In McAllen, Texas, texting while driving is considered distracted driving, a violation that can carry serious long-term consequences. Keep reading to understand Texas’ distracted driving laws and what to do if you are accused of distracted driving. Beyond just distracted driving penalties, if you injure or kill someone while illegally using your phone and driving, your charges can escalate quickly. Without help from a criminal defense attorney, your offenses could cost you your future.
While Texas does not forbid the total use of cell phones while driving, you are not allowed to text and drive. Texas driving laws forbid reading, writing, or sending text messages when behind the wheel. The same prohibition applies to email, photo messages, social media platforms and connecting through video chat. Unlike other states though, drivers in Texas can come to a complete stop, (such as at a red light or stop sign) and remain stopped to accomplish these activities. The temporary stop provides the ability to text (and access the web, email, etc) legally because Texas law holds that if you are stopped, you are not endangering others, according to HG.org. These laws also apply to texting on other handheld devices such as tablets.
According to Fort Worth Star Telegram, drivers can still use their phones to play music, operate a GPS, report a crime, seek emergency help, and talk audibly.
Penalties for Breaking Distracted Driving Laws in Texas
Texting and otherwise using your phone illegally can land you with a misdemeanor charge and high fines – if you aren’t charged with any other violations. Depending on the violation, the individual will face a misdemeanor charge with fines that are usually between $25 and $100. If the person repeats the offense, the fines frequently double from the original amount. This could lead to up to $4000 fines and a year of time in a county jail. Additional consequences are possible if the driver severely harms another person or causes a loss of life, according to HG.org.
Depending on the circumstances, these texting and driving offenses could escalate dramatically if while you are texting and driving you cause the injury or death of another person.
What if You Cause an Accident While Texting?
If you kill or injure someone while texting and driving (or using your phone illegally in another way), you could face much higher fines, jail time, and license suspension. Distracted driving can result in far worse penalties than even high fines, jail time, and loss of driving priviledges. You could have to live the rest of your life knowing you killed or seriously injured someone because of a text or social media post.
Even if you are innocent, or believe you are innocent, don’t assume that the courts will believe your story. Get help from a criminal defense attorney before telling your story to law enforcement! And if you know you are at fault, don’t give up! There are criminal defenses available to you!
Remember, texting while driving is a serious offense and can even result in criminal misdemeanor charges. It’s in your best interest to take your charges seriously! Contact a criminal defense attorney before telling your story to the police or court. To protect your rights and your future, you should contact a criminal defense lawyer without delay. It is especially important to seek advice from a criminal defense attorney if the offense resulted in the injury or death of another person. Also, if the charge is a second or repeat offense, you should obtain legal representation from a criminal defense attorney as the punishment will be more severe than first-time charges, according to LegalMatch.
For criminal offenses like causing injury or death due to distracted driving, HG.org advises Texas drivers to getlegal support from a criminal defense attorney.
Your Rights If You Are Accused of Texting While Driving
Are you facing criminal charges resulting from texting while driving? It could be that you are totally innocent but need help telling your side of the story. Or, maybe you are at fault but need help evaluating and utilizing the defenses available to you. Remember that injuring or killing someone as a distracted driver is a serious offense in Texas. Your future could be at stake! You could be facing jail time, enormous fines, and long-term loss of driving privileges. But remember, you have the right to experienced legal assistance! If you are accused of distracted driving in McAllen, Texas there are defenses available to you. Contact the aggressive criminal defense attorney you need! Call (956) 261-5609 or send a message online.
4016 N. 22nd Street
McAllen, Texas 78504
Phone: (956) 261-5609
Phone: (512) 900-1126