Anderson Injury Lawyers | December 5, 2022 | Car Accidents
In the State of Texas, it is illegal to drive without a license on your person. If you are stopped by law enforcement and cannot produce a valid driver’s license because you don’t have it with you, the officer will likely give you a ticket.
However, there’s no need to panic. You can usually avoid any penalties by going to the courthouse and providing proof of your license, though you may be charged a $10 dismissal fee. In some cases, the officer may choose to let you off with a warning. This is generally at the officer’s discretion.
This offense isn’t considered particularly serious, but driving without an issued, valid license can bring significant penalties.
Driving Without a Valid License in Dallas, Texas
If you are caught driving without a valid license in Texas, you may be facing some serious penalties. Depending on the situation, you could be fined, have your vehicle impounded, or even be sent to jail.
For your first offense, you will face a fine of up to $200. If you’re caught driving without a license for a second time within that year, you will face up to a $200 fine and misdemeanor charges.
If you’re caught driving without a license on your person a third time within that year, you can be fined up to $200 and sentenced to jail for a period of 3 days up to 6 months.
Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License in Dallas, Texas
A first offense of driving with an invalid license in Texas is a Class C misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine of up to $500 and an additional charge of $250 per year for three years. Your license will be suspended for an additional period as well.
If you’re caught driving with a suspended or revoked license a second time, you will be charged with a Class B misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000.
If you are driving on a suspended or revoked license, you don’t have car insurance, and you cause a motor vehicle accident that resulted in serious bodily injury to another person, you will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor This is punishable by a fine of up to $4,000 and one year in jail. Additionally, your driver’s license will be suspended for a further period of time.
Also, consider that the police won’t let you just drive off and go home if you don’t have a valid driver’s license. They will almost certainly tow your car, and you will be responsible for the towing fees and any storage charges from the tow yard.
If you wish to reinstate your license once your suspension period is over, you are required to obtain a Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate (SR-22), pay a $100 reinstatement fee, and pay any other outstanding fees.
Civil Liability While Driving on a Suspended License or Without a License
If you’re in a car accident while driving on a suspended license or without a license, this won’t automatically make you liable for civil penalties. However, if the other party in the accident sues you for damages, they could use this fact against you to make you seem like a less reliable witness in court. Ultimately, it is up to the judge or jury to decide who was at fault for the accident
What To Do if You Are Caught Driving Without a License in Texas
If you are pulled over for driving without a license on your person, the first thing you should do is remain calm and be respectful to the officer. Do not try to talk your way out of the situation or argue with the officer. Instead, simply hand over your registration and proof of insurance.
You should then contact an experienced Dallas car accident attorney right away who can help you understand the charges against you and defend your rights.