" />
attorney next to Failure to Stop and Render Aid text

Failure to Stop and Render Aid

The offense of Failure to Stop and Render Aid in Texas refers to a violation of one of the laws in the Texas Transportation Code that describes what you are supposed to do in the event of a motor vehicle accident. Different rules apply to different types of accidents. Learn more detailed information about the Failure to Stop and Render Aid offense below.

Transportation Code Section 550.021 describes the rules for what you are supposed to do when an accident results in personal injury or death. Transportation Code Section 550.022 describes the rules for what you are supposed to do when an accident results in only damage to a vehicle and no personal injury. Transportation Code Section 550.023 describes the information you need to give in both of those circumstances. Transportation Code Section 550.024 describes the rules for what you are supposed to do if you strike an unattended vehicle. And Transportation Code Section 550.025 describes the rules for what you are supposed to do when you strike a structure, fixture or highway landscaping.

Have you been charged with Failure to Stop and Render Aid? Call criminal lawyer Paul Saputo at (888) 239-9305.

Failure to Stop and Render Aid is classified in the Texas Transportation Code under Title 7 “Vehicles and Traffic,” Chapter 550 “Accidents and Accident Reports.”

What is the law in Texas about Failure to Stop and Render Aid when an accident results in personal injury or death?

Transportation Code Section 550.021 describes four immediate duties for the operator of a vehicle involved in an accident that results or is reasonably likely to result in injury to or death of a person:1

(1) immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close to the scene as possible;

(2) immediately return to the scene of the accident if the vehicle is not stopped at the scene of the accident;

(3) immediately determine whether a person is involved in the accident, and if a person is involved in the accident, whether that person requires aid; and

(4) remain at the scene of the accident until the operator complies with the requirements of Section 550.023.

If you fail to do any of these requirements, it is a violation of the law.

What is the law in Texas about Failure to Stop and Render Aid when an accident results in damage to a vehicle only?

Transportation Code Section 550.022 describes three immediate duties for the operator of a vehicle involved in an accident that results in damage to a vehicle (and the vehicle is attended):2

(1) immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close as possible to the scene of the accident without obstructing traffic more than is necessary;

(2) immediately return to the scene of the accident if the vehicle is not stopped at the scene of the accident; and

(3) remain at the scene of the accident until the operator complies with the requirements of Section 550.023.

Subsection (b) outlines what to do if an accident occurs on a main lane, ramp, shoulder, median, or adjacent area of a freeway in a metropolitan area and each vehicle involved can be normally and safely driven: “each operator shall move the operator’s vehicle as soon as possible to a designated accident investigation site, if available, a location on the frontage road, the nearest suitable cross street, or other suitable location to complete the requirements of Section 550.023 and minimize interference with freeway traffic.”

What information do I need to give at the scene of an accident?

After an accident involving personal injury, death or damage to an attended vehicle, the operator is required to give “the operator’s name and address, the registration number of the vehicle the operator was driving, and the name of the operator’s motor vehicle liability insurer to any person injured or the operator or occupant of or person attending a vehicle involved in the collision; (2) if requested and available, show the operator’s driver’s license to a person described by Subdivision (1); and (3) provide any person injured in the accident reasonable assistance, including transporting or making arrangements for transporting the person to a physician or hospital for medical treatment if it is apparent that treatment is necessary, or if the injured person requests the transportation.”3

What does the law require after striking an unattended vehicle?

Texas Transportation Code Section 550.024 provides the law regarding the duty of the operator if he or she hits an unattended vehicle:

(a) The operator of a vehicle that collides with and damages an unattended vehicle shall immediately stop and:

(1) locate the operator or owner of the unattended vehicle and give that person the name and address of the operator and the owner of the vehicle that struck the unattended vehicle; or

(2) leave in a conspicuous place in, or securely attach in a plainly visible way to, the unattended vehicle a written notice giving the name and address of the operator and the owner of the vehicle that struck the unattended vehicle and a statement of the circumstances of the collision.

What does the law require after striking a structure or fixture on the highway?

Texas Transportation Code Section 550.025 provides the law regarding the duty of the operator if he or she hits a structure, fixture or highway landscaping:

(a) The operator of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting only in damage to a structure adjacent to a highway or a fixture or landscaping legally on or adjacent to a highway shall:

(1) take reasonable steps to locate and notify the owner or person in charge of the property of the accident and of the operator’s name and address and the registration number of the vehicle the operator was driving;

(2) if requested and available, show the operator’s driver’s license to the owner or person in charge of the property; and

(3) report the accident if required by Section 550.061.

What is the punishment for Failure to Stop and Render Aid?

A violation of Texas Transportation Code Section 550.021(a) is punishable as a second degree felony if the accident resulted in a death.3If the accident resulted in serious bodily injury but not death, it is punishable as a third degree felony.4 All other violations of Section 550.021(a) are punishable by imprisonment in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for not more than five years or confinement in the county jail for not more than one year, a fine not to exceed $5,000 or both the fine and the imprisonment.5

A violation of Texas Transportation Code Section 550.022(a) is punishable as a Class C misdemeanor if the damage to all vehicles is less than $2006 or a Class B misdemeanor if the damage to all vehicles is $200 or more.7 A violation of subsection (b) is a Class C misdemeanor.8

A violation of Texas Transportation Code Section 550.024(a) is a Class C misdemeanor if the damage to all vehicles involved is less than $2009 or a Class B misdemeanor if the damage to all vehicles involved is $200 or more.11

A violation of Texas Transportation Code Section 550.025(a) is a Class C misdemeanor if the damage to all fixtures involved is less than $20012 or a Class B misdemeanor if the damage to all fixtures involved is $200 or more.13


Legal References:

1Texas Transportation Code Section 550.021(a)(1)-(4)

2Texas Transportation Code Section 550.022(a)(1)-(3)

3Texas Transportation Code Section 550.023

4Texas Transportation Code Section 550.021(c)(1)(A)

5Texas Transportation Code Section 550.021(c)(1)(B)

6Texas Transportation Code Section 550.021(2)

7Texas Transportation Code Section 550.022(c)(1)

8Texas Transportation Code Section 550.022(c)(2)

9Texas Transportation Code Section 550.022(c-1)

10Texas Transportation Code Section 550.024(b)(1)

11Texas Transportation Code Section 550.024(b)(2)

12Texas Transportation Code Section 550.025(b)(1)

13Texas Transportation Code Section 550.025(b)(2)

Published by Criminal Defense Attorney on and last modified