Reckless Driving Criminal Charge in Texas
A Reckless Driving Criminal Charge in Texas is a misdemeanor crime. A reckless driving charge is punishable by a fine up to $200 and jail time up to 30 days.
To prove the offense of reckless driving under Texas law, the prosecution must prove that the defendant operated a vehicle in a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property. This can be shown through evidence of excessive speeding, erratic or dangerous driving, or other actions that demonstrate a conscious disregard for the safety of others. The prosecution must also prove that the defendant was operating the vehicle on a public road or highway.
The criminal intent is the key to the prosecution. The prosecutor must prove willful and wanton disregard which means deliberate, conscious indifference to to the safety of others. There are several ways a criminal lawyer can defense a reckless driving charge under Texas law. These could be:
1. Lack of intent: If the defendant did not intend to drive recklessly, they may be able to argue that they did not have the necessary intent to be guilty of the crime.
2. Necessity: If the defendant can argue that they were driving recklessly because it was necessary to avoid a greater harm, such as to avoid hitting a pedestrian or to escape from a dangerous situation, they may be able to use the defense of necessity.
3. Mistake of fact: If the defendant can argue that they believed they were driving safely and that their actions were not reckless, they may be able to use the defense of mistake of fact.
An experienced criminal defense attorney may be a able to use the facts of the case to negotiate a plea to a lessor crime. For example the traffic offense of speeding is a lessor included offense for reckless driving charge and is something the reckless driving charge can be lowered to with a plea bargain.
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