Driver’s License Issues

Texas Criminal Law Updates

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Many people don’t fully appreciate how important their driver’s license is to them until they are at risk of losing their driving privileges or have run into some other kind of issue with their license. If you’ve run into a driver’s license problem, you probably already know that fixing the problem is not usually easy.

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is responsible for issuing driver’s licenses in Texas, and they are not always easy to deal with. Many of our clients are frustrated with the conflicting answers, impossible challenges and many other difficulties in working with DPS. In addition, it can seem like DPS doesn’t follow their own rules and is actively trying to keep you from obtaining your license.

The most common license issues that we help our clients with are fighting license suspensions and obtaining occupational drivers licenses. If DPS has already suspended your license for a period of time, then the only thing you can do is get an occupational license. You may be able to reinstate your license if the license hasn’t been suspended for a definite period of time, but be careful: in many circumstances, simply paying a surcharge or a fine will not lift the suspension (and if the suspension is lifted, it is almost never immediate). Generally it is best to get an occupational driver’s license immediately if your license has been suspended for any reason, then try to get your normal driver’s license privileges reinstate afterwards. Learn more about Occupational Driver’s Licenses

If your license has not yet been suspended, but it is subject to being suspended (for instance, if you refused or failed a breath test after a DWI stop), then you are generally able to contest the license suspension if you follow a very strict set of rules and procedures. It is not wise to try to do this by yourself. Hiring an attorney can make a big difference in the outcome of your license suspension hearing. The license suspension hearings are called Administrative License Revocation hearings or just “ALR Hearings.” Learn more about ALR Hearings

The loss of a driver’s license can wreak havoc on your life. We understand how important driving is to your life, and we act with all possible speed in obtaining your driving privileges so that you can focus on your life. We can work with you on getting your license reinstated, obtaining an Occupational License (an “ODL”) to drive for essential needs while your license is suspended, fight CDL consequences, represent you ALR Hearings, even if you are not a DWI client. No matter what your driver’s license issue is, we can help. Book a consultation with us to discuss your driver’s license hearing.

What happens to my license after a DWI arrest in Texas?

After you are arrested for a DWI, you will usually fall into one of two categories: either (1) your license will be subject to suspension within 40 days or (2) your license will be subject to suspension when and if your blood results come back “dirty.”

If your license is immediately subject to suspension, you should have received a document that says “Notice of Suspension / Temporary Driving Permit” at the top. Do not lose this document because not only will it serve as your driving permit perhaps for months, it also has important information that your DWI lawyer will need. If you read this document closely, you will see that if you request a hearing on the license suspension, your driving privileges will not be suspended until and unless a judge orders it.

Unfortunately, this is not made clear in the document title, and it is never explained to you how important it is. And also unfortunately, it is not a straightforward matter to request this hearing. You can request it online or by fax, but DPS frequently “loses” the requests and then you’re out of luck. Do not try to request the hearing yourself, get a lawyer to do it for you. And you only have 15 days to make the request.

If you’ve successfully requested the hearing, hopefully you requested an in-person hearing instead of a telephone hearing. Don’t request a telephone hearing because you lose the opportunity to conduct an in-person cross examination of the arresting officer. That’s a valuable loss. If you’ve already requested a telephone hearing, our lawyers may be able to convert it for you. While the license hearing is pending, you can still drive so long as you carry that temporary driving permit paper.

At the hearing, your DWI lawyer will fight the license suspension. If you win the hearing, your license will not be suspended and ultimately DPS will mail you back your license if the officer took it from you at the time of the arrest. If you lose the hearing, the judge will order that your license be suspended for 180 days. If your license is suspended as a result of the ALR Hearing, you will likely be eligible for an Occupational Driver’s License (an “ODL”).

We are generally able to keep our clients driving throughout the entire DWI Process. The earlier you contact us, the more help that we will be able to offer in keeping you driving while you are facing a DWI charge. Learn more about how to get an occupational driver’s license

Can you get a license suspension lifted?

If DPS has already suspended your license for a period of time, the license suspension cannot be simply “lifted.” However, if DPS has given you certain conditions to reinstate your license, then if you fulfill those conditions, your suspension will be lifted.

It is important to know that most suspensions are not lifted immediately, even if you fulfill the conditions. It takes DPS time to “process” the information, and then it may take some time to filter down to the police agencies. So it is not advisable to drive immediately after you think your suspension should be lifted. We usually recommend that you obtain an occupational driver’s license first, no matter why your license was suspended.

Also note that you will usually have to pay DPS a “license reinstatement fee” to get your license back.

Why did my license get suspended after I paid a ticket?

We get asked all the time why DPS suspended someone’s license after they paid a ticket. Chances are that you had some license suspension outstanding or that you had multiple prior violations. And paying a ticket is an admission of guilt (read the back of the ticket closely and you will see that). So if you just pay a traffic ticket, you are admitting guilt and DPS uses that against you any way they can – including as proof that you were driving when you weren’t supposed to be.

What can I do about a CDL suspension?

If you have a commercial driver’s license that is suspended already, unfortunately there is nothing that we can do to lift the suspension. Occupational driver’s licenses are also not applicable to CDLs, either. So you have to wait out the suspension.

However, if your CDL has not yet been suspended, you are entitled to fight that suspension at a hearing. This is something that our driver’s license lawyers can help you with, so do not hesitate to book a consultation to discuss your particular case.

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