Driving in Texas is not a right, it is a privilege. The Department of Public Safety (DPS) might revoke your driver’s license if you are incapable of driving for a medical reason or if you have committed certain offenses. Your driver’s license might also be revoked by the courts. Revocation means the individual’s privilege or driving a car it terminated for a certain period of time and following that a new driver’s license will have to be obtained.
In Texas, When Can A Person’s Driver’s License Be Revoked?
A driver’s license can be revoked under Texas law for multiple reasons, including the following:
- An arrest for intoxicated driving (DWI) or boating (BWI)
- Repeated traffic violations
- Medical disability
- Operating a vehicle without any insurance
- Child support that is past due
DPS can suspend or revoke your license automatically for either a medical disability or DWI/BWI arrest
If DPS believes you are not medically capable of driving then an inspection will be performed by the Medical Advisory Board (MAB). Your medical records, as well as other information, will be reviewed by the MAB. Based on the investigation, the MAB will make its recommendations to the DPS – which might result in your driving privileges being revoked or suspended.
Can They Suspend My License If I Refuse A Breath Or Blood Test?
If you are charged with a DWI or BWI arrest, then you will be offered a blood or breath test. Failure or refusal of the test will result in your driving privileges being suspended. The suspension is a civil process and referred to as an Administration License Revocation (ALR). You might also be faced with separate criminal BWI or DWI charges. Once an individual’s driver’s license is revoked, driving with a revoked license is an additional criminal offense. It is a criminal misdemeanor in the state of Texas to drive with a suspended or revoked license. If you are faced with a DWI charge, you should contact a DWI lawyer in Houston to assist you with your case.
What Penalties Are There For Driving with a Revoked or Suspended License?
Depending on the situation, the penalties will vary. For example, if you are older than 21 years old and:
1. Refused a sobriety test:
The 180-day suspension on the first offense
The two-year suspension on subsequent offenses
2. Fail your sobriety test:
A 90-day suspension on the first offense
The one-year suspension on subsequent offenses
For a minor who refuse or fail a blood or breath test, different rules apply. Following your suspension, you will be required to pay fine and complete several forms before your driver’s license is a reissue. If your licenses get suspended based on a medical condition, then your driver’s license might be reinstated if you are able to prove that your condition has either improved or resolved. If you are in need of legal representation for your case contact a Butler Lawfirm attorney immediately.
Getting Caught Driving With A Suspended Or Revoked License
If you get caught driving with either a revoked or suspended driver’s license, then you might be faced with criminal charges. Typically a first-time offender is charged with a Class C misdemeanor and a $500 maximum fine. In cases that involved uninsured drivers, repeat offenders, BWI’s, DWI’s or serious injuries, the penalties might be higher (maximum $4,000 in fines plus one year of jail time).
The DPS at the hearing is required to prove that the officer had:
- A Probable cause for arresting you or reasonable suspicion for stopping you;
- Probable cause you were operating a boat or vehicle while being intoxicated;
- You were placed under arrest and notified what the consequences were for failing or refusing a sobriety test (both in writing and verbally);
- You were given the opportunity to undergo sobriety testing and you either failed or refused the test.
If DPS is unable to prove one of the elements, then you will be given your driver’s license back. The prosecutor in a criminal case is required to provide that an individual drive while their license was suspended or revoked. The prosecutor typically must also prove you were given notice of the revocation or suspension.
Are There Any Legal Defenses Available?
If you receive a criminal charge for driving on a suspended or revoked the license, you might have legal defenses available to you. A majority of defenses involve you having a lack of knowledge of the revocation or suspension. For example, it might be a defense if the DPS fails to send your notice of suspension or revocation to you.
What is a Restricted or Occupational License?
Texas is unique in some respects in that it enables some individuals whose licenses have been suspended to obtain a Restricted or Occupational license. The kind of license allows an individual to commute back and forth to work during their suspension. In addition, it enables the individual to drive to be able to compete for their household duties. To obtain one, the individual needs to put in an application with the Texas Department of Public Safety. This application involves giving a description of the various routes that will be driven, along with the hours and days that the person will be driving a vehicle. Not every individual who has their license suspended has an occupational license available to them. In particular, failure to pay required child support, or suspension due to medical reasons will make the individual ineligible for getting a restricted license.
Is There A Way To Get My License Reinstated?
After the suspension period is complete, the license can be reinstated or restored. That involves providing proof of insurance and filing the appropriate paperwork with the Department of Public Safety. There is also a fee that must be paid that is in the range of $100 to $125, depending on what the specific reasons were for the suspension.