An alleged drunk driver was involved in a major crash on May 24th in Houston before fleeing the scene. After returning to the scene of the crash, the driver was arrested on felony counts of intoxication assault and failure to render aid.
The accident occurred at approximately 9:20 p.m. on Sunday, May 24th in Southwest Harris County. According to police, 18-year-old Kevin Lozano was traveling southbound on Highway 6 near Pavilion Point. Lozano allegedly failed to yield the right-of-way, turning left across oncoming traffic. Lozano's Nissan Maxima was struck in the passenger side by another vehicle traveling the opposite direction.
Lozano then allegedly fled the scene of the accident before eventually returning. According to the police report, Lozano admitted returning to the accident scene after feeling guilty. Although the occupants of the other vehicle had minor injuries, both of Lozano's passengers required emergency aid.
Prior to his arrest, Lozano admitted to drinking alcohol before the crash. Following the investigation, Lozano was charged with four counts of intoxication assault and four counts of failure to render aid. Each count represents a person injured in the crash, including two of the passengers in his vehicle. Should any of the injured parties pass away, Lozano could face felony murder charges.
Failure to Stop and Render Aid in Texas
In cases involving an arrest for driving while intoxicated involving an accident, you could potentially face steeper consequences for failing to stop and render aid than the DWI charge itself. This offense is also known as leaving the scene of the accident or hit and run.
Leaving the scene of a crash involving an injury can compound the legal jeopardy you face. It is unlawful for any driver to leave the scene of an accident without waiting for the police to arrive in most cases, particularly when a person is injured or killed in the crash. By failing to remain at the scene of the accident until police arrived or render assistance, you risk a felony conviction.
The penalty for a conviction of failing to step and rendering aid can be steep. When it stems from an accident involving injury, the failure to stop and render aid is a third-degree felony under state law. This carries heavy fines and a maximum jail term of up to 10 years in prison. If an accident involves death, the charge is treated as a second-degree felony. This carries a maximum prison term of up to 20 years.
The Value of a Comprehensive Defense
Although the charges in this case stem from the same incident, they are very different offenses. While intoxication assault is essentially a DWI offense, the failure to render aid is not an alcohol-related crime. Because of the differences in these charges, it is crucial that you seek legal counsel that has experience addressing both types of offenses. Your best bet in cases like the one described above is to seek legal counsel that is a Houston board-certified expert in both DWI and criminal defense law. With the right legal counsel, you can fight back against these charges.