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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    16

    Default Reckless Driving Charge for Having Passengers in the Back of My Pickup Truck

    My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: Texas

    I was giving 4 others a ride in a state park in my pickup. The bed has a camper shell and was full with items. The passenger seats had some items as well because I was traveling alone. We managed to fit all 5 (me + 4) people in the car to get to the park from the campgrounds. Once at the park, we all had to exit the vehicle to check in with the front office. Once we were checked in, we had to move to an adjacent parking lot because the front office only has temporary parking. We had all been here before and since we knew that it's a very quick ride (google maps says 0.2 mi), 2 people said they'll just stand on the back instead of cramming into the car again. To be clear, they weren't standing in the truck bed (has a camper shell as I mentioned above). They were standing on the platform behind the truck and holding onto the bars on the camper. The posted speed limit is 20 and I was going between 10 and 15. I left my window open and told them to yell and slam on the car if they felt sketchy at all during the ride.

    We all safely got to the other parking lot without trouble but a state parks police officer caught sight of it and issued me a reckless driving citation. I understand that it may have been potentially risky but I don't feel like it deserves a reckless driving ticket. My biggest concern is the reckless driving record and the consequent increase in insurance premiums. I requested a court date and though I hope that it's dismissed, I would be willing to plead no contest if the fine's reduced (right now it's set at $560) and the charge amended and kept off the record.

    How should I proceed? Can I bring my passengers to court as my witness (to testify that they were not placed in danger)?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Reckless Driving Charge for Having Passengers in the Bed of My Pickup Truck

    The court will treat a "no contest" plea in the same manner as a guilty plea. Also, as it looks like the charge is a Class B misdemeanor, if you get a deferral it will eventually be eligible for sealing but not for expungement (unless you get a pardon). For criminal charges, it's sensible to at least consult a criminal defense lawyer.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    9,096

    Default Re: Reckless Driving Charge for Having Passengers in the Bed of My Pickup Truck

    Furthermore, I am pretty sure that people coming to court to validate the fact you had people hanging off the back of your truck while in motion won't help your case. That is, after all, the reason the officer ticketed you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    OH10
    Posts
    17,019

    Default Re: Reckless Driving Charge for Having Passengers in the Back of My Pickup Truck

    You could of course go to court and argue your carrying more passengers than the truck was designed for, inside, was more risky than letting them hang off the back.

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