Reckless driving happens when you drive without due care or attention. In other words, you aren’t paying attention to what you are doing or are being negligent in a way that puts yourself or others in harm’s way.
If you are stopped for alleged reckless driving, you should know that this is a major moving traffic violation and can have significant consequences. In some cases, you could lose your license or face time in jail.
The Texas Transportation Code addresses reckless driving and its penalties
According to the Texas Transportation Code, you commit a reckless driving offense if you drive with willful or wonton disregard for others or their property. Some of the penalties that you could face include:
- Fines of up to $200 for a first offense
- Jail time not to exceed 30 days for a first offense
You should know that the offense is a misdemeanor, which means that it will go on your criminal record if you’re convicted.
What kinds of defenses are there to reckless driving charges?
Reckless driving often requires you to disregard others’ safety. If you can show that you were speeding below the limit for reckless driving, for example, or that you made an error but did not do so intentionally, you may be able to get the penalties reduced to reflect the situation more accurately. For instance, reckless driving could be reduced to a speeding charge in some cases.
In other situations, you could show that you had a medical emergency, were driving quickly in an emergency or had other situations arise that resulted in the traffic stop.
You may also be able to defend yourself by working with your attorney to show that the officer did not have a right to stop you or that the prosecution doesn’t have the evidence it would need to prove the reckless driving allegations.
You need to know your rights
Since everyone’s case is different, it is important for you to know your legal rights. There may be several ways to minimize or eliminate the charges you’re facing and to help you protect your freedoms and license.