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 Lawyer for Driving with a Suspended License in TX
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 with an experienced Austin suspended license attorney.
- What Happens If You Get Caught Driving with a Suspended License in Texas?
- Penalties for Driving While License Invalid in Texas
- Driving with a Suspended License Texas Statute
- Driving with a Suspended License While on Probation
- Does Driving with a Suspended License Affect Insurance?
- How Do I Get My License Unsuspended in Texas?
- Additional Resources
What Happens If You Get Caught Driving with a Suspended License in TX?
Driving with a suspended or revoked license doesn’t just break traffic rules but is considered a crime in the state of Texas. If you’re caught by law enforcement driving with a suspended license, then you’ll likely be arrested and be booked at your local county jail. In addition, your car may be impounded, and the state may also suspend your car registration.
Law enforcement may not arrest you if there are no outstanding warrants or additional violations on your record. The decision to arrest someone for driving with a suspended or invalid license is up to the officer’s discretion, so jail isn’t a guarantee. If they do choose to arrest you, then you’ll have to wait in jail until you can post bond.
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.
Texas Statute for Driving with a Suspended License
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.
Driving with a Suspended License While on Probation in Texas
The actual consequence for driving with a suspended license while on probation will depend on the situation, but generally speaking yes it can affect your probation. Technically, any new crime violation is a breach of your probation agreement. Since driving while license is suspended or invalid is a crime it would be considered a violation of probation.
If a condition of your probation was the suspension, then you can expect a harsher punishment for violating your probation. Depending on the discretion of the judge, they may extend your probation or add other conditions to it. In some cases, they may even revoke your probation altogether and force you to serve out the rest of your sentence in jail.
Does Driving with a Suspended License Affect Insurance?
If your license is suspended, your car insurance has already been affected. Having a suspended license will automatically label you as a high-risk driver to your insurer or possible insurers. If you then violate your suspension and are caught by law enforcement, then you’ll be charged with a traffic crime. If convicted, the information will be transferred to your driving record where your insurer will surely be able to access it.
It’s likely your car insurance rates will go up even more after a traffic crime conviction. In addition, if your auto insurance is up for renewal during the suspension period, it may not be renewed by insurer. Most auto insurance companies will not insure a driver with a suspended license, especially if they’ve been convicted of violating said suspension. They will only allow the driver to buy a policy if their suspension has been overturned or they have a hardship or restrictive license.
How Do I Get My License Unsuspended in Texas?
It can be a hassle to live your daily life with a suspended license. Thankfully, you can get your license reinstated after you’ve completed your suspension term. The first step is to check if you’re eligible for reinstatement by using the Texas Department of Public Safety’s online portal. The portal should give you information about your eligibility status and any documentation you may need to reinstate your license.
You must then be sure you’ve paid all fees and surcharges to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). Your license cannot be reinstated until you’ve fulfilled all your financial obligations, which does include court-imposed fines. After that, you will be required to pay a reinstatement fee of $125 as well as file an SR-22 with your insurance.
The last step is to submit any compliance documents DPS may need. Once these have been emailed or faxed over, then DPS will begin processing your reinstatement. It may take up to 21 days for DPS to completely finish the reinstatement process.
Reinstating Your Suspended License | DPS – Visit the official website for the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to learn how you can reinstate your license after suspension. Access the site to go into the online portal, find out what documents you may need, and more.
Texas Laws on Driving with a Suspended License – Visit the official website for the Texas Transportation Code to learn more about their statutes regarding driving while license is suspended or revoked. Access the site to learn the penalties for the crime, definitions for important legal terms, and other related offenses under the Transportation Code.
Suspended License Attorney in Austin, Texas
Has your license been suspended and you were arrested for driving with it? If so, then we urge you to get in contact with experienced Austin driving while license suspended attorney Kevin Bennett. He understands what it takes to fight a driving while license suspended charge and can utilize his skills for your case. Don’t wait another moment to secure legal representation with a Travis County suspended or invalid license attorney with The Law Office of Kevin Bennett today.
Call The Law Office of Kevin Bennett to set up your first consultation with Kevin Bennett at (512) 476-4626. We accept clients throughout the greater Travis County area including Lago Vista, Austin, Pflugerville, Lakeway, Rollingwood, and Jonestown.