Serious Traffic Crimes
People charged with serious criminal traffic offenses should carefully consider their legal options. A conviction for certain traffic offenses can result jail or prison sentences, license suspensions, fines and/or community service. It’s therefore highly recommended that you review your defense options with a well qualified Texas criminal attorney prior to your court date.
If you’ve been pulled over and issued a ticket for an offense, like speeding or running a stop sign, Price Magee & Twine, PLLC can help. Our attorneys will help evaluate the charges against you and come up with a plan to challenge or defend the charges. Allow us to review your case.
Georgetown Traffic Crimes Attorney, TX
Errors in the administration of traffic citations are common in law enforcement. This is why it is important to have a lawyer experienced in traffic offense cases. If you have been charged with a criminal traffic offense in Georgetown, or any of the surrounding areas of Round Rock, Cedar Park, Leander, Taylor, Hutto, Killeen, Temple, Belton or Harker Heights, contact Price Magee & Twine, PLLC.
Attorneys Michael J. Price is an experienced criminal defense attorney who will make every effort to fight the allegations against you or have your charges reduced or even dismissed. Call Price Magee & Twine, PLLC for a free consultation at (512) 354-1880 about your alleged traffic crime. We are standing by to take your call.
- Traffic Offenses in Texas
- Texas’ Driving Point System
- Penalties for a Traffic Crime in Georgetown, TX
- Statute of Limitations for Traffic Crimes
- Traffic Crime Additional Resources in Georgetown
Types of Serious Traffic Charges
Some of the most commonly charged criminal offenses in Georgetown can include, but are not limited to:
Reckless Driving – Tex. Transp. Code § 545.401 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they drive their car on a public Texas road with willful or wanton disregard for the safety or personal property of others. This offense can result in a misdemeanor conviction.
Driving With a Suspended License – Tex. Transp. Code § 521.457 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they operate a vehicle on a public road in Texas and:
- Their license has been canceled and not yet reissued;
- Their license has been suspended or revoked under any law of the state; or
- A renewal of their license has been denied and has not yet been reissued.
A conviction for this offense can result in a Class C, B or A misdemeanor.
Leaving the Scene / Hit and Run – Tex. Transp. Code § 550.021 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they were involved in a car accident resulting in the death or personal injury of another person or property damage, and they failed to stop their car at the scene of the accident, or as close as possible to the scene; failed to stop without obstructing more traffic than necessary; and/or failed to remain at the scene of the accident until they exchanged all necessary information. A driver can also be charged with this offense if they did not stop at the scene of the accident and failed to return to the accident.
Open Container – Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 49.031 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they knowingly possess an open alcoholic beverage container in their car, no matter if the car is in operation or parked. This offense is generally punishable as a Class C misdemeanor.
Fleeing or Attempting to Elude an Officer – Tex. Transp. Code § 545.421 – An individual can be charged if, while operating a motor vehicle, he or she willfully failed or refused to bring the vehicle to a stop, fled or attempted to elude a police vehicle after being given a visual or audible signal to stop. This can be a Class B or Class A misdemeanor.
The Driving Point System in Texas
Texas law provides for a driver point system in Tex. Transp. Code Ann. § 708.052, where a number of points are assessed for certain moving traffic violation convictions. If the driver receives a certain number of points, they will be required to pay a surcharge. Anyone who accumulates six points is required to pay a surcharge of $100 and $25 for each additional point to the Texas Department of Public Safety. The points remain on a driver’s record for a period of three years.
Each year, the driver’s record is examined, and anyone that continues to have six or more points is required to pay the surcharge. Most traffic or moving violations result in two points; however, any moving violation that resulted in an accident is assigned three points.
