Suspended Licenses, DWLI

Driving While License Invalid or Suspended?

Driving While License Invalid or Suspended (commonly referred to as DWLI or DWLS) is a criminal offense charged when an individual drives a motor vehicle at a time when their Driver's License is either invalid or suspended. The suspension can be the result of any violation of DPS's administrative rules; too many points, unpaid fees, failures to appear, unpaid tickets, and driving offense convictions.

The most common DWLI or DWLS is when a person pays certain tickets: No Insurance or Driving on a Suspended License. Also, paying off old, past due tickets, can result in more suspensions. By paying the tickets, a conviction for the offense is listed on the person's record.

You can read the specific Statute and more information on Punishments for DWLI below.

What You Need to Know

DO NOT Plea or Pay the Ticket! Again, if you have a DWLI, DWLS, or No Insurance Ticket, DO NOT Plea or Pay the Ticket! Why? The fine is just a small part of the punishment associated with a DWLI ticket or case. The real punishment is added DPS fees, reinstatement fees, and additional suspensions of your driver's license. If convicted of a DWLI or DWLS, your license will be suspended by DPS due to the Conviction, between 6 months up to 2 years. You'll be subject to a Reinstatement Fee to DPS in addition to the Court costs and fines, which generally is over a $1,000.

A conviction also gives the driver 'points' on their driving record. Most people come to the conclusion that they can avoid the fees and suspensions if they instead spend that money -- often less -- on an attorney.

So What Types of Suspensions will cause a Suspension? Too many points or unpaid tickets are the most common reasons for suspensions, however paying or pleading on certain tickets will cause a suspension as well, including Failure to Maintain Financial Responsibility (No Insurance), DWLI, and DWLS. There are more, but those are the most common.

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) will cause a suspension of a Texas Driver's License, between 90 days and 1 year. This is true for DWI, DWI with an Open container, and DWI with a BAC greater than .15%. If the DWI defendant is under 21 years old, it will be a 1 year suspension; if the DWI is controlled substance/drug related, and not alcohol, the minimum suspension is 180 days, or six months.

A 2nd DWI will cause a suspension between 6 months and 2 years, but if the first DWI was within five years of the second, the minimum suspension increases to 1 year. While all DWIs possibly have two license suspensions, at the (ALR hearing and by the Court), this is only an issue in Austin for DWI Second Offense or more.

Underage Drinking and Alcohol offenses, if ending in a conviction, will cause a License Suspension. Also, Drug and Controlled Substance (POCS) convictions for both adults and minors (including Marijuana/POM) will cause a 180 day suspension of a Texas Driver's License, which will not be reinstated ever unless the offender completes the 15 hour DOEP class.

Occupational Licenses

An Occupational License allows a person to legally drive while thier license is ineligible (or suspended). Keates Law Firm can help you drive legally within a few days. Be sure to read about Occupational License to see if one might work for you.

Defenses for Driving While License Suspended or Invalid

One of the best ways to avoid a conviction (and additional suspension) is to obtain an Occupational License. By doing so, you're showing the court and prosecutor that you are legally driving, and giving them incentive to dismiss the case. Keates Law Firm can help get you an Occupational License, handle your DWLI with the aim of getting is dismissed, and help clear up any old tickets along the way.

If you'd like to talk in detail about your situation, or if you have questions, contact us for a Free Case Consultation. Keep in mind, Keates Law Firm only practices in Austin and Travis County.

Work with an Experienced Driving While License Suspended or Invalid Attorney

Hiring the right attorney from the beginning is important. Poor legal decisions will have a negative effect upon the case as it progresses. The Keates Law Firm has over 16+ Years Experience handling Driving While License Suspended or Invalid cases. Our focus is to try and have the case dismissed against you. We don't even discuss pleas until all legal and negotiation options have been explored in detail.

Call Us to talk about your particular case and situation. It's a 100% Free Phone Consultation with Criminal Defense Attorney Keates. No Sales Pitches, No Hassles. We'll see if we are the right Law Firm for you, and give you a quote. Be sure to check out Keates Law Firm's Reviews and also our past cases and Results.

How We Can Help

Your goal should be Dismissal for any Driving While License Suspended or Invalid charge. A Dismissal will allow a person to later seek an Expunction of a Criminal Record, which is where a Judge Orders the offense records destroyed, including police reports, court records, and prosecutor files.

Keates Law Firm has a track record of dismissals for Driving While License Suspended or Invalid.

Benefits of Working with Keates Law Firm:

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Our Reviews and Results

Our Results Speak for Themselves. Keates Law Firm has a record of Dismissals and Acquittals in a variety of criminal cases. We are dismissal focused, and we get results.
  • DWI Jury Trial: NOT GUILTY
  • Harassment Offense: Jury Trial: NOT GUILTY
  • Felony Possession of Marijuana/Hashish Dismissed
  • DWI 2nd (Drugs): Dismissed
  • DWI (Alcohol and Drugs): Dismissed
  • Felony Theft of Stolen Property: Dismissed
  • Assault, Bodily Injury: Jury Trial: NOT GUILTY
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(a) A person commits an offense if the person operates a motor vehicle on a highway: (1) 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; (2) during a period that the person's driver's license or privilege is suspended or revoked under any law of this state; (3) while the person's driver's license is expired if the license expired during a period of suspension;

What are the Punishments?

Punishments for a DWLI or DWLS are generally fines and court costs; rarely in Austin does a Suspended License ticket result in jail time or probation, especially if you have an attorney who can help you get a valid license or Occupational License.

Penalties for Driving While License Invalid
Level of Offense Punishment
Class C Misdemeanor Not Jailable, No more than $500 fines
Class B Misdemeanor Not more than 180 days in a county jail, and/or no more than $2,000 fines
Class A Misdemeanor Not more than 1 year in a county jail, and/or no more than $4,000 fines

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Accident Involving Damage to Vehicle Reckless Driving
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