigate any mitigating factors that could reduce or eliminate the charge.
  4. Carefully review all documents related to the case.
  5. Prepare for court by attending to every detail of your defense.
  6. Present your case in court and argue for the best possible outcome.

Defenses Against A Hit And Run In Texas

The defenses that we can use to protect you in a hit-and-run case are:

  • Lack of Knowledge: you were unaware of the accident and that you caused property damage, personal injury, or death.
  • Necessity: you were forced to leave the scene to avoid a worse outcome.
  • Mistake of Fact: you reasonably believed you were not at fault or the damage was minor.
  • Insanity: you lacked the mental capacity to understand the nature of the accident.
  • Intoxication (DUI): you were too intoxicated to understand the consequences of leaving the scene.
  • Duress: you were forced to leave the scene of the accident under the threat of harm.
  • Coercion: you were pressured to leave by another person.
  • False Accusations: you were falsely accused and leaving was the only way to avoid being falsely arrested.

Fill out the form on this page to get a free consultation with our hit-and-run lawyers.

We have the experience you need to defend yourself in a hit-and-run case.

FAQs About Hit And Run In Texas

These are the most common questions we get from our hit-and-run clients.

Is Hit And Run A Crime?

Yes, hit and runs are a crime that get you either a misdemeanor or felony charges.

If you injure or kill someone, you’ll get felony charges.

If you just cause minor property damage, you’ll get a misdemeanor.

Is A Hit And Run A Felony In Texas?

A hit and run in Texas is a felony if you injure or kill someone.

Can You Go To Jail For Hit And Run?

Yes, you can go to jail for a hit-and-run in Texas.

You can go to jail for:

  • up to 180 days for property damages
  • up to 2 years for causing someone severe injuries
  • up to 2 years for causing a death

What Are The Charges For Hit And Run On A Parked Car?

The charges for a hit and run on a parked car are normally:

  • misdemeanor
  • up to $200 in fines
  • up to 180 days in jail

If I Committed A Hit And Run How Long Will It Take The Police To Find Me?

It depends on the amount of evidence the police have.

If they have your license plate number, they can find you in a few hours.

If they don’t have any information, it could take a few weeks.

How Long Before Police Stop Investigating A Hit And Run?

Police will generally continue a hit-and-run investigation until they find the culprit.

They will extend their investigations for months.

Hiring A Texas Hit And Run Lawyer

If you are facing a conviction of hit and run in Texas, fill out the form on this page.

Our criminal defense attorneys have the experience you need to defend your rights.

This way, you don’t:

  • get wrongfully convicted
  • spend decades in jail needlessly
  • never see your family or loved ones again
  • get wrongfully accused by police officers

You deserve a fair trial in the criminal justice system.

We can provide you with that.

Talk soon.

Get A FREE Consultation!

We run out of free consultations every month. Sign up to make sure you get your free consultation. (Free $350 value.)

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