In: Criminal Defense

How Are Driving Privileges Affected by Criminal Charges in Texas?

Criminal charges have many serious consequences. An individual’s profession, reputation, and personal relationships may all be impacted by criminal charges. In addition, one’s driving privileges may also be impacted.

If someone is convicted of a misdemeanor or felony that involves controlled substances or drugs in Texas, that individual faces an automatic suspension of his or her driver’s license for a period of up to 180 days. Further, the individual charged with the misdemeanor crime may be required to take a 15-hour drug education course. If the individual does not complete the drug education course as required, the driver’s license may be suspended for even longer. The individual’s driving record will be flagged with a note that the course has not been completed until a certificate from the Texas Department of Public Safety has been submitted. Also, if the individual does not complete the course, additional fees may be incurred.

The mandatory drug course covers a number of topics, such as drug laws, the risk of HIV, how drugs work, the identifications of drug usage patterns, and developing a plan to avoid drugs in the future.

These penalties do not only apply to those with driver’s licenses in Texas. If an individual does not have a driver’s license when they are charged with a drug-related offense, that individual may be denied the ability to obtain one for a 180-day period. This is called an Order of Prohibition.

To have a license reinstated, a $100 reinstatement fee must be paid. In addition, proof of insurance must be provided to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. This insurance, which is known as SR-22 insurance, is required for a two-year period, starting with the conviction date. Proof that the drug education class has been completed is also required before a license may be reinstated or issued.

Aside from drug convictions, other types of charges may also result in a suspended license. For example, alcoholic beverage code violations may result in up to a 180-day suspension. This includes showing a fake ID to obtain alcohol or minor in possession or consumption of alcohol.

Additionally, DWI charges, failing or refusing a breath or blood alcohol test, and driving with a suspended license may result in a revocation of a driver’s license.

Other charges that may result in the suspension of driving privileges include

  • Racing
  • Possessing fictitious license places, registration, or inspection stickers
  • Motor vehicle felonies
  • Criminal negligent homicide
  • Providing alcohol to a minor
  • Evading arrest using a vehicle

Several other convictions may also result in the suspension of driving privileges.

Drivers who have commercial driver’s licenses also face serious consequences. If convicted of certain crimes, they may have their commercial driver’s licenses disqualified. For example, alcohol-related offenses may result in a disqualification period of up to three years, depending on the nature of the crime. Using a motor vehicle to commit a felony is an example of a charge that results in a lifetime disqualification of your commercial driver’s license. Since many individuals depend on a commercial driver’s license to earn a living, these consequences can be financially devastating.

If you are facing criminal charges, contact a skilled Denton criminal defense attorney today

Criminal charges should be taken seriously and addressed quickly to ensure your legal rights are protected. Denton attorney Brent D. Bowen is an experienced criminal defense attorney with experience as a prosecutor. To schedule your free consultation with attorney Bowen, call (940) 222-2488 or contact our firm online.