Reckless driving is one of several traffic offenses in Texas that carry criminal penalties. Typically, these are misdemeanors, but can increase to felonies in some cases if there is a death or injury involved.
The police can stop and arrest you on the spot if an officer sees you committing a criminal traffic violation. The police officers word is all they need. In most cases there are no other witness except the police. Most police have cameras so always ask to view the video.
Sometimes another driver calls 911 and reports a person committing a traffic offense.
Reckless Driving The Law Is Being Amended 9-1-11 And I Will Post New Law Soon
The Texas Transportation Code defines reckless driving broadly as operating a vehicle with “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.”
That could mean driving too fast for conditions, or significantly over the speed limit, or weaving in and out of traffic and running red lights. A criminal charge of reckless driving usually requires that you performed more than one action that endangered other people or property.
You can be charged with reckless driving on a public road, or in a parking lot, garage, or other area open to the public vehicle traffic.
Reckless driving is a traffic misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $200.
If you plead guilty you will lose your drivers license.
Do not run from the police
If you do not pull over for the police you have can be charged with fleeing or attempting to elude, under the state’s transportation code.
A police officer can use not just the usual lights and sirens, but also hand motions or verbal orders. You see hand signals when police are directing traffic or ride horses downtown Houston. .
Fleeing or eluding is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in a county jail. If you “recklessly engage in conduct that places another in imminent danger of serious bodily injury,” then it becomes a Class A misdemeanor, which could mean up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000.
Many of my clients pulled over once they saw the police but were still charged. Some females tried to pull over in a lighted area but were still charged. Remember not to give a statement to the police.
While it is a Class B misdemeanor on first offense, a road racing charge becomes a Class A if you have a previous conviction, were drinking while racing, or had an open container in the vehicle. If you’ve been convicted of racing on highway twice before, the charge becomes a state jail felony, punishable by six months to two years in a state facility.
Drag racing is a third-degree felony – 2 to 10 years – if a person is hurt. It is a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 20 years, if a person is seriously injured or killed.
Call Penny Wymyczak-White 281-733-0264