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Houston Reckless Driving Lawyer

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If you have been charged with assault with a reckless driving in Houston, Texas, contact attorney Mark Thiessen at 713.864.9000 or request a free case evaluation. We serve Houston and the surrounding areas and are available 24/7 to fight for you.

A reckless driving offense is no simple traffic ticket. Being pulled over for reckless driving can mean actual criminal charges accompanied by steep penalties that can impact your life immensely. 

The rules on reckless driving are not always clear, and can even be downright confusing. Is reckless driving a felony in Texas? Can I go to jail for reckless driving? Is road rage a criminal offense? The reckless driving lawyers at Thiessen Law Firm are here to answer all of your questions.

Remember, a charge is not a conviction. If you or a loved one is suspected of a reckless driving offense, this is not the time to give up. Call an experienced attorney from Thiessen Law Firm today at (713) 864-9000 to defend your freedom and give yourself a chance at walking away from this.

Mark Thiessen is a criminal defense all-star. If he can’t get you a win, nobody can.

I’ve worked with Mark and his team on two very different cases, and both times I’ve been blown away by the level of honesty, strategy, and respect that Thiessen Law Firm brings to the table…

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What qualifies as reckless driving in Texas?

According to Texas Transportation Code 545 § 401, where the reckless driving penal code lies, a person commits a reckless driving offense if the person “drives a vehicle in wilful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.”

This broad definition, as is usually the case with broad statutory language, is left vague to allow officers to more easily arrest and charge people on suspicion of the crime. Some of the more common reckless driving behaviors recognized by law enforcement officers include:

  • Driving at excessive, dangerous speeds
  • Tailgating, or driving too close to vehicles in front of you
  • Weaving between lanes of traffic
  • Driving under the influence of substances or alcohol
  • Texting and driving and other forms of distracted driving
  • Racing with other drivers
  • Failing to stop when asked by law enforcement
  • Running red lights or stop signs
  • Passing stopped school busses

Reckless driving often leads to other criminal charges. If you are driving recklessly and are under the influence you will be looking at a DWI charge on top of a reckless driving charge. If you hit and seriously injure or kill someone while driving recklessly you could be looking at charges for vehicular manslaughter in Texas on top of your reckless driving charges. 

What is the highest punishment for reckless driving?

Is reckless driving a felony in Texas? Although a standard offense for reckless driving is a Class B misdemeanor in Texas, several reckless driving offenses are much more serious and come with steeper penalties. There are a few possible reckless driving offenses outlined in the Texas Transportation Code, including:

  • Reckless driving
  • Fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer
  • Racing on a highway

In general, the more risk you are posing to other drivers — whether you’re driving while intoxicated or endangering other people on a highway — the more serious the penalties will be. A breakdown of the punishments for various reckless-driving-related offenses is as follows.

OffenseChargeMaximum fineJail time
Reckless drivingClass B Misdemeanor$200Up to 30 days
Fleeing a police officerClass B Misdemeanor$2,000Up to 180 days
Fleeing a police officer while intoxicatedClass A Misdemeanor$4,000Up to 1 year
Racing on a highwayClass B Misdemeanor$2,000Up to 180 days
Racing on a highway (second charge)Class A Misdemeanor$4,000Up to 1 year
Racing on a highway causing injuryThird-degree felony$10,0002 – 10 years
Racing on a highway causing serious injury or deathSecond-degree felony$10,0002 – 20 years

In addition to the fines and jail time associated with reckless driving offenses, criminal traffic violations often result in lengthy license suspension periods and revocations, as well as penalties on insurance premiums.

How long does reckless driving stay on your record in Texas?

Or, to ask the question in another way, can reckless driving be expunged in Texas? It depends. 

Generally, if you are found guilty of a crime, you cannot get that charge expunged from your record. You CAN, however, get most charges that did not result in a conviction removed from your record, with some exceptions. 

You can expect a reckless driving conviction to stay on your record in Texas unless your case was dismissed, you received a Not Guilty verdict, you were arrested as a minor, or you entered a deferred adjudication program. 

If you’re worried about your record staying clean in Texas, the first thing that you should do is partner up with an experienced Houston criminal lawyer who can make sure you hit your deadlines and take advantage of any opportunities offered by the court. 

Call the Houston reckless driving lawyers at Thiessen Law Firm for expert defense

If you or a loved one is facing charges for reckless driving in the Lone Star State, choosing the right Texas reckless driving lawyer is the most important decision you will make. Hiring a lawyer with experience, skills, and a reputation for getting the job done might be the difference between a conviction and walking away free. 

Mark Thiessen and the attorneys at Thiessen Law Firm have made their name making miracles happen for clients in can’t-lose cases. Whether you’re facing charges for reckless driving, your first DWI in Texas or you need an intoxication manslaughter lawyer, the Houston DWI lawyers at Thiessen Law Firm are expertly equipped to help.

Call Thiessen Law Firm today at 713.864.9000 or contact us online for a free consultation.

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