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Serious Traffic Offenses

Texas has a system in place to deter individuals from regularly committing traffic offenses. The system is designed to keep the roads safe because each time a driver commits a traffic offense, he is likely putting himself or someone else in danger of being injured or killed. Most traffic offenses lead to simple tickets and fines. However, there are some traffic crimes that are serious enough to land you behind bars.

Austin Serious Traffic Offenses Attorney

If you are facing charges for a serious traffic offense, it is important that you don’t take these charges lightly. An accumulation of moving violations or the single commission of certain offenses can lead to imprisonment and steep fines.  In order to avoid these penalties, contact The Law Office of Kevin Bennett

Kevin Bennett of The Law Office of Kevin Bennett represents individuals in Austin, Pflugerville, Lakeway, Lago Vista, West Lake Hills, Sunset Valley, and Travis County who have been accused of serious traffic offenses. Contact him today at (512) 476-4626 to set up a consultation to discuss your allegations. Your initial consultation is free and it is a crucial step in the right direction.

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Texas Driving Point System

The driving point system assigns points to an individual’s driving record whenever he or she commits specific moving violations. According to section 708.052 of the Texas Transportation Code, when a driver accumulates six points within a given amount of time, he or she will be required to pay the Texas Department of Public Safety a $100 surcharge, as well as a $25 surcharge for each additional point after six.

Most violations will lead to two points or three points. Traffic offenses that fall under this category include but are not limited to:

  • Speeding 10 percent or more over the posted speed limit
  • Driving over the speed limit in a school zone
  • Failing to stop at a red light or stop sign
  • Reckless driving
  • Fleeing from a law enforcement official
  • Driving with an open container of alcohol
  • Improper passing
  • Improper lane change
  • Disobeying traffic signals
  • Leaving an accident scene

When an individual receives a point, it will remain on his or her record for three years. Every year, a driving record assessment will take place to determine whether or not the individual has accumulated enough points to pay a surcharge.  For every year a driver goes without accumulating a point, he or she will have one point removed from their record.

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Traffic Offenses That Lead to Automatic Surcharges

If an individual commits more serious traffic offenses, he or she can be forced to automatically pay surcharges, regardless of the amount of points they have accumulated. The offenses and the surcharges for each offense are listed below:

  • DWI with a BAC of .16 or over – $2,000
  • Second or Subsequent DWI – $1,500
  • First conviction for DWI – $1,000
  • Driving with a suspended, revoked, or invalid license – $250
  • Driving with a lack of car insurance – $250
  • Driving without a license – $100

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Definitions and Penalties for Serious Traffic Offenses in Austin

Most moving violations are not considered criminal acts, and they usually only result in fines. However, some offenses are considered more serious and could lead to more severe penalties. Some of the more serious violations in Texas are:

Leaving the Scene of an Accident (Hit and Run): Section 550.021 of the Tex. Transp. Code states that an individual can be charged with this offense if he or she is involved in an accident that causes property damage, or the death or injury of another and:

  • Fails to stop the vehicle at or very close to the scene of the accident
  • Fails to remain at the scene until law enforcement arrives
  • Fails to stay at the scene until the necessary personal information is exchanged
  • Fails to stop without obstructing more traffic than necessary

This offense is usually classified as a third degree felony, and carries a potential prison sentence of between two and 10 years, and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

Reckless Driving: According to Tex. Transp. Code § 545.401, an individual can be charged with reckless driving if he or she intentionally or carelessly disregards the safety or property of other while operating a motor vehicle in public. This offense is usually considered a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail, and/or up to a $200 fine.

Fleeing and Eluding: Under Section 545.421 of the Tex. Transp. Code, a driver is guilty of fleeing or eluding law enforcement if he or she intentionally and willfully fails to stop the vehicle when directed to do so by an officer of the law. In most cases, fleeing or eluding is considered a Class B misdemeanor and carries a penalty of up to 180 day in jail, and/or up to a $2,000 fine.

Driving with a Suspended License: According to Tex. Transp. Code § 521.457, anyone who operates a motor vehicle while his or her license is suspended, revoked, or canceled, and has not been reissued or renewed, can be charged with driving with a suspended license.

If an individual commits this crime, it can be classified as a Class C misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to a $500 fine, a Class B misdemeanor which is punishable by up to 180 days behind bars and/or up $2,000 fine, or a Class A misdemeanor which could lead to up to a year in jail and/or f fine of up to $4,000.

An Austin criminal defense lawyer can assist you with any of these charges.

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Additional Resources

Texas Department of Public Safety: Traffic Offenses – Access the official website for the Texas Department of Public Safety to view information regarding traffic offenses. You can learn more about hearings, occupational licenses, driver license reinstatement requirements.

Texas Department of Public Safety: Chart of Moving Violations – Follow the link provided to view a chart of moving violations in Texas. You can view more information regarding speeding, running red lights, reckless driving, and more.

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Austin Serious Traffic Offenses Attorney | Travis County, TX

If you have been arrested for a serious traffic offense in Travis County, TX, contact The Law Office of Kevin Bennett today.  The Law Office of Kevin Bennett strategically represents clients who are facing serious traffic offense charges in in Sunset Valley, Austin, Travis County, Rollingwood, Pflugerville, Lago Vista, Lakeway, West Lake Hills, and the surrounding areas.

Call The Law Office of Kevin Bennett today at (512) 476-4626, and let Kevin Bennett fight to have your charges dismissed or reduced. An Austin criminal defense lawyer can assist you with any of these charges.

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