Tex. Trans. Code § 521.457 provides that persons commit the offense of driving with an invalid license if they operate a motor vehicle on a highway after:
· Their licenses have been cancelled
· Their licenses have been revoked or suspended
· Their licenses have expired during a period of suspension
· Their application to renew their license has been denied
A first-time driving with an invalid license offense is a Class C misdemeanor under Texas law. Conviction on a Class C misdemeanor will not result in incarceration, but it can result in a fine of up to $500. The individual also could face an additional suspension period for his or her driving privileges, for up to the same period of time as the original suspension.
If, however, an individual has a previous conviction for driving with an invalid license, a previous conviction for driving without the required liability motor vehicle insurance, or a previous conviction for an offense involving operating while intoxicated, then the offense may be a Class B misdemeanor. The penalties for a Class B misdemeanor include a fine of up to $2,000, a jail sentence of up to 180 days, or both. Likewise, a conviction in this situation can result in an additional license suspension period.
Finally, it is a Class A misdemeanor if an individual was operating a motor vehicle without insurance and caused or was at fault for causing an accident that resulted in serious bodily injury or death to another. A Class A misdemeanor may result in a fine of up to $4,000, a jail sentence of up to one year, or both, as well as an additional license suspension period.
Following any additional periods of suspension, individuals must pay any required reinstatement fees in order to reinstate their licenses. They also must provide a Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate (SR-22) from an authorized insurance company and submit it to the Texas Department of Public Safety. Individuals in this situation must keep this insurance coverage in effect for a two-year period.
If you or a family member is facing any type of criminal charges, we may be able to help. As experienced Texas criminal defense attorneys, we have the knowledge needed to help you navigate through often-complex criminal proceedings. Call us today at (512) 474-4445 and schedule an appointment with one of our criminal defense lawyers and learn how we can assist you.