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Secrets of the Texas Criminal Justice System and Your Rights
Traffic offenses can be complicated, and a reckless driving charge can be even more arduous as it is typically treated as a criminal offense. This may mean that, along with having points applied to a driving record, a person may also receive criminal charges that could lead to jail time and hefty fines upon conviction. However, a skilled El Paso reckless driving lawyer could help alleviate the stress of facing such a charge alone by helping to find different legal options.
Further, attending a court appearance without legal representation could jeopardize a person’s ability to retain driving privileges as well as their freedom. Before heading to court, contact a defense attorney who could review the facts surrounding the alleged incident.
Reckless Driving Charges
Texas Transportation Code §545.401 describes the criminal offense of reckless driving. Reckless driving occurs when individuals operate vehicles in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.
The law does not normally require that the allegedly reckless driving occurs on a public roadway. Rather, reckless driving may occur when the driving takes place on private property, such as parking lots at public shopping centers or stores.
There are a variety of driving behaviors that might constitute reckless driving, including:
- Operating a vehicle at an excessive or unsafe speed
- Violating traffic laws, such as running red lights or stop signs
- Passing another vehicle in a no-passing zone on a two-lane highway
- Failing to use turn signals
- Passing a stopped school bus
As a result, the offense of reckless driving could happen in many different situations. Regardless of the nature of a reckless driving charge, an El Paso reckless driving lawyer could help fight an offense.
Potential Penalties for Reckless Driving
A reckless driving charge is generally charged as a misdemeanor according to the Texas Transportation Code §545.401(b). A conviction for reckless driving may result in a fine of up to $200 or confinement in county jail for up to 30 days, or both. Rather than qualifying as a Class A, B, or C misdemeanor, reckless driving is often referred to as a hybrid offense.
Although reckless driving is generally regarded as a misdemeanor offense, the Texas legislature did not categorize the offense as a Class A, B, or C misdemeanor. Aside from the penalties similar to a regular misdemeanor charge, a Texas reckless driving conviction also may result in collateral consequences. For example, a reckless driving conviction could remain on a person’s driving record and may result in points.
If an individual has prior driving points or traffic violations, a reckless driving conviction could result in a driver’s license suspension or revocation. Additionally, a driver could owe restitution to the owners of any damaged property that allegedly resulted from the reckless driving incident. A person may also see an increase in their motor vehicle insurance rates. The potential repercussions of a reckless driving conviction are significant and may make it even more important to contact an experienced reckless driving attorney in El Paso for assistance.
Reach Out to an El Paso Reckless Driving Attorney Today
Do not allow a moment of bad judgment or a seemingly simple driving mistake result in a reckless driving conviction. There are numerous negative consequences of this charge that may limit your liberty and livelihood.
Take the next step of resolving a reckless driving charge by scheduling an appointment with a knowledgeable defense attorney. The court system in El Paso can become complicated and difficult to understand quickly. Let a tenacious attorney who understands Texas laws and regulations surrounding reckless driving charges help develop a strategic and credible defense. Contact an El Paso reckless driving lawyer for a case review today.