According to 37 Tex. Admin. Code § 15.89, common traffic or moving violations can include but are not limited to:
- Fleeing from a police officer
- Leaving the scene of an accident
- Driver with open container
- Reckless driving
Additionally, certain traffic offenses that resulted in a conviction can lead to an annual surcharge for three years from the date of conviction. These offenses are not assigned points because they automatically receive the surcharge. These offenses include:
- First DWI – $1,000 surcharge
- Second or subsequent DWI – $1,500 surcharge
- DWI with blood alcohol concentration level of .16 or more – $2,000 surcharge
- Driving without insurance – $250 surcharge
- Driving with an invalid license – $250 surcharge
- Driving without a license – $100
An individual may receive a reduction of one point per year for each year they have not accumulated any points.
Penalties for Traffic Crimes in Texas
In addition to receiving points and paying surcharges for certain offenses, an individual can receive jail or prison sentences and fines for certain criminal traffic offenses. This is depending on the degree of the offense, whether the offense resulted in death or serious bodily injury, whether the offense resulted in property damage and/or whether the alleged offender has any previous criminal history.
- A conviction for reckless driving can result in a misdemeanor offense, which is punishable by a fine up to $200 and/or a jail sentence up to 30 days.
- Driving with a suspended license can result in a Class C, B or A misdemeanor. A Class C misdemeanor is punishable by a fine up to $500. A Class B misdemeanor is punishable by a fine not more than $2,000 and/or a jail sentence up to 180 days. A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by a fine up to $4,000 and/or a jail sentence not more than one year.
- Leaving the scene of an accident can result in a third-degree felony conviction, which is punishable by a fine not more than $5,000 and/or a jail sentence up to one year.
- Driving with an open container can result in a Class C misdemeanor conviction, which is punishable by a fine up to $500.
- A traffic offense that is punishable a felony of the third degree can result in a prison sentence from two to ten years and/or a fine up to $10,000. Some of these offenses can include intoxication assault and a third or subsequent driving while intoxicated offense.
- A traffic offense that is punishable as a felony of the second degree can result in a prison sentence from two to 20 years and/or a fine up to $10,000. Some of these offenses can include intoxication assault and intoxication manslaughter.
- A traffic offense that is punishable as a felony of the first degree can result in a prison sentence from five to 99 years or life and/or a fine up to $10,000. Some of these offenses can include intoxication manslaughter or vehicular homicide.
- The designation of Habitual Traffic Offender is also a possible penalty for serial offenders.
Statute of Limitations for Traffic Crimes in Texas
Similar to other states, Texas sets a time limit known as a statute of limitations for prosecutors who wish to file charges against a certain person. The statute of limitations ensures the State is resolving cases in a timely manner and also serves to protect the integrity of the evidence associated with the crime. The statute of limitations will depend on the crime’s classification once you’re convicted.
- Two years– Misdemeanor Offenses
- Three years — Felony Offenses
Please note, hit and run offenses do not have a statute of limitations under the Texas Penal Code.
Texas Driver Responsibility Program – This link is to the Texas Department of Public Safety’s website, which provides information on Texas’ Driver Responsibility Program. This link outlines information on surcharges, moving violations that can result in points and traffic offenses that can result in automatic surcharges. A local DPS office is located at:
Texas Transportation Code – Driver’s Licenses – This link is to Chapter 521 of the Texas Transportation Code. This chapter defines the state’s rules regarding driver’s licenses, including driver’s license suspensions for certain offenses and the penalties for driving with a suspended, revoke or invalid license.
Texas Transportation Code – Reckless Driving – This link is to section 545.401 of the Texas Transportation Code. This section defines reckless driving in Texas and the penalties for committing a reckless driving offense.
Traffic Crime Attorney, Georgetown TX
In Texas, the ability to drive for work and leisure is an essential part of daily life. That’s why it is important to maintain a clean driving record. If you’ve been charged for a traffic crime, contact Price Magee & Twine, PLLC today for a consultation about your charges. Michael J. Price is an experienced Georgetown criminal defense attorney who will make every effort to achieve the best possible outcome in your particular situation.
Price Magee & Twine, PLLC represent clients throughout Texas and the surrounding areas of Round Rock, Cedar Park, Leander, Taylor, Hutto, Killeen, Temple, Belton or Harker Heights. Contact our Williamson County traffic crime attorneys at (512) 354-1880 for a consultation free of charge.