What the law says about the hit-and-run charges against Rashee Rice – The Dallas Morning News

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A Dallas hit-and-run crash has led to Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Rashee Rice facing several charges in connection with the incident. The charges, while not specifically called a hit-and-run, reflect that he and another driver are accused of leaving the scene of a crash.

Rice and SMU cornerback Theodore “Teddy” Knox, are suspected of being the drivers of two speeding high-end sports cars that caused a multivehicle crash on North Central Expressway on March 30, police have said. At least seven people were injured.

Rice, 23, and Knox, 21, each face a count of collision involving serious bodily injury and six counts of collision involving injury, police have said. Each also faces a count of aggravated assault, which attorneys not involved in the case say is the most serious charge faced in the crash.

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Several attorneys who spoke with The Dallas Morning News say that in Texas, what is described as a “hit-and-run” is a violation of the state’s transportation code. When a driver leaves the scene of a crash, it can become a crime listed as a “collision involving personal injury or death.”

States have different names for crimes depending on the state’s laws. In Texas, the transportation code lays out ways a motorist could be penalized for leaving a crash, even if no one is injured. If someone hits a vehicle, regardless of whether the other driver is there or not, Texas law requires the responsible driver to provide their information — name, address, vehicle registration number, vehicle liability insurer — and show their driver’s license (if requested).


Prosecutors, former prosecutors and defense attorneys told The News that they’ve seen motorists face the collision involving injury charge if, for whatever reason, those drivers left the scene of a major crash.

The statute is formerly known as “failure to stop and render aid,” defense attorney Scott Palmer said in a written statement.


According to the “collision involving personal injury or death” section of Texas Transportation Code, motorists involved in crashes that result or are “reasonably likely” to result in injury or death must stop at or near the scene, or return to the scene and determine whether a person is involved or needs aid. They also must remain near the crash until information and aid have been given.

A motorist who doesn’t comply with the law can face up to five years in prison or one year in jail and be fined up to $5,000. If the crash results in serious bodily injury, the offense is a third-degree felony, and if it results in death, it’s a second-degree felony, the law states.

Defense attorney and former prosecutor Toby Shook said the charge comes up in crashes in which there was an injury, serious injury or death. The number of counts in the Rice and Knox cases reflect the number of vehicles involved in the crash.

“I’ve had clients charged with that and the accident’s not their fault sometimes, but they may hit someone,” said Shook, who isn’t involved in Rice’s or Knox’s case.

In one case, Shook said a woman ran into the road and was killed in a collision that he said was unavoidable. Shook said his client was stressed, “He didn’t stop. He panicked.”

Aggravated assault charge

The aggravated assault charge isn’t as common, Shook said. Aggravated assault — a second-degree felony — is punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Under certain circumstances, it becomes a first-degree felony.

Aggravated assault counts are more common in situations in which someone intentionally attacks or threatens another person with a weapon, Shook said. However, he said the charge can also be brought for “reckless intent.”


A driver doesn’t need to intentionally try to harm someone to face the aggravated assault charge, said Ryan Calvert, First Assistant District Attorney in the McLennan County district attorney’s office in Waco.

“People get confused on what aggravated assault is. They think that a crime like aggravated assault has to be on purpose. … aggravated assault can also be a reckless act,” Calvert said.

If someone is being reckless — weaving in traffic and speeding — they could face the charge, he said.

Police allege that Rice was driving a Lamborghini Urus at 119 mph in the seconds before he lost control and triggered the chain-reaction crash, according to an arrest-warrant affidavit obtained by The Dallas Morning News.


The other sports car, a Chevrolet Corvette that police said was driven by Knox, also was speeding, and both cars “made multiple aggressive maneuvers to get through traffic,” the affidavit said.

Palmer, one of the attorneys, said the aggravated assault charge is usually reserved for the more serious situations where recklessness “can be almost presumed from the driving facts, usually caught on video.”

Footage provided to The News from another motorist shows the Lamborghini and Corvette trying to pass cars in the left lane before slamming into a white Hyundai Accent and colliding with multiple vehicles across several lanes of traffic.


Palmer said there’s still a question of whether a grand jury would choose to indict the players on the charge.

While Rice and Knox each turned themselves in to authorities on the charges and bonded out, attorneys said it was far too early to determine what the outcome could be for the two football players.

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