A reckless driving offense in Dallas can result in serious penalties if an individual is convicted of the serious traffic violation, including jail sentences, points on the driver’s record, increased car insurance rates and surcharges.
This Texas traffic offense can also result in a driver’s license suspension if the driver is considered a habitual traffic violator. Additionally, this offense can result in a possible criminal record and greater penalties if death or serious injury occurs from the reckless driving.
A person can be charged with reckless driving for going too fast over the speed limit, driving under the influence of alcohol, weaving in and out of traffic or being involved in a car accident. If you have been charged with a reckless driving offense, contact an attorney in Dallas who is experienced in defending all areas of driving offenses.
Dallas Reckless Driving Lawyer
If you have been charged with reckless driving in Dallas, or any of the surrounding areas in Texas, including Garland, Irving, Grand Prairie, Denton, Plano, McKinney, Fort Worth, Arlington, Mesquite, Carrolton, Richardson, Lewisville or Frisco, contact The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy. Attorney Richard McConathy is an experienced criminal attorney who will fight the allegations against you. Call The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy for a free consultation at (972) 445-4300 about your reckless driving offense.
Dallas Reckless Driving Information Center
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Texas Definition of Reckless Driving
According to section 545.401 of the Texas Transportation Code, reckless driving can occur if an individual operates a motor vehicle on a public road in Texas with willful or wanton disregard for the safety of others or personal property.
Willful is defined in Texas as acting intentionally or deliberately. Wanton is defined as acting deliberately or unprovoked.
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Penalties for Reckless Driving in Dallas
Reckless driving is punishable as a misdemeanor offense, which can result in a jail sentence up to 30 days and/or a fine not more than $200.
Additionally, an individual could face a license suspension if they are considered a habitual traffic violator under Texas law. According to Tex. Transp. Code Ann. § 521.292, a habitual traffic violator is someone who has at least four moving violations in a 12 month period or seven moving traffic violations within a 24 month period.
An individual who is habitual traffic violator for reckless driving can receive a license suspension for 90 days if they do not request an administrative license revocation or suspension hearing.
An individual who possesses a commercial driver’s license can receive a license suspension or disqualification for committing two serious traffic violations while operating any motor vehicle in three years or for committing three serious traffic offenses while driving any type of car within three years. Two traffic violations can result in a suspension for 60 days and three traffic violations can result in a disqualification for 120 days.
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Texas Driver Responsibility Program
Texas law provides for a point system in Tex. Transp. Code Ann. § 708.052 where points are assigned to a driver’s record for a period of three years. If an individual is convicted of a moving violation, such as reckless driving, they will receive two points on their record. If the moving violation resulted in a crash, the driver will be assigned three points.
If a driver receives a total of six or more points on their record, they will be required to pay surcharges, which are an administrative fee charged to drivers who have too many points or certain convictions on their driving record. A driver is required to pay $100 in surcharges for the first six points and $25 for each point after the initial six. The driving record will be reviewed annually and if six points remain on the record, surcharges will continue to be charged for one year or more.
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Texas Offenses Related to Reckless Driving
Tex. Trans. Code § 545.421 – Fleeing or Attempting to Elude a Police Officer – An individual can be charged with this offense if they operate a motor vehicle and willfully fails or refuses to stop their vehicle or attempts to flee from a pursuing police vehicle when motioned to stop by the officer who is in uniform and displaying their officer badge.
This offense is punishable as a Class B misdemeanor which can result in a jail sentence up to 180 days and/or a fine up to $2,000. However, the offense can be increased to a Class A misdemeanor if the individual recklessly engages in behavior that places another person in danger of serious bodily injury. A Class A misdemeanor conviction can lead to a jail sentence up to one year and/or a fine not exceeding $4,000.
Tex. Trans. Code § 545.420 – Racing on a Highway – An individual can be charged with this offense if they participate in a:
- Vehicle speed competition or contest,
- Drag race or acceleration contest,
- Test of the vehicle operator’s endurance or
- In connection with making a speed record.
This offense is generally punishable as a Class B misdemeanor. However, the offense can be increased to a Class A misdemeanor, state jail felony, felony of the third degree or felony of the second degree if the offender has previous convictions, was operating the vehicle under the influence of alcohol or had an open container in the vehicle, or caused death or serious bodily injury as a result of the offense.
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Reckless Driving Resources in Dallas
Texas Constitution and Statutes – This link is to chapter 545 of the Texas Transportation Code, which defines criminal traffic offenses and the penalties for a conviction for traffic offenses throughout Dallas, including reckless driving.
Commercial Driver’s License Disqualifications – The Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) provides information to commercial drivers for offenses their license may be suspended or revoked for, including reckless driving in Dallas.
Texas Driver Responsibility Program – The Texas Department of Public Safety’s website provides information on the Driver Responsibility Program in Texas, surcharges for points on a driver’s record or for having certain convictions, and how to contact the department regarding surcharges and the program.
Texas Department of Public Safety – Traffic Offenses – The Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) provides information on license suspension penalties for certain traffic offenses, including reckless driving, and resources for how to reinstate a license after it has been suspended. A Dallas DPS office is located at:
1500 Marilla 1B South
City of Dallas Building
Dallas, Texas 75201
Phone: (214) 651-1859
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The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy | Fort Worth Reckless Driving Attorney
Contact The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today for a consultation about your reckless driving offense throughout Dallas County in Texas. Richard McConathy is an experienced Dallas traffic ticket attorney who will make every effort to help you avoid the most serious penalties to your alleged offense. Contact The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy at (972) 445-4300 for a consultation about your reckless driving charges throughout Dallas County, Denton County, Collin County, Tarrant County, and the surrounding areas.