Driving with an Invalid License in Texas
Driving with a suspended or invalid driver’s license in the state of Texas is not something that should be taken lightly. The penalties increase after your first offense and suspension. I can help you to fight your case in court and possibly negotiate a dismissal of your case. With my criminal defense experience I can give you the chance to find mercy in the justice system.
What Is the Difference Between Suspension and Revocation?
A Suspended License: This means your license is temporarily out of service. You cannot legally drive until you have paid your fines and completed a court-ordered suspension period.
A Revoked License: This means your license has been fully canceled and it cannot be reinstated until you pay your fines, complete your probation or sentence, and go through your state’s licensing process which typically involves a written test and a road test. A new license can then be issued.
Why Was My License Suspended or Revoked?
Driving privileges are most often taken away for the following infringes:
- Driving under the influence
- Reckless driving behavior such as racing
- Collecting a certain number of negative “points” on a driving record
- When causing an automobile accident and not having insurance or other financial ability to cover loss and damage
- Using a car to commit a felony (homicide, fleeing police, hit-and-run accident, etc.)
In some cases, driving privileges can be taken away due to:
- A medical condition that imperils the ability to drive safely (vision problems, diabetes, epilepsy, etc.)
- A failure to pay child support
- Using a fake ID or allowing someone else to use your ID
- When driving would compromise public safety
How Do I Know the Status of My License?
Oftentimes, you may not even know you are driving illegally until a police officer pulls you over for an unrelated reason and then runs your driver’s license number through their computer system and it shows up as invalid.
If you are unsure of the validation of your Texas driver’s license, do a quick check with The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).
For more insight into your Texas driving records, order a copy of it to see the following information:
- The status of your driver’s license
- How many driving record points you have and how close you are to getting a suspension
- Traffic tickets and violations
- Outstanding fines
- Classifications and endorsements
What Are the Penalties for Driving on an Invalid License?
The penalties for driving with an invalid license are many and varied. Punishment can range from a $100 fine if it is a first offense Class C misdemeanor up to a $2,000 fine and six months in jail if it is considered a Class B misdemeanor.
Other fees will include towing and storage of your vehicle, a $100 reinstatement fee, and a $250 license surcharge yearly for three years. In addition, your car insurance provider will likely move your policy to a higher risk category (SR-22) which will dramatically increase your monthly rates anywhere from $20-$150 per month.
The penalties aren’t only financial, however. Every potential employer, landlord, and financial institution will have access to your criminal record, not to mention the personal and family stigma that may also come as a result.
All of these penalties add up to a very burdensome obligation in order to recover from a Driving with an Invalid License conviction.
How Do I Get My License Reinstated?
In the situations where 1) You did not receive notice; and 2) You were not aware that you were violating the law, an attorney can argue your case and you may receive a lower fine and/or a shorter jail sentence. You may also receive early reinstatement with the completion of an alcohol treatment program.
Other possible reduced penalties include granting a limited suspension where you have permission to drive to work, school, community service, or other activities. Or, if your suspension was due to a DUI, you may be granted driving permission if you agree to place an ignition interlock device in your car. This will prevent you from starting the vehicle if the device detects a specified amount of alcohol in your breath.
Defending a Driving with a Suspended License Charge
Driving with a suspended or invalid driver’s license in the state of Texas is not something that should be taken lightly. I can help you fight your case in court and possibly negotiate a substantial reduction or a dismissal of your case.
Call the law office of Eric Harron for a free consultation.