Criminal Traffic Offenses
Traffic offenses may seem minor. Often times they simply can result in a ticket. However, incidents involving hit and run, reckless driving and other serious traffic situations can carry the potential for years in prison, thousands of dollars in fines and a serious mark on your criminal record that can interfere with opportunities.
These offenses can put people in danger, and law enforcement officers are adamant about cracking down on them. Whether your charge is the result of a misunderstanding or inappropriate actions by law enforcement, it is important to defend your future against these allegations. A charge does not have to mean a conviction.
Attorneys for Criminal Traffic Offenses in San Antonio, TX
Gerry Goldstein and his team of highly experienced lawyers at Goldstein, Goldstein, Hilley & Orr have tackled every type of traffic violation. Every attorney on the team has been honored by numerous awards and recognized for their passion to their field. We can put that dedication to work for you and aggressively defend you from the serious consequences of a traffic offense.
Goldstein, Goldstein, Hilley & Orr represents clients in San Antonio and the surrounding areas throughout Bexar County. They are dedicated to getting the best possible result in your case, and they will work to make sure your rights are represented. To schedule your free consultation appointment, call Goldstein, Goldstein, Hilley & Orr at (210) 226-1463 today.
Traffic Violations Information Center
- What are the Criminal Traffic Offenses Prosecuted in San Antonio?
- How Does the License Point System in Texas Work?
- What are Automatic Surcharges in Texas?
- Traffic Resources for Bexar County
The wide range of possible traffic charges varies between minor infractions and extremely severe scenarios. Most moving violations are not considered criminal acts, and they typically only result in fines. However, some offenses are considered much more serious and could lead to harsh penalties. Some of the more severe traffic violations in Texas include:
Driving With a Suspended License: If a driver is operating a vehicle while his or her license is suspended, he or she could face charges of driving with a suspended license, according to Texas Transportation Code § 521.457. The crime is a misdemeanor.
Driving While License is Revoked: This refers to instances when a person’s driving privileges have been revoked by the courts and the person is operating a vehicle during this time.
Hit and Run: A driver 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, if the driver does not remain at the scene, according to Section 550.021 of the Texas Transportation Code.
Fleeing and Attempting to Elude a Police Officer: A driver can be charged with 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. This often is considered a Class B misdemeanor.
Reckless Driving: A driver 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. This offense is typically considered a misdemeanor.
Racing on the Highway: According to Texas Transportation Code § 545.420, a person cannot race or participate in a vehicle speed competition. This also could mean a person cannot have an acceleration contest with one or more other vehicles. A first offense could be a Class B misdemeanor.
DUI / DWI: A person can be charged with a DWI if he or she is found to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol while operating a vehicle. If a person causes harm to others while driving under the influence, he or she could face charges of DWI Assault. If a person dies as a result of a DWI-related accident, the driver could be charged with DWI Manslaughter. The penalties for DWI offenses vary based on several factors, including if the person has been previously convicted of a DWI-related offense.
Vehicular Manslaughter: A person who recklessly operates a vehicle and causes the death of another can be charged with vehicular manslaughter in Texas, according to Texas Penal Code § 19.04.
Open Alcohol Container in Vehicle: This charge refers to any situation where a bottle, cup or other container of alcohol is found in the car.
All of these offenses carry the potential for serious penalties that could affect your future for years to come. Traffic charges often are paired with multiple other charges. This means it is important to fight to have your charges reduced before even setting foot in a courtroom.
In the Municipal Court for the City of San Antonio, cases are categorized a “traffic misdemeanors” if the case is a class C misdemeanor violations of the traffic laws of Texas or another type of violations of laws relating to the operation or ownership of a motor vehicle. For traffic misdemeanor cases in Municipal Court, the maximum punishment is by fine only, not to exceed $500.
The attorneys of Goldstein, Goldstein, Hilley & Orr have decades of experience defending Texans from all of these traffic violations, and they know exactly how to do just that. They can help you fight the short and long-term consequences of these charges.
Texas, like several other states across the county, operates on a point system for traffic violations. Every time an offense is committed, a certain number of points are added to the record of the driver. Fees and penalties may result from a driver accruing a certain number of points within a certain time span.
For example, a driver will earn 2 points for every moving violation and 3 points for every moving violation that results in an accident. If the driver earns 6 points, they will be subject to a $100 surcharge, also known as a fine. These are assigned in addition to any other penalties for the violations themselves.
Texas Administrative Code § 15.89 outlines in Title 37 what is considered a “moving violation.” Many offenses fall under this definition, including speeding tickets, failure to stop at signals and many of the more serious offenses. Any offense that threatens to push your record over the 6 point limit should be taken seriously, and a San Antonio attorney at Goldstein, Goldstein, Hilley & Orr can help to keep your record from being threatened by more points.
The Driver’s Responsibility Program was established in Texas in 2003 to enforce uniform charges against traffic violators. The details of this program are outlined in Chapter 708 of the Texas Transportation Code.
Certain convictions, mostly including serious moving violations, carry an automatic surcharge, or fine, on top of other fees and tickets. This can be implemented no matter the number of points on your record. These surcharges require payment of a certain amount for 3 years. These are typically designated as follows:
- DWI/DUI (first offense): $1,000/yr
- DWI/DUI (subsequent offenses): $1,500/yr
- DWI with Blood Alcohol Content of 0.16 or more: $2,000/yr
- Driving without Insurance: $250/yr
- Driving with an Invalid License: $250/yr
- Driving Without a License: $250/yr
Exceeding the previously mentioned 6-point limit on your driver’s license can also increase these surcharges. Drivers facing the possibility of a surcharge can contact Goldstein, Goldstein, Hilley & Orr in San Antonio to fight against paying these steep fines for years to come.
Texas Dept. of Public Safety Surcharges – This link is a helpful guide to surcharges in Texas and information about where and how to make your payments.
Unofficial DMV Guide – Texas – This is an unofficial guide to Texas traffic laws and policies.
Texas Department of Public Safety – This link is for the Texas Department of Public Safety website. There are three locations in San Antonio that can process license re-instatement requests and other traffic issues:
1258 Babcock Road
San Antonio, TX 78201
6502 South New Braunfels Ave
San Antonio, TX 78223
1803 South General McMullen
San Antonio, TX 78226
Finding a Lawyer for Criminal Traffic Crimes in Bexar County, TX
With more than 100 years of combined legal experience, the team of attorneys at Goldstein, Goldstein, Hilley & Orr knows how to aggressively fight any traffic charge you may face. Our record of excellence and recognition has earned our firm the respect of our peers, prosecutors, and judges. We are ready to dedicate our vast knowledge of Texas law to your case, and we fully devote our efforts to every single client that we represent.
Our attorneys represent clients charged with criminal traffic offenses including Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), Driving Under the Influence (DUI), Driving While License is Suspended (DWLS), Failure to Appear (FTA), Reckless Driving, Open Container, and Assault with a Motor Vehicle.
We also help clients in the Municipal Court for the City of San Antonio for any case classified as a “traffic misdemeanors” because it involves a class C misdemeanor violations of the traffic laws of Texas or another type of violations of laws relating to the operation or ownership of a motor vehicle.
Call us today at (210) 226-1463 to schedule your free consultation appointment.
This article was last updated on Thursday, February 14, 2019.