There are many reasons a driver’s license may be suspended in Texas. If your license has been suspended and you live in the Dallas, Austin, or Fort Worth area, hiring an experienced attorney to help you could well be your best course of action.
Texas considers driving with a suspended or invalid license a Class B misdemeanor which means that if you continue to drive after your license has been suspended you could end up with additional fines as high as $500 and could spend from 72 hours to six months behind bars. For either the original suspension, or new charges of driving with a suspended driver license, you should never simply accept a conviction. Doing so will add surcharges from the State of Texas as well as adding additional suspension time to your license. Since most of us use our automobiles extensively, finding a knowledgeable Law Firm in the Dallas, Austin, or Fort Worth area can be the most beneficial step you can take for your future. Bobbitt Law has the necessary experience as well as a stellar reputation in these matters.
Relevant Texas Statutes
Pursuant to Texas law, you have committed an offense if you are operating a vehicle on a public road after your license was suspended or canceled or when your license has been denied with no subsequent driver license issued. You cannot claim that you did not receive notice of the suspension, cancellation or revocation since actual notice is presumed so long as the state of Texas mailed you a notice to the address listed on your driver’s license. While the general punishment for driving on a suspended license is $100-$500 fine and from three days to six months in jail, if you have a prior conviction for the same offense, the prosecutor may increase your charges to a Class A misdemeanor which can bring up to twelve months in jail and fines as high as $4,000.
There are a wide variety of reasons a driver could end up with a suspended license in the state of Texas. Some of the most common reasons include:
- Existing warrants for failure to handle outstanding traffic tickets
- DUI conviction or a refusal to take a breath or blood test
- Failure of a breath or blood test
- Being labeled a habitual traffic offender (4 or more moving violations within 12 months)
- A conviction for any type of drug offense
- A ticket for having no automobile insurance
- Failure to pay required surcharges
- A judgment against you for being involved in an auto accident with no auto insurance
- Leaving the scene of an accident in which there was an injury or death
- Failure to pay child support
- Evading arrest in a vehicle
- Criminally negligent homicide charges
- Using your driver’s license in a fraudulent manner
- Not registering as a sex offender when required
- Public highway racing
- Employing an unlicensed driver
- Stealing fuel
Taking Care of the Suspension as Well as the Underlying Issues
As you can see there are many reasons you could end up with a suspended license and many of the issues which caused you to lose your license in the first place are serious offenses in themselves. While there are a small number of drivers who are unknowingly driving with a suspended license, the majority are well aware of their driving status. Without the help of a qualified criminal defense lawyer who is well-versed in Texas law it can be extremely complex to have your license reinstated. If you need your vehicle to drive to work, to pick up your children from school or to run errands (like most people) then your best option is to work with a Texas law firm to have your license reinstated and take care of your outstanding traffic ticket.
The Reinstatement Process
Your attorney may be able to submit a request for your driver’s license to be reinstated; however, while the request is being considered, you may not drive. Only when a notice is received from the Texas Department of Motor Vehicle stating your suspension has been removed and you have secured a new driver’s license can you consider your driving privileges restored. You will likely pay a reinstatement fee and be required to complete a driver safety program. In some cases you may be asked to re-take the original driver’s exam, including road test and written test. If you cannot claim the suspension was for a commercial driver’s license (CDL) then reinstatement can be even more difficult. Your lawyer may even be able to apply for an occupational driver’s license which will allow you to conduct many of your important daily living tasks during the term of your suspension. Speaking to a qualified Texas attorney will allow you to clearly see all your options. The Dallas, Austin, and Fort Worth firm of Bobbitt Law has experienced criminal defens attorneys that can provide you with the highest level of representation to help you achieve the best possible outcome of your case.
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