Driving While License Suspended
Texas law requires every driver to possess a driver’s license when they operate a vehicle on the roadways. No matter the circumstance, if you are caught driver when your license is suspended, you could be facing time behind bars and expensive fines.
If you received a violation for driving with a suspended license, you probably have many questions. You may not know why your license was initially suspended, how to get a license so you can get to work or how to get your license reinstated. An attorney experienced with traffic crimes can help you answer these questions.
Criminal Defense Attorney for Driving While License Suspended in Houston, TX
Brian Benken is a licensed private investigator that will look for facts that may help to win your case or have it dismissed. The best defense you can take is contacting The Benken Law Firm today.
Brian Benken represents clients in all areas throughout Harris County and surrounding counties such as Midtown, Uptown, Greenway, Hyde Park, the Fourth Ward, Downtown Houston and many more. To schedule a free case consultation with The Benken Law Firm, call (713) 223 - 4051.
- Texas Suspended Driver’s License Laws
- Penalties for Driving with a Suspended License
- Reasons your License could be Suspended in Texas
Texas Suspended Driver’s License Laws
A driver’s license serves as a way to confirm your status as a legal driver. When your license is suspended, you are banned from driving a vehicle on the Texas roadways for the duration of the suspension.
It’s against the law to operate a vehicle with a suspended license. Under section 521.457 of the Texas Transportation Code, you can commit the offense by operating a vehicle on a highway:
- After your driver’s license has been suspended
- Anytime your license or driving privilege is suspended or revoked under Texas law
- While your license is expired it is expired during the suspension period; or
- After renewal of your driver’s license has been denied and not subsequently reissued
When your license is suspended, you will receive a letter from DPS notifying you of the change. Prosecutors will not accept the defense that you didn’t receive a suspension notification for certain motor vehicle offense such as DWI, hit and run and intoxication manslaughter.
There are certain offenses where it’s an affirmative defense that you didn’t receive notice of suspension. An attorney can help you decide if the offense that resulted in your license suspension falls under this category.
Penalties for Driving with a Suspended License
Like most crimes in Texas, the extent of the penalties will depend on the circumstances of your case. If this is the first time you have been convicted of driving with a suspended license, you could be charged with a class C misdemeanor.
A class C misdemeanor is the least severe of all misdemeanor charges. You will spend no time in jail, but you will be required to pay up to a $500 fine.
You could be charged with a class B misdemeanor if your case involves the following:
- You have been previously convicted
- You were driving without valid auto insurance; or
- Your license was suspended for an offense involving DWI
Class B misdemeanors are punished by up to 180 days in jail, up to a $2,000 fine or both a fine and time behind bars.
If you were caught operating a vehicle without valid auto insurance and caused or was at fault for a motor accident that resulted in serious bodily injury or death, you could be charged with a class A misdemeanor.
Class A misdemeanors are the most severe misdemeanor charges. It can be punishable by no more than a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both a fine and time in jail.
Reasons your License could be Suspended in Texas
Maybe you received too many points on your driving record or failed to pay child support. Regardless, there are many reasons your license could be suspended in Texas. Some of the most common reason can include, but are not limited to:
- A court-ordered suspension
- A conviction of any DWI offense
- A conviction for a felony motor vehicle offense
- A vehicular manslaughter conviction
- Hit and run conviction
- Fleeing and eluding law enforcement
- Failing to appear
- Failing to pay fines
- Lack of valid insurance
- Possessing a fake driver’s license
- Certain medical conditions or disabilities
Additional Resources for Driving while License Suspended in Harris County, TX
Driver’s Licenses and Certificates | Texas Transportation Code – Follow this link to read the chapter of the Texas Transportation Code that governs driving with a suspended license. You read the precise legal definition of what the state considerers driving with a suspended license and how it’s penalized. The Transportation Code can be read on the Texas Constitution and Statutes website.
Driver Responsibility Program– View a brochure from the Texas Department of Public Safety about the Driver Responsibility Program. The brochure features an FAQ about the program as well as what the program is and how the point system works.
Criminal Defense Lawyer for Driving while License Suspended in Harris County, TX
If you are being accused of driving with a suspended license in Harris County, you should take the first step in building your defense by contacting The Benken Law Firm. Brian Benken has proven experience in defending traffic crimes, and he will do everything in his power to achieve the best possible outcome for your situation.
With over 30 years of trial experience, Brian Benken is a trusted lawyer that knows what it takes to win a case or have it dismissed. Schedule a free case consultation with The Benken Law Firm today. Call (713) 223 - 4051.
The Benken Law Firm represents clients with traffic offenses in all communities across Harris County and surrounding counties such as Montrose, West University Place, Sunnyside, The Heights, Hunters Creek Village and many more.