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Occupational Driver’s License

JBABB Criminal Defense Attorneys > Occupational Driver’s License

Insurance, License Reinstatement and Record Cleaning After a DWI

Insurance, License Reinstatement and Record Cleaning After a DWI

Your Criminal Record

 

In the past, a Texas DWI (even a first offense) would stay on your criminal record indefinitely. You would be required to disclose your conviction every time an employer, a landlord or even a lender asks for the rest of your life. With the recent passage of HB 3016, however, certain first-time DWI offenders may petition the court for a Nondisclosure after an applicable waiting period (usually 2-5 years).

 

Petitioning for a Nondisclosure is a complicated legal process, however, especially if the court challenges it, meaning you will need to work with an attorney on this step. And, for at least a few years following your conviction, you must disclose your DWI when asked by employers, lenders, landlords, insurance companies and even some schools.

 

Getting Back on the Road

 

A DWI license suspension will remain on your Texas driving record permanently. Even after you reinstate your license, you will face increased insurance rates for several years.

 

Furthermore, Texas requires proof of financial responsibility following certain convictions or license suspensions, including DWIs. Proof of financial responsibility is better known as an SR-22 filing. SR-22 filings ensure drivers have the minimum level of liability insurance, and you must maintain it for two years following a DWI conviction.

 

While your car insurance carrier may cancel your policy for being a “high-risk” driver, some companies provide SR-22 filings exclusively, allowing you to maintain your current auto insurance policy and meet the Texas Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) SR-22 requirement. The DPS will also charge you an annual surcharge of $1,000 (for a first-time offense) to $2,000 for three years to maintain your license.

 

The bottom line is you should expect to face significant costs if you want to drive again after a DWI conviction. When you calculate the costs of increased insurance rates, the SR-22 filing and the DPS surcharges alone, you can begin to see just how costly moving on from your DWI can be.

 

Fight Your Charges Now, or Deal With the Consequences Later

 

Moving on from a DWI conviction isn’t as simple as you’d think. Unless you want to face the stigma of a DWI conviction for the rest of your life, you will have to head back to court a few years to ask the court to remove it from your record, and the judge could deny your request.

 

You will also face significant ongoing costs just to drive your car, which, for many, is a necessity. You could also face community service, DWI classes, a lengthy license suspension, jail time or even have to install an ignition interlock device in your car.

 

In sum, moving on from a DWI isn’t easy or cheap. Conversely, having an initial discussion about fighting your DWI charges with an attorney is easy and, typically, free. You owe it to yourself to fully explore your options for fighting your charges before you plead guilty. A Dallas-Fort Worth DWI defense attorney can give you the rundown of the potential penalties you could face and outline your options for beating your charges.

 

 If you’re facing DWI/DUI charges and want to fight them in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action so you can avoid the lasting negative consequences of a conviction. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

 

Ignition Interlock Devices: Inconvenience and Invasion

Ignition Interlock Devices: Inconvenience and Invasion

An Inconvenient Consequence

 

License suspensions are an unavoidable reality for all those with Texas DWI convictions. Perhaps the most life-altering consequence of a DWI, a license suspension can make it difficult if not impossible to get to work or school or take care of your family. Even when you reinstate your license after your suspension, the judge could order you to install an ignition interlock device in your car.

 

The Ins and Outs of IIDs

 

Ignition interlock devices (IIDs) are inconvenient and highly invasive. They work essentially as a breathalyzer, which is wired into the car’s ignition system. The motorist must blow into the device, and if there are any traces of alcohol on his or her breath, the device will prevent the ignition from firing. Defendants will typically be required to install an IID in every vehicle they own for one year following the initial license suspension.

 

Most first-time offenders will escape the ignition interlock requirement unless their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was .15% or higher or they caused an accident, or injured or killed someone. Judges are more liberal with this specific penalty, however, when sentencing defendants with prior DWIs on their record, particularly if they have prior DWI convictions with high BACs.

 

Earning a Second Chance

 

First-time DWI offenders may be given an incentive; if they install and successfully use an IID in their car for six months, they can petition the court for a Nondisclosure. Nondisclosures effectively remove the conviction from your record. This is touted as a “second chance” for first-time DWI offenders who have a BAC of .08%-.14% and do not cause property damage or injure or kill anyone.

 

IIDs have proven to be effective in reducing DWI recidivism, which is an ongoing battle Texas law enforcement face. But they come at a significant cost in terms of money and time for defendants. Even with the new incentive for first-time DWI offenders, we still urge those facing DWI charges to speak with a DWI defense attorney prior to pleading.

 

You may think because an IID will allow you to petition for a Nondisclosure after six months that pleading guilty is your best option. In reality, the costs associated with a DWI, including court-mandated fines, increased insurance rates and numerous fees and surcharges to keep your license, are not worth it. It’s best to speak with a Dallas DWI defense attorney about your options before consigning yourself to six months or more of invasive monitoring.

 

If you’re facing charges for DWI/DUI in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action to fight your charges. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

Occupational Driver’s License: Drive Legally When Your License Is Suspended

Occupational Driver’s License: Drive Legally When Your License Is Suspended

The Step to Save Your License

 

If your license is suspended, it can be difficult to meet your daily responsibilities. You may need a license to drive to work, school or carry out essential household duties. Fortunately, the State of Texas allows people with suspended licenses to obtain an occupational driver’s license under certain circumstances.

 

An occupational driver’s license is a restricted driver’s license that allows you to perform essential functions. Typically, allowable uses include driving to work, school, and the grocery store or to medical providers. An occupational driver’s licenses (ODL) can help you if your license was suspended. But there are limitations to the benefits, so here are some important things you should keep in mind.

 

A Look at Occupational Driver’s Licenses

 

ODLs can be a lifesaver when your license is suspended, but you need to get to work or school. We can obtain an ODL that allows for the operation of a vehicle for up to 12 hours (actual driving time) during any 24-hour period.

 

You cannot drive a commercial vehicle with an ODL. You may use your ODL to drive to your place of employment, but you cannot drive a commercial vehicle. Commercial drivers who are facing license suspensions should speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss their options.

 

To obtain an ODL, you have to submit proof of financial responsibility to the Texas Department of Public Safety. This is also called an SR-22 filing. We recommend that our clients use a specific company for SR-22 insurance, Accurate Concept Insurance Agency. They have a method that permits the issuance of SR-22 insurance without your current insurance company raising its rates. It’s a no-brainer!

 

You will have to petition the court for your ODL, which can then be issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety.

 

Obtaining Your ODL

 

Although the entire process involves several steps and can take weeks, we generally can obtain one in a matter of a few days, and sometimes we can get it by the next day. If you are in a hurry to get an ODL so you can resume your daily activities, speak with an experienced Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney. Find one with experience handling driver’s license matters such as occupational driver’s licenses. An attorney can tell you whether or not you are eligible for an ODL.

 

 

If you need criminal defense help in Dallas-Fort Worth, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email clients@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.