Under Texas law, driving with a suspended or revoked license is classified as a Class C misdemeanor in the large majority of cases. Continue reading to take a closer look at the penalties and variations.
Penalties: Class C Misdemeanor
If it’s your first offense, under normal circumstances, you will be charged with a fine of up to $500. It’s important to note that this penalty is imposed for Class C misdemeanors and you likely won’t serve any jail time.
Penalties: Class B Misdemeanor
For exceptional cases, the penalties can become significantly more serious. Offenders are charged with a Class B misdemeanor if:
- They are not first-time offenders and have a history of being charged with the same offense.
- They did not have insurance when the crime was committed.
- The reason for their license suspension was driving while intoxicated (DWI).
If you’re caught driving with a suspended or revoked license under one or more of the circumstances above, you will be facing up to 180 days in prison and fines of up to $2,000.
Penalties: Class A Misdemeanor
If you’re involved in a car accident and the officer finds that you were a) driving with a suspended/revoked license, and b) driving without insurance, you may be in a lot of trouble.
Ultimately, your case will be classified based on whether the crash seriously injured or killed someone. If it did, you will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a sentence of up to one year in jail and up to $4,000 in fines.
To be on the safe side, don’t commit crimes that will result in a suspended or revoked driver’s license in the first place. Here is a list of common reasons people get their license suspended or revoked:
- Being charged with a DWI, DUI, or BWI (boating while intoxicated)
- Refusing to take a breath or blood test and consequently violating the implied consent laws in Texas
- Racing cars on a highway
- Using a fake ID
You can avoid all of these by just obeying the law and using common sense.
Make sure you reinstate your license as soon as the suspension or revocation period ends. It’s important to note that your license will not be automatically validated; it’s your responsibility to pay the reinstatement fee ($100) and meet the required conditions to regain your driving privileges.
If you were recently caught driving with a suspended or revoked license, make sure you consult an experienced and qualified criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Attorney JL Carpenter has extensive experience in handling these types of cases.