Need an Occupational License? A Sullo & Sullo Houston DWI Attorney Can Help.
Your ALR Hearing Texas - Before you can even think about an Occupational License in Texas, you have 15 days from the date of the notice of suspension (provided to you by the arresting police officer) to request an Administrative License Revocation Hearing to contest your suspension. If you do not take immediate action and the 15 days passes, your Texas driver’s license is automatically suspended and you will not be allowed to contest the suspension.
If your Breathalyzer Test results were 0.08 percent or above, your driver’s license will likely be suspended for 90 days, or if you refuse a Breathalyzer Test, that suspension will increase to 180 days. Refusing a Breathalyzer Test with a subsequent Blood Alcohol Test which reveals a BAC above 0.08 percent could result in an even lengthier driver’s license suspension. You must immediately hire a Houston DWI Attorney following your Harris County Arrest for DWI in order to request an ALR Hearing in Texas as well as an Occupational License in Texas.
What is an Occupational Driver’s License-Texas? - An Occupational Driver’s License—also known as an essential need license—is a special restricted license which you may be eligible for following a DWI in Texas, however it is a sure bet you will have an easier time obtaining the occupational license if you have a Houston DWI Lawyer on your side. An Occupational License in Texas could be issued to you when your own license has been suspended, denied, or revoked for specific offenses such as a DWI in Texas First Offense. Even if your license suspension was the result of a surcharge assessment, you could still potentially qualify for an Occupational License in Texas.
An Occupational License in Texas authorizes you to operate a non-commercial vehicle in one or more of the following situations:
- The performance of essential household errands;
- School-related activities, or
If you were arrested on charges of DWI in Texas First Offense, you may be confused about whether you will lose your driver’s license or not, and may be unsure of what an ALR hearing consists of. Following your Harris County Arrest, your primary goal will likely be to avoid Harris County Criminal Records and Harris County Jail. Having a well qualified Houston DWI Attorney who can potentially negotiate with the Harris County District Attorney can truly make a huge difference in the outcome of your DWI in Texas charges.
Are You Eligible for an Occupational Driver’s License-Texas? First and foremost, keep in mind that an Occupational Driver’s License-Texas is available only for non-commercial use. In other words, if you are facing the loss of your CDL license, you are not eligible to secure an Occupational License-Texas to allow you to continue to drive commercially. So long as your Texas driver’s license was not suspended, denied, cancelled or revoked due to medical reasons or delinquent child support—or certain other Texas state laws—you could be eligible for an Occupational Driver’s License-Texas, particularly following a DWI in Texas First Offense. If you are seeking an Occupational License-Texas following the suspension of your license after a Harris County Arrest for DWI in Texas, you may be subject to the following waiting periods:
- If your driver’s license was previously suspended in a DWI in Texas/DUI in Texas-related offense, you could be required to wait 90 days before receiving an Occupational Driver’s License-Texas.
- If your driver’s license had already been suspended as a result of a DWI in Texas/DUI in Texas conviction at the time of the second conviction, you could be required to wait 180 days prior to receiving an Occupational Driver’s License-Texas.
- Finally, if you have at least two administrative license revocations on your record, you could be required to wait a full year prior to receiving an Occupational Driver’s License-Texas.
The Process of Requesting an Occupational License-Texas - Having an experienced Houston DWI Lawyer by your side can make the process of applying for an Occupational License-Texas much easier, and will likely end in a better resolution as well. You must apply to the district or county court where you live or to the court of original jurisdiction where your offense occurred. Once your application is received, it will be determined whether you are, in fact, eligible for an Occupational License-Texas.
If you are eligible, a court order will be issued; this court order will be required to submit an application to the Texas Department of Public Safety, authorizing that body to issue your occupational license. In other words, after you receive the court order, you must still complete the process through DPS—the court order is NOT your Occupational License (although it can be used as your Occupational License for up to 30 days from the time the judge signs the order until DPS has issued your Occupational License-Texas).
Once you have received the court order, you must submit that order plus the following to DPS:
- A certified copy of the petition (if you are participating in a special drug court program, you will not require this);
- The fee for your occupational license;
- A signed verification form;
- A letter from your employer on his or her letterhead stating your position and the hours you must drive for employment reasons (IF your employer is aware of your situation and you are required to drive as a condition of your employment);
- A letter from you which states the reasons you are petitioning for an occupational driver’s license (i.e., to get to and from work, to get to and from school, to run specific, necessary errands) and your “preferred” driving times, which cannot exceed 12 hours (i.e., from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.);
- The fees for reinstatement, and
- A Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate (SR-22) which shows you are properly insured to drive.
SR-22 and Surcharge Fees for an Occupational License-Texas
You will include your full name, date of birth and DL number on every document submitted. You can expect the process to take at least 21 days from the time all your documentation is properly submitted. You will obtain your SR-22 from your insurance carrier. Your insurance carrier will automatically notify the Texas Department of Public Safety should your certificate lapse, be cancelled or be terminated for any reason. Your reinstatement fees are dependent, to some degree, on your specific circumstances and on your age.
Regardless of your circumstances or age, you will pay a $125 reinstatement fee for either failing a chemical test or a chemical test refusal. You could also pay annual surcharges which range from $1,000-$2,000 for a period of three years. These annual surcharges are for the Driver Responsibility Program. An Occupational License-Texas is typically issued for one year or less, although it could be issued for up to two years. Assuming all goes well and you are issued an occupational driver’s license Texas following a DWI in Texas First Offense, remember you are only permitted to operate a vehicle within the terms of the court order, and you must always keep this court order in the vehicle with you.
Getting the Help You Need Following Your DWI in Texas First Offense - It is imperative that you seek the services of a Houston Criminal Defense Attorney who offers Houston Criminal Lawyer Free Consultations. The Houston Criminal Lawyers at Sullo & Sullo are Houston Criminal Defense Lawyers with Payment Plans. Our Houston Criminal Attorneys will work hard to help you avoid Harris County Criminal Records or ending up in Harris County Jail. It could be beneficial to contact an experienced Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer today.