Driving With a Suspended License
The state of Texas considers driving with a suspended or revoked license a criminal offense, and a conviction carries a number of penalties beyond just the criminal conviction and permanent criminal record. In Texas when a person is caught driving with a suspended or revoked license they are criminally charged with what is called “driving while license invalid”, which is commonly referred to as “DWLI”. Any conviction for driving with a suspended or revoked license can have long lasting consequences beyond just the criminal conviction and punishment such as additional suspension periods and surcharges.
If you or someone you care for has been caught driving with a suspended or revoked license your first move should be to contact Houston criminal defense lawyer Matthew Gallagher.
Driving privileges can be revoked or suspended by the state of Texas for a variety of different criminal and traffic offenses, among other reasons. Some of the most common reasons for the loss of driving privileges and the suspension or revocation of a Texas driver’s license include the following:
- Driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated; this often leads to administrative license revocation (ALR), an automatic process that suspends the driver’s license of the defendant for up to 180 days in most cases. Conviction on these charges can lead to longer suspensions of driving privileges.
- Texas law mandates driver’s license suspensions of up to 6 months for drug offense convictions, whether or not these offenses were committed while driving.
- Repeated moving violations and traffic tickets can result in suspensions of driving privileges and surcharges. Additionally, failing to pay your traffic tickets can also result in the loss of your license.
- Convictions on reckless driving charges or for gross criminal negligence while operating a motor vehicle can result in your driver’s license being suspended or revoked.
- Driving without legally required liability insurance can lead to the loss of driving privileges.
- Failure to pay legally ordered child support in a timely fashion can result in the suspension or revocation of your Texas driver’s license.
- Driving privileges can also be revoked if you suffer from a medical condition that makes it unsafe for you to drive.
- Some sex offenses can also result in your license being suspended or revoked by the state of Texas.
Driving a vehicle with a suspended or revoked license can result in the following penalties depending on the specific facts of the case:
- Generally a first DWLI offense is punishable as a Class C misdemeanor, which can result in a fine up to $500.
- A DWLI offense is punishable as a Class B misdemeanor if the individual has previously been convicted of a DWLI, if they were operating a vehicle without valid insurance at the time of the offense, or if their license has previously been suspended due to a DWI offense. An individual who is convicted of a Class B misdemeanor can face up to six months in jail and/or a fine of not more than $2,000.
- A DWLI offense is punishable as a Class A misdemeanor if the individual was driving without valid insurance and caused the death of or serious bodily injury to another person. A conviction for this level offense can result in a jail sentence of up to one year and a fine of not more than $4,000.
Matthew Gallagher is a reputable and established Houston criminal defense lawyer with a reputation for success in defending clients charged with drivers license related offenses. By enlisting the help of Matthew Gallagher, you can greatly improve your chances of prevailing against a driving while license invalid charge in the state of Texas.