Reckless Driving Texas Laws You Need to Know

Reckless driving Texas laws are not as severe as other states. However, understanding what the laws are, what the penalties are, and what is required to prove reckless driving is something every Texas resident should be fully aware of before getting behind the wheel. A reckless driving charge can not only hurt your driver’s license record, but it can also include fees, jail time, and higher insurance rates.

How does Texas define reckless driving?

Texas reckless driving laws are defined by the Texas Transportation Code, Section 545.401 as: “A person commits an offense if the person drives a vehicle in wilful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.”

What are the Texas reckless driving penalties?

Reckless driving is more serious than normal traffic infractions like breaking the speed limit. The Texas Transportation Code outlines reckless driving Texas infractions as a misdemeanor. If charged with this misdemeanor, it will be listed on your criminal record and could cause issues with gaining employment with companies that require a clean driving and criminal record.

Texas Transportation Code provides the following three punishments for a reckless driving misdemeanor charge:

  1. Up to a $200 fine
  2. Up to a 30 day sentence at a county jail
  3. Or, both a fine and a county jail sentence

Along with a fine and/or improvement, any driver convicted of reckless driving will automatically receive a 30-day suspension and receive points on their driver’s license record. According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, if no accident was involved at the time of the arrest, the driver will receive 2 points. However, it an accident was involved, the driver will receive 3 points. It’s possible for your insurance rates to increase once points are added to your driver’s license record. Depending on your past driving record, your insurance may even say they will no longer insure you.

How is reckless driving in Texas proven in court?

In order to be charged with reckless driving in the state of Texas, it must be proven in the court that you were driving with a “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.”

Proving the reckless driving Texas laws were committed with intent can be difficult to prove in court. Reckless driving can come from running a red light, committing high speeds in certain driving zones, driving the wrong way onto a one-way street, and other acts. Intention to commit these crimes must be proven in order to receive a misdemeanor conviction.

If you have been charged with reckless driving, turning to a knowledgeable, competent attorney can help you navigate through the process and may even help reduce your reckless driving Texas charges. ​