Changes to Hit and Run Sentencing and Passing of House Bill 2502 in Texas
The basis for Change to Hit-and-Run Law
In 2014, David Wood lost his son, Philip Wood, in a car accident. Joseph Cantu was sentenced to six years of community service and probation for this accident. Philip’s parents were left disappointed and upset, as they had hoped Joseph would receive jail time. Fueled by the disappointment in sentencing, the parents of Philip underwent a five year-long legal battle with Texas legislature. Eventually, their efforts paid off. Texas government passed House Bill 2502 so that the sentencing for hit and runs would be raised.
In 2017, prosecutors requested the judge amend Cantu’s sentence from probation and community service to four months of time in jail. Unfortunately, the judge only sentenced Cantu to twenty-four days in jail.
What is House Bill 2502?
According to the new law TX HB2502, those found guilty of hit and runs will have to spend a minimum of 120 days in prison if it is proven that they failed to stop and provide aid to the victim of the accident. This new law only applies to cases where the victim dies due to the injuries sustained from the hit and run accident.
Why Was The Hit and Run Sentencing Changed?
To Make Hit-and-Run Car Accidents be Equivalent of DWI Manslaughter
David Wood hoped to make the punishment for a hit and run that resulted in the death of a victim to be equivalent to the automatic sentence a defendant would receive for intoxicated manslaughter. Wood commented on his decision to fight for a change in the legislature by stating, “It was not an easy or pleasant process, but we are believers that we try, if possible, to do things, if we have a bad experience, to make things better for other people.”
Old Law Encouraged Drunk Drivers to Hit and Run
State Representative, Joseph Moody, authored HB 2502. The bill passed almost unanimously. Moody explained that the old law “basically encouraged” drunk drivers to hit someone and leave them on the side of the road to die, instead of doing the right thing.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
Dealing with the death of a loved one is difficult, but having that loved one be taken as the result of a hit and run accident can be devastating. Consult with an experienced Houston personal injury attorney to see what they can do to help ease the pain. Call 713-524-8139 or contact us online to set up a time to speak with an experienced Houston car accident lawyer at our law firm. You don’t have to face this accident alone.