Penalties for Passing Through Red Lights in Texas

 Posted on February 22,2024 in Traffic Violations

San Antonio criminal defense lawyerRunning a red light is extremely dangerous and against the law in Texas. Even if you run a red light accidentally, you could face fines, license points, and increased insurance rates. A Texas lawyer familiar with traffic offenses can help you break down the specific penalties for running red lights to understand the potential consequences and build a strong case.

Potential Criminal Charges

If you run a red light in Texas, you may face criminal charges, traffic fines, and penalties. Generally, running a red light is a traffic infraction rather than a criminal offense. However, if you cause an accident by running the light that results in serious injuries or a fatality, you could potentially be charged with:

  • Manslaughter or criminally negligent homicide if another person dies
  • Aggravated assault if another person suffers serious bodily injury

The criminal penalties are severe if convicted of these charges, including substantial fines and lengthy jail or prison time.

Fines and Surcharges

If you run a red light and do not cause an accident, you will likely have to pay a fine. Fines vary by jurisdiction but generally run $75 to $200+ for a standard red light violation. However, some cities have adopted ordinances allowing them to install and enforce camera tickets for red-light runners. In Bexar County, the fee for disregarding a red light is $285.

License Points

Getting convicted for running a red light in Texas results in two points added to your license through the Department of Public Safety’s point system. These points stay on your record for three years from the date of conviction.

If you accumulate six or more points within three years, the DPS will assess additional fees to your license. Too many points can also lead to the suspension of a driver’s license.

Increased Insurance Costs

Texas drivers who run red lights and receive citations for the offense will almost certainly see their auto insurance premiums rise. A red light violation is a moving violation that insurance companies may call a “major violation,” similar to speeding when determining rates.

Statistics show drivers who run red lights are more likely to get into serious accidents. Insurance companies see these drivers as higher risk and will raise their rates accordingly. Some insurers may increase premiums by as much as 24 percent after just one ticket for running a red light.

Contact a San Antonio, TX Criminal Defense Lawyer

Being in a hurry or getting distracted is never an excuse for violating traffic signals. Let a San Antonio, TX criminal defense attorney help you build a stronger case than if you were to go through it alone. Call Law Offices of Sam H. Lock at 210-226-0965 to get started to see how and if we can help you.

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Bexar County

In the historic King William District

1011 S. Alamo,
San Antonio, Texas 78210