Driving While License Invalid or Suspended
While it may not seem like a serious criminal charge when compared to an arrest for DWI or assault, an arrest for Driving While License Invalid (DWLI) or Driving While License Suspended (DWLS) is a serious criminal offense in the State of Texas. A conviction can subject you to jail time, fines and surcharges. If you have a previous conviction for DWLI or DWLS, the new charge can be enhanced to a higher level charge.
Austin DWLS Lawyer
Defense attorney Kevin Bennett handles driving while license suspended and driving while license invalid charges in Travis County. If you are face charges of DWLS or DWLI in Travis County courts, call The Law Office of Kevin Bennett today at (512) 476-4626 to set up a free consultation.
Penalties for Driving While License Invalid in Texas
Driving While License Invalid or Driving While License Suspended is considered a Class B misdemeanor in Texas. If convicted, you face possible jail time of 72 hours to 6 months plus a fine in the range of $100-$500. If someone has a prior DWLS/DWLI conviction, then the DWLS/DWLI charge can be enhanced to a class A misdemeanor, meaning the driver could face up to one year in jail in addition to fines of up to $4,000. You also face additional surcharges.
Driving While License Invalid: Texas Transportation Code, Title 7 Section 521.457
521.457. Driving While license Invalid (Suspended)
(a) A person commits an offense if the person operates a motor vehicle on a highway:
(1) after the person’s driver’s license has been canceled under this chapter if the person does not have a license that was subsequently issued under this chapter;
(2) during a period that the person’s driver’s license or privilege is suspended or revoked under any law of this state;
(3) while the person’s driver’s license is expired if the license expired during a period of suspension; or
(4) after renewal of the person’s driver’s license has been denied under any law of this state, if the person does not have a driver’s license subsequently issued under this chapter.
(b) A person commits an offense if the person is the subject of an order issued under any law of this state that prohibits the person from obtaining a driver’s license and the person operates a motor vehicle on a highway.
(c) It is not a defense to prosecution under this section that the person did not receive actual notice of a suspension imposed as a result of a conviction for an offense under Section 521.341.
(d) Except as provided by Subsection (c), it is an affirmative defense to prosecution of an offense, other than an offense under Section 521.341, that the person did not receive actual notice of a cancellation, suspension, revocation, or prohibition order relating to the person’s license. For purposes of this section, actual notice is presumed if the notice was mailed in accordance with law.