Driving With License Suspended / Invalid - DWLS / DWLI

Our office has helped people in need of a Dallas Suspended License Attorney since 1998.  Contact us for a telephone consultation to see if we can help you with your license issue. 

If your license is suspended and you live in Dallas County, we can help you get an Occupational License if you qualify. Call for a consultation to set the appointment and get your Occupational License .

Driving with your license suspended or invalid: (also known as DWLI or DWLS) is a Class B Misdemeanor.    Driving with License Invalid or Suspended is covered by section 521.457 of the Texas Transportation Code. The punishment is $100-$500. Confinement in jail from 72 hours to six months. If any prior convictions then the offense is a Class A misdemeanor.


Why you want to fight your charge:  You do NOT want to just accept a conviction for Driving with your license suspended or invalid.  In addition to the period of jail time or probation you will be placed on, you will also have your license suspended again for the conviction on the DWLS / DWLI.  In addition, the State of Texas will assess another surcharge against your license, forcing you to pay additional money to keep your license. 


A lawyer can help you navigate the legal system to avoid a conviction, and avoid all the negative consequences a DWLS / DWLI conviction bring with them.  The Law Office of Doug Goyen has been handling these types of cases in Dallas County for over a decade, and knows how the courts handle such charges, and how to fight these charges. 



The statute has the following relevant sections, they are:

a)      Offenses: A person commits an offense if you operate a vehicle on a public road and . . . 1) that person’s license is canceled, 2) that person’s license has been suspended, 3) that person’s license expired during a suspension period, 4) that person’s license has been denied and no subsequent license has been issued.

b)      Violating Order: If the person is subject to an order under any law in Texas that prohibits them from obtaining a driver’s license, and they then operate a motor vehicle on a highway.

c)      Notice:  No defense if you didn’t receive notice of the suspension if you were convicted of DWI or other named offenses where your license is automatically suspended – list of these offenses is in Transportation Code 521.341. 

d)     Defense:  Other than Section C above – it is an affirmative defense if you did not actually receive notice of the suspension, cancelation, revocation, or prohibition.  BUT, actual notice is PRESUMED if the state mailed you your notice in accordance with the law (to your last address listed on your drivers license). 

e)      Punishment:  1) $100-$500 fine, and 2) 72 hours confinement to 180 days in jail. 

f)       Enhancement of Charge:  If you have a previous conviction, the charge is upped to a Class A misdemeanor.  (Class A misdemeanors have a punishment range of up to $4000 and up to a year in jail). 

If you don’t know why your license was suspended in the first place, contact the Texas DPS to verify why.  Your attorney can help you in getting the information you need to get your license reinstated. 


Reasons for suspensions:  There are many reasons a license can be suspended in Texas.  The following is a list of some of the most common reasons:


Reasons your license may be suspended in Texas (see Texas Transportation Code 521.291 – 461): 


1)      Failure to take care of traffic violations or citations (you have warrants out).

2)      DWI’s (convictions, breath and blood test refusals, breath and blood test failures)

3)      Drug Offenses

4)      Habitual Traffic Offenders – four or more moving violations in one year, or seven in two years.

5)      No Insurance Tickets

6)      Not paying surcharges

7)      Automobile accident judgment (where you didn’t have insurance cover the accident)

8)      Criminally negligent homicide while driving a vehicle

9)      Fleeing the police in a vehicle

10)  Leaving the scene of an accident with injury or death

11)  Criminal mischief

12)  Not paying child support

13)  Driving with your license suspended (causes an additional suspension)

14)  Habitually reckless or negligent operation of a motor vehicle

15)  Fraudulent use of your driver’s license

16)  Violation of a restriction endorsement on your license

17)  Has been responsible as a driver for any accident causing serious injury or serious property damage

18)  Has a provisional license under 521.123 and convicted of two or more moving violations in a year – or fleeing from an officer.

19)  Incapacity due to medical or mental reasons (including drug / alcohol dependency issues)

20)  Intoxication Assault (causing an injury in an accident while intoxicated).

21)  Sex Offenders who have not registered

22)  Taking fuel without payment

23)  Racing on a public highway

24)  Employment of an unlicensed driver

25)  Renting a vehicle to an unlicensed driver

If you find out early enough, you can request an ALR Hearing to dispute your suspended license. (See section on ALR Hearings).

If you cannot fight the suspension, you can obtain an Occupational License (see Occupational License section to see if you qualify).