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Houston Driving With Invalid License Attorney

What Does DWLI Mean in Texas?

Driving While License is Invalid (DWLI), or Driving While License Suspended (DWLS), in Texas is a criminal offense. You may reinstate your license one of two ways: pay a reinstatement fee which varies in price depending on the circumstances, or sign an SR-22 with you insurance company.

An SR-22 is a financial responsibility insurance certificate which means you admit to being a high liability driver and your insurance rates will increase. Offenders must pay this additional cost for at least two years following your conviction.

Contact Samuel Gardner, a Houston DWLI attorney if you have been charged. Call (713) 448-0303 to schedule a free consultation.

What Penalties Will I Face for DWLI?

DWLI can be charged as a Class B misdemeanor if the defendant has a previous DWLI, was uninsured when arrested, or if the driver was intoxicated while operating the vehicle. Class B misdemeanors can result in fines up to $2,000 and 180 days in jail. A first time offender of driving with a suspended license is considered a Class C misdemeanor and requires the defendant to pay a fine of $500.

Driving while intoxicated with a suspended license or causing serious bodily harm without insurance coverage is considered a Class A misdemeanor, the penalties of which include a maximum $4,000 fine and a year in jail. Surcharges are often applied to Class A punishments.

In all cases, being charged with a DWLI will likely increase your license suspension time. You are also responsible for paying any fees and additional fines as a result of the conviction (e.g., the cost to tow and store your vehicle after your arrest).

Experienced DWLI Legal Counsel

With a skilled lawyer, the defendant may be able to mount an affirmative defense. Since it’s up to the prosecution to provide the burden of proof, the prosecuting attorney must submit the driving record to the court via arresting officer testimony. Officer testimony often has opportunities to defend against the validity of the prosecution’s case.

If the suspension notice was mailed, the state courts would be forced to subpoena an employee of the DPS to testify that without question the notice was mailed to the defendant. Subpoenas are very expensive and are not typically utilized by prosecuting attorneys in misdemeanor cases.

The defendant may also choose to plead guilty for leniency by the court. A plea agreement may avoid fines and jail time, depending on the circumstances surrounding the revoked license.

Call (713) 448-0303 to review your defense options with knowledgeable Houston DWLI defense attorney Samuel M. Gardner.


Take a look at our results.
  • Dismissed Accused of Assault Bodily Injury
  • Dismissed Accused of Assault Bodily Injury / Injury to Public Servant
  • Jury Trial / Not Guilty Accused of Assault Family Member
  • Jury Trial / Mistrial / Dismissed Accused of Assault Family Member
  • Dismissed Accused of Assault Family Member
  • Jury Trial / Not Guilty Accused of Evading Arrest
  • Jury Trial / Not Guilty Accused of Felony Evading Arrest
  • Dismissed Accused of Forgery Government Financial Instrument
  • Dismissed Accused of Injury to Elderly
  • Dismissed Accused of Possession of a Controlled Substance 28-200g

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