Driving with a Suspended License
Defense Attorneys for Suspended License Charges
If you have been arrested or charged with driving with suspended license or invalid driver’s license in Fort Worth or in the surrounding cities of Tarrant County, Texas, it is important to understand the serious criminal consequences that you could be facing: possible jail time, stiff fines, a further suspension of your already suspended license, additional surcharges requiring additional fines to be paid to the Texas Department of Public Safety and the prospect of an arrest and/or conviction on your criminal record. Contact a suspended license lawyer experienced with this type of case who can build a strong defense.
Common Reasons That Driver’s Licenses are Suspended in Texas
Some of the more common reasons why an individual’s Texas driver’s license may be suspended include: a conviction for a driving while intoxicated (DWI) offense, a conviction for a felony offense involving a motor vehicle, lack of valid insurance, failure to appear in court or pay fines associated with court, a conviction for a misdemeanor possession of marijuana case, a conviction for certain vehicular manslaughter cases, a conviction for hit and run, a conviction for fleeing a police officer or evading arrest in a vehicle, or any court order in which a judge declares your license is suspended as part of your punishment.
For many people that are facing a suspended license, the temptation or need to drive a car for work, necessities or other personal reasons is too great and they often find themselves under arrest. However, you must resist this temptation and contact The Hampton Law Firm to discuss your options under Texas law where you may qualify for an occupational driver’s license that allows you to legally operate a vehicle without the fear of arrest and further financial hardship. A suspended license lawyer can help fight the charges against you and clear your name and reputation. After all, a conviction for driving with a suspended license makes it much more difficult to get your driver’s license reinstated.
Texas Criminal Code Regarding Driving with a Suspended License
For a thorough understanding of what you are facing under Texas law, you must first determine what the Texas Transportation Code defines as the elements of the crime of Driving While License Suspended. According to the Texas Transportation Code, Section 521.457, the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office or Fort Worth Municipal Prosecutor will be required to prove the following elements of driving with a suspended license or invalid driver’s license beyond a reasonable doubt:
A person commits the offense of Driving While License Suspended if the person operates a motor vehicle on a highway:
- 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;
- during a period that the person’s driver’s license or privilege is suspended or revoked under any law of this state;
- while the person’s driver’s license is expired if the license expired during a period of suspension; or
- 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.
Additionally, a person commits the offense of driving while license suspended 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.
Texas Transportation Code, Section 521.457(c) specifies that is NOT a defense to prosecution that the person did not receive actual notice of suspension imposed as a result of a conviction for the following offenses: evading arrest with a vehicle, criminally negligent homicide, driving while intoxicated (DWI), DWI with child passenger, Intoxication Assault, Intoxication Manslaughter, a felony involving a motor vehicle, Manslaughter involving a motor vehicle, possessing a fictitious or altered driver’s license, or a hit and run accident. However, under any other circumstance, you DO have a defense to prosecution if you did not receive notice of the license suspension.
Punishment for a Conviction of Driving with a Suspended Driver’s License in Texas
Determining whether your Tarrant County Driving While License Suspended case can involve jail time as a possible punishment requires an examination of Chapter 12 of the Texas Penal Code. The Texas Penal Code breaks down the range of punishment for Driving While License Invalid or Suspended as follows:
- If the accused has had no previous convictions for Driving While License Suspended, the crime will be classified as a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500 (no jail time possible).
- If the accused has any of the following conditions, the crime will be classified as a Class B Misdemeanor: a previous conviction for Driving While License Suspended, at the time of the offense the accused was operating the vehicle without valid insurance, or the accused had a previous license suspension for a DWI conviction in Texas. Under Texas law, a Class B Misdemeanor is punishable by a term in the Tarrant County jail of up to 180 days and up to a $2,000 fine.
- If the accused caused serious bodily injury or death as a result of operating a motor vehicle and the accused had no valid insurance at the time of the incident, the crime will be classified as a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a term in the Tarrant County jail of up to 1 year and up to a $4,000 fine.
Contact a Suspended License Defense Lawyer Today
Depending upon the circumstances of your case, being charged with Driving While License Suspended can create serious criminal consequences. It is extremely important to hire an attorney that is experienced in handling Driving While License Suspended cases in the courts of Tarrant County, Texas. It can be confusing understanding why your license was suspended and what to do now that you are facing another criminal case. Call me now to set up a free consultation so that we can determine if your license was actually suspended, why your license was suspended and help clear up your new case while ensuring you have the ability to drive now so that you can continue to work and provide for the necessities of your family. You need an experienced suspended license attorney, and I’m ready to take your call.
Call The Hampton Law Firm now so we can discuss the facts of your case and explain how we can best help you. Contact Jeff Hampton at the Hampton Law Firm at 817-877-5200.