If you’ve received a notice from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) that suspension action will be taken against you, hire a Houston license suspension lawyer to represent you at a hearing. This can happen when DPS realizes you received a moving violation while your license, unbeknownst to you, was under an active suspension. Hire a license suspension attorney with a proven track record of preventing DPS from taking further suspension action on licenses.
Whether you were purposely or unknowingly driving with a suspended driver’s license and committed a DWLI (driving with a license that’s invalid) offense, the charges vary depending on the situation. First-time violations are a Class C misdemeanor, potentially earning you additional penalties. First offenses require payment of up to $500 in fines and may require a new license suspension longer than the first.
A second DWLI charge or a first arrest with additional violations such as no car insurance or driving while intoxicated can result in penalties of up to $2,000 in fines and up to 180 days in jail.
Certain cases are viewed more severely, with punishments varying based on the circumstances, including if the driver is an adult or a minor.
Class A misdemeanor charges, such as causing an accident during a second DWLI occurrence or while not having insurance coverage, can entail fines up to $4,000 and up to 1 year of jail time.
First-time Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) convictions may require you to attend and finish an Alcohol Education Program as well as up to 2 years of license suspension. If you refuse or fail a breath or blood test during initial apprehension or while in custody, you will be automatically enrolled into the Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Program. In this case, your license may be suspended for a minimum of 90 days to a maximum of 2 years.
If you hold a commercial driver’s license, failing or refusing to complete a chemical sobriety test results in an automatic 1-year revocation.
Additionally, your license may be automatically suspended if you obtain more than four moving violations within a 12-month period or more than seven violations in 24 months. These charges may include distracted driving, speeding, running a red light, or reckless driving.
Other common reasons for suspension are not paying traffic tickets, driving recklessly or without car insurance, and if you caused an accident while uninsured or resulting in bodily injury or death. Operating a plane or boat while intoxicated from alcohol or drugs may lead to license suspension or permanent revocation, depending on the specific case.
License suspensions can also be applied following non-driving crimes such as vandalism, drug offenses, failing to provide child support payments, public intoxication, and theft of gasoline.
Mental and medical complications that restrict your ability to drive safely, such as epileptic seizures or declines in mental state due to elderliness, may cause the state Medical Advisory Board (MAB) to revoke a driver’s license. This is also applicable if you’ve been arrested for DWI multiple times. After second-time DWI offenses or felony DWIs, law officers will report a case of alcohol addiction or dependency to the MAB.
Minors convicted of a DWI charge lose their license for one year and, upon failure to complete the Alcohol Education Program, will face additional suspensions. It’s a crime if a minor attempts to or illegally purchases alcohol, uses a fake ID, consumes or is in possession of alcohol, or is drunk in public. First offenses result in a 30-day license suspension, a 60-day suspension for a second offense, and a suspension for 180 days upon a third offense.
You can apply for a hardship driver’s license after having your license suspended for a period of time. This type of license is an occupational driver’s license that allows you to legally drive during the remainder of your suspension. It’s only for restricted purposes like carrying out your home and work responsibilities. These tasks may include driving to your workplace, your children’s school, your children’s extracurricular activities, and vital household errands such as the grocery store, bank, or gas station. You can only apply for a hardship license once within a 10-year period.
To check the status of an active suspension, pay license reinstatement fees, or submit documents to prove eligibility, go to the DPS’s license eligibility webpage. You may have to finish specific programs before being eligible, including applying for a license to drive with an ignition interlock device. A license suspension lawyer can help you determine when and for what you may be eligible, as well as all necessary materials.
A: If you don’t want to wait out the suspension period or accept a license revocation, then you can appeal the suspension or the charges that lead to it. To attempt this, action needs to be taken early in the process. A Houston criminal lawyer can present a strong defense argument for your case.
A: If charged, you’ll receive a paper license that’s valid for 15 days. Request a hearing before it expires; if you don’t, you have to wait out the suspension.
Call in, mail, or fax your request so it’s received within 15 days. Include all necessary information such as your full name, date of birth, license number and state, home address, phone numbers, county and date of arrest, arresting agency and officer, and if you failed or refused the test. You may make this request only once, so keep proof of submission.
A: DPS notifies you or your attorney within 14-120 days via a letter of the location, date, and time of the ALR hearing. Your temporary license is valid until then. You have a greater chance of a better outcome with a capable lawyer on your side who can defend and argue your case. Evidence and arguments may cover topics such as whether there was sufficient cause for the stop, valid suspicion of intoxication, and if the officer appropriately read you your rights.
A: If it’s been too long for you to appeal the suspension, you must wait until the suspension’s assigned length of time ends. Still, your license will not be automatically mailed to you after your suspension period has finished. After it’s over, you must meet or complete all requirements and pay the fees for reinstatement. The specific details of these components vary depending on the circumstances that lead to the suspension.
Getting in touch with a suspension attorney early on will inform you of your options and allow you a head start on promptly contesting a license suspension or a DWI charge. Permanent marks on your record carry effects that could last a lifetime. Reach out to our office today to discuss your situation.