It’s no secret that legal terminology can be confusing at times. However, when it comes…
The new year is quickly approaching, and it’s time to make the changes you’ve been waiting to do all year. You sit down and reflect on the past year’s good, bad, and ugly. With that, you have identified the probable cause of why Santa wrote your name on the naughty list: a suspended license.
So, what can you do about it now? Unfortunately, you will need to deal with the repercussions of your actions. The good news is it’s a new year, and you can promise you will be a safer driver this year than in 2022. Besides, the new year is the perfect time to practice and become the person you want to be from this point on.
What is a Suspended License in Texas?
A suspended driver’s license means the driver lawfully can’t operate his or her motor vehicle until the driver’s license reinstatement. While some license suspensions are temporary, others can be definite. Definite suspensions have set timeframes, in the end, with the driver being able to pay for reinstatement. However, an indefinite suspension can last as long as necessary for the driver to complete the necessary actions, such as satisfying judgment or passing a safety-required course.
If your license is suspended, the state will notify you by mail to the address on record. It will explain the reasoning behind suspension and in most cases, provide the option for a hearing. If you wish to schedule a hearing, you will have 20 days after receiving the notice. You may be able to argue with or without a traffic violation attorney. However, to reinstate your license, you will need to fulfill all requirements and pay a fee of $100.
What are Some of the Reasons for Having a Suspended License?
Many reasons can lead to a suspended license in Texas. However, here are some of the most common reasons:
- Being convicted of driving while intoxicated
- Using a fake ID or allowing someone else to use your ID
- Vehicular homicide conviction
- Refusing an alcohol test in violation of the state’s implied consent laws, or
- Accumulating four moving violations or more within 12 months or seven moving violations or more within 24 months.
Can I Drive with a Suspended License?
The short answer is no.
However, in certain circumstances, some individuals may drive only if they qualify for a restricted license. If you are legally prohibited from driving due to a license suspension, it can make the demands of work, school, and family life difficult. It can be especially harder if you live in a suburban or rural area with little access to public transportation.
A restricted license will give the driver permission to drive and from work, school, medical appointments, or any other necessary trips that are approved.
What Can Happen if I get Caught Driving with a Suspended License?
If you are convicted of knowingly driving a motor vehicle with a suspended license, it’s a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by up to $500. It may be considered a Class B misdemeanor, with up to six months in county jail, if you have been previously convicted or previously had your license suspended for DWI.
Finally, driving with a suspended license can increase the timeframe of your suspension or lead to driver’s license revocation. Revocation is the permanent removal of your driving privileges.
Can a Cop Pull Me Over for Having a Suspended License?
Police officers must have probable cause to pull you over, such as a speeding violation, burnt-out headlights, and suspicious behaviors. A traffic ticket can quickly become a situation bigger if a police officer searches your plates and finds out about your suspension.
What Happens if I Cause an Accident in Texas on a Suspended License?
Causing an accident when driving with a suspended license can lead to detrimental penalties. Depending on the circumstance, there is a chance of facing criminal charges. In addition to a traffic citation and fines, you could face civil liability for causing an accident.
Although civil liability will not depend on whether or not you were driving with a suspended license, your liability will rely on whether or not you were negligent or reckless in causing the accident.
The proof of you causing the accident could make you civilly liable for the victim’s damages. This means that your insurance will cover the costs of the victim’s losses related to the accident, such as medical bills and vehicle damages. Therefore, your insurance premium will likely increase, or you risk being dropped as a customer. Hire a Texas car accident attorney if you cause an accident while on a suspended license in Texas.
What options do I have if I have been involved in an accident that wasn’t my fault when driving with an unsuspended driver’s license?
Just because someone was driving with an unsuspended license and involved in an accident doesn’t mean they dont have any legal rights to seek compensatory damages. Two basic options include:
- One can file an insurance claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company
- File a personal injury lawsuit in civil court
Although it is still possible to file a claim without an active license, the insurance company or the opposing counsel will likely bring it up during the claim. They may try to state that you acted negligently by driving without a license, but that wasn’t the cause of your injuries. Contact us today to help you with your legal options if you have found yourself in this situation.
How can The Carlson Law Firm Help?
The Carlson Law Firm can help you with the charge of driving with a suspended license if you find yourself in that situation.
If you’ve been injured while driving without a license, you’ll likely have to fight hard to receive the compensation you deserve. The at-fault driver’s insurance company may claim that your unlicensed status means it’s not responsible for your injuries. You’ll need the right kind of representation to fight this giant. Contact our office today for a free consultation to discuss your legal rights.
We care. We can help.