If your driver’s license was suspended or revoked because of a driving while intoxicated (DWI) conviction, because you accumulated too many points on your record, or because you’re past-due on your child support, it’s important that you resist the urge to drive anyways.
We get it – it can be very difficult not to drive. Texas is a BIG place, and we all need to drive to get to work and earn a living, to take our children to school, and to handle basic errands, such as grocery shopping and going to the doctor.
However, if your driver’s license has been suspended or revoked for any reason, you must go through all of the necessary steps to restore your driving privileges before you get behind the wheel. If you drive on an invalid license and you get caught, you could get into a lot of trouble.
Let’s take a look at the legal consequences of driving on a suspended or revoked license in Texas.
Penalties for Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License
Under Section 521.457 of the Texas Transportation Code, it’s against the law to “drive while license invalid.” You commit an offense under Sec. 521.457 if you operate a motor vehicle on a public road and:
- You don’t have a driver’s license
- Your driver’s license has been canceled
- Your license is suspended, or revoked
An offense under this section is either a Class A, B, or C misdemeanor depending on the facts of the case. It is a Class C misdemeanor if it’s the driver’s first offense; a Class C misdemeanor is punishable by a fine not to exceed $500.
The offense is a Class B misdemeanor if the person’s license was suspended for DWI, or if it was their second offense driving on a suspended or revoked license. A Class B misdemeanor is punishable by up to a $2,000 fine and up to 6 months in jail.
It is a Class A misdemeanor if while driving on a suspended or revoked license, the driver caused serious bodily injury or death to another individual. A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to a $4,000 fine and by up to one year in jail.
Note: In Texas, when people drive while their license is cancelled, denied, suspended or revoked, they are subject to an additional license suspension, which is the same length of time as the original suspension period.