Austin Reckless Driving Lawyer

Have You Been Charged With Reckless Driving?

Reckless driving isn't just a minor slip-up while driving. Under Texas law, it is a serious offense where your driving indicates a clear, deliberate disregard for safety. Being convicted of reckless driving can lead to a serious fine, a tarnished driving record, and other consequences. 

Accused of reckless driving in Texas? There's no need to face this challenging period on your own. The traffic ticket attorneys at Cofer & Connelly, PLLC, are at your service. We possess the experience necessary to defend clients in Texas facing these types of charges and are dedicated to upholding your rights. To schedule a consultation with a knowledgeable traffic ticket lawyer, you can contact us online or call us at (512) 991-0576.

What is Reckless Driving in Texas?

Under Texas Statutes Section 545.401, if you're driving a vehicle, you might be charged with reckless driving if your actions show a willful and wanton disregard for the safety of people or property.

"Willful" implies that you're intentionally doing something, or deliberately choosing to act in a certain way. "Wanton disregard," on the other hand, suggests a kind of reckless behavior where you're very much aware of the risks your actions pose but decide to go ahead with them regardless of the potential consequences. In simpler terms, it's like knowing something is dangerous but choosing to do it anyway, without caring about the safety of others.

It's also important to note that this law isn't limited to public roads or highways. It also applies to parking areas of businesses. Additionally, it's applicable to anyone working on a highway area, such as construction crews.

What is Needed to Convict for Reckless Driving?

For a prosecutor to successfully convict you of reckless driving in Texas, they need to prove that your driving behavior was not just a mere mistake or a moment of distraction. They need to establish that you were driving with a clear disregard for safety – that your actions were deliberate and that you were aware (or should have been aware) of the potential danger your driving posed to others and their property.

Penalties for Reckless Driving in Texas

In Texas, reckless driving is categorized specifically as a misdemeanor offense under Texas Statutes Section 545.401. This means that if you're found guilty of reckless driving, you have significant consequences to consider. For reckless driving, the specific penalties are a fine not exceeding $200, confinement in county jail for not more than 30 days, or both.

Besides these legal penalties, there are additional consequences for your driving record. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) can suspend your driver’s license if you have four moving violations (e.g., reckless driving) in a 12-month period or seven violations in a two-year period. However, unlike other states, Texas does not assess driver’s license points per violation as of 2019.

Potential Defenses to Reckless Driving Charges

Lack of Willful or Wanton Disregard

One defense is challenging the "willful or wanton disregard" part of the charge. If you can show that your driving behavior was not a deliberate or conscious disregard for safety, this could be a strong defense. For example, if your actions were a result of a momentary distraction or an unforeseen situation, it could argue against the willfulness or wantonness required for a reckless driving conviction.

Necessity or Emergency

If your driving was a response to an emergency situation, you might argue that you had to drive in a certain way to avoid greater harm. This could be applicable if, for instance, you were swerving to avoid an accident or rushing someone in need of urgent medical attention to a hospital.

Lack of Evidence

It’s the prosecutor’s job to prove that you were driving recklessly. If there is insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were driving recklessly, this could lead to the charges being reduced or even dismissed.

Role of a Reckless Driving Lawyer in Austin

If you're charged with reckless driving, a criminal defense lawyer plays a key role in your defense. They will review the details of your case, including how and why you were charged, and work with you to develop a defense strategy. This can involve gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and challenging the prosecution's evidence against you.

A lawyer can also negotiate with prosecutors, potentially reducing your charges or penalties, and represent you in court. Their understanding of the legal system and experience with similar cases can be invaluable in handling your case.

Having a lawyer means you have someone who understands the legal system, knows how to argue on your behalf, and can help you through each step of the process. They're there to protect your rights and aim for the best possible outcome in your situation.

Frequently Asked Questions about Reckless Driving

  • What is reckless driving?
    Reckless driving is driving with a willful disregard for the safety of others and property.
  • What are the penalties for reckless driving?
    You could face a fine up to $200, up to 30 days in jail, or both.
  • Does reckless driving apply on private property?
    Yes, it applies on certain private areas like business parking spaces, but not on private residential property.
  • Can I be charged with reckless driving for speeding?
    Yes, if your speeding shows a blatant disregard for safety.
  • What if I was avoiding an accident?
    This could be a defense, especially if your actions were necessary to prevent greater harm.
  • Does a reckless driving conviction affect my driver’s license?
    Yes, multiple moving violations can result in the suspension of your Texas driver’s license.
  • Can I challenge a reckless driving charge?
    Yes, with defenses such as lack of willful disregard or necessity due to an emergency.
  • Are there alternatives to jail for reckless driving?
    Alternatives might include probation, community service, or driving courses, depending on your case.
  • How can a lawyer help with a reckless driving charge?
    A lawyer can develop a defense strategy, negotiate with prosecutors, and represent you in court.

Contact an Austin Reckless Driving Attorney Today

If you're facing a reckless driving charge, you don't have to face this challenging time alone. The experienced traffic ticket attorneys at Cofer & Connelly, PLLC are here to help. We are experienced in defending clients in Texas in cases of serious motor vehicle offenses and are committed to protecting your rights. For a consultation with a knowledgeable traffic ticket lawyer, contact us online or call us at (512) 991-0576.

  • "Excellent all around. Highly recommend."
    W. N.
  • "I am eternally grateful for all of the efforts they put in to go above and beyond for everyone they help."
    Former Client
  • "They really listen to and care about their client's needs and consistently fight for the best outcome! I am eternally grateful for all of the effort they put in to go above and beyond for everyone they help."
  • 103 Years of Experience
  • 32,000 Cases
  • 357 Trials

Committed to Excellence


Contact Us Today

  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.
  • By submitting, you agree to be contacted about your request & other information using automated technology. Message frequency varies. Msg & data rates may apply. Text STOP to cancel. Acceptable Use Policy