DWI and Leaving the Scene of a Dallas Accident
Under Texas law, if you are involved in an accident in Dallas County involving a DWI that caused property damage, death, or serious injury, you are required to remain at the scene of the accident until law enforcement arrives. Leaving the scene of an accident, otherwise known as a “hit and run,” is a serious crime in Texas with heavy penalties.
Accident Protocols in Dallas Texas
According to the Texas Transportation Code, if you are involved in a collision with another vehicle you must take the following measures:
- Stop and move the vehicles to the side of the road until law enforcement officers arrive
- Render aid as needed to any injured individuals, including calling emergency medical services if necessary
- Exchanging personal information with the other driver
- If the other vehicle is unoccupied at the time of the accident you must take reasonable steps to find the owner or leave personal information
Personal Information Exchange
The Texas Transportation Code requires that in the event of a motor vehicle collision, the drivers exchange personal information. Such information includes:
- The name of the driver
- The address of the driver
- The driver’s insurance company’s contact information
- The car registration number
- Proof of a driver’s license
Law enforcement officers may charge you with leaving the scene of an accident if they can link your particular vehicle to the crash and show that you were driving that vehicle at the time of the accident. Evidence that may allow investigators to link you to the accident include:
- License plate numbers as reported by witnesses
- Paint transferred from the vehicles during the crash
- Your fingerprints
- Any injuries you sustained as a result of the accident
In order to determine whether or not you were driving while intoxicated at the time of the accident, law enforcement officers may test your intoxication levels through:
- Blood tests
- Urine tests
- Breathalyzer tests
Penalties for the Leaving the Scene of an Accident in Dallas County
Serious Injury or Death
Under Texas law, leaving the scene of an accident is a third degree felony. If serious injury and/or death results from the accident, the driver who left the scene may face between two to ten years in state prison.
If a non-serious injury occurs as a result of the accident, the driver who left the scene may face up to one year in county jail or five years in state prison, with a fine of a maximum of $5,000.
Damage to Vehicle
If damage occurs to an unoccupied vehicle at the time of the accident, the driver may be charged with a class C misdemeanor and face a maximum fine of $500.
A driver who leaves the scene of an accident may face additional penalties, especially if the driver is also charged with a DWI. Such penalties include:
- Community service
- Driver’s license suspension
- Alcohol education program
- Installation of ignition interlock device
If you have been charged with a DWI and leaving the scene of an accident in Dallas, it is important that you seek a highly experienced, qualified legal defense team. At the Wilder DWI Defense Firm you will find a team of attorneys who are highly qualified with DWI defense, with a proven track record of success. Contact our firm today to schedule your free consultation.
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