Understanding Reckless Driving Charges in Fort Worth
Reckless driving is any operation of a motor vehicle that places the driver or others in unreasonable danger. It can include inattention that causes a person to not properly control their car, excessive speed or racing with another car, or distracted driving, like using a phone, reading, eating, shaving, or looking at a map or GPS. Any car that is being operated in a manner that is endangering the operator or others, even if there is no one around, can constitute reckless driving. When defending against such an accusation, a person may strongly benefit from understanding reckless driving charges in Fort Worth, as it could help them succeed in court. If you are facing a reckless driving charge or related offense, contact a skilled reckless driving lawyer. They could examine the factors that may have contributed to the allegation and work to help refute the charges.
Reckless Operation of a Vehicle
When law enforcement believes that a person’s actions behind the wheel of a moving vehicle were the result of recklessness, charges could be filed. While the legal definition of recklessness applies to a variety of incidents, a person may be perceived as driving recklessly if they operate while distracted. To better understand reckless driving charges in Fort Worth, a person may want to reach out to an experienced attorney.
Mobile Device Usage
Currently, there is no prohibition against using a radio, GPS, or other similar devices while driving, as long as it does not put anyone in danger. However, there is a specific statute prohibiting texting while driving. Using a phone to send a text message or read a text message while driving is prohibited, though that action may be difficult for officers to prove. Texting is considered to be a Class C misdemeanor in Texas, punishable by fine only. If the texting results in reckless driving, that typically is viewed as a more serious offense.
School Or Construction Zones
Restrictions on phone use, in particular, can vary by city and jurisdiction. There can be full restrictions on using a cell phone in any manner, even talking on the phone with a Bluetooth headset, in a school zone. That action could be viewed as a Class C misdemeanor and a person may be ticketed and fined. There are also transportation code statutes that call for doubling fines in construction zones and having to slow down in construction zones, and obey any signs.
Misdemeanor vs. Felony Charges
Reckless driving is typically considered a misdemeanor. Specifically, the statute says that if a person drives a vehicle in a willful or wanton disregard of the safety of other persons or property, it is punishable by fine and potentially jail time of up to 30 days. If the reckless driving causes an injury or death to another person, the charges could be elevated to a felony offense under a separate statute. Furthermore, a reckless driving incident where a person is also intoxicated could result in a separate DWI charge.
Following a conviction for reckless driving, a person may have points added to their license and the points are based on convictions. Four convictions for moving traffic violations within a 12-month period typically will cause a license to be suspended, as will seven or more convictions in a 24 month period. However, agreeing to take certain types of education courses, such as defensive driving and driving safety courses may assist in mitigating the severity of potential penalties.
If a person’s driver’s license is suspended, they can get that license back after the suspension period is over by paying a reinstatement fee. During their suspension period, if they cannot get their license back, they may be eligible for an occupational license.
Increasing One’s Understanding of Fort Worth Reckless Driving Charges
Understanding reckless driving charges in Fort Worth could significantly help a person defend themselves in court. Contact a knowledgeable reckless driving attorney and allow them to review the circumstances of the alleged incident. Their thoughtful analysis could assist them in developing a credible legal defense. Call and schedule an initial consultation immediately.