CDL Defense Details
CDL Revocation, Suspension and Disqualification Procedure and Possible Punishments
All Texas driver licenses are issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (“TxDPS”). This government agency has the power to authorize and issue all driver licenses, including CDL’s. Conversely, TxDPS also the power to take away driving privileges, including revoking, suspending or disqualifying all Texas driver licenses and to prohibit anyone from driving in Texas, even those who don’t have a Texas driver's license.
There are 3 types of driving privilege removals for CDL drivers in Texas, but the procedure for all is the same. For a full discussion of the 3 types of CDL removals, click the link below.
All TxDPS actions to remove your driving privileges begin with reports to TxDPS that you have committed certain violations, that, if true, are cause for a loss of driving privileges. Upon receiving such information, TxDPS, must, by law, mail you a letter notifying you of their action. The letter is mailed to the last address that it has on file for you. From the date of the letter, you have 20 days within which to request a hearing of the matter. You may, and should, immediately request a hearing of the matter. Failure to request a hearing within 20 days from the date of that notice letter will result in a revocation, suspension or disqualification of your CDL.
Importantly, timely requesting a hearing “stays,” or stops the removal of your driving privileges until the matter is heard by the court. So, if you receive a letter from TxDPS informing you that they are attempting to revoke, suspend or disqualify your CDL, and you timely request a hearing, your CDL remains valid and legal, and you can continue to legally drive for pay.
If you timely request a hearing, your case will be assigned to one of the Justice of the Peace Courts in the county of your residence. The Court and/or TxDPS will send you a notice of the date, time, and location of the hearing. You must appear for the hearing. Failing to appear for the hearing will result in a loss of your driving privileges. Your case will be heard by the judge of the court. TxDPS will be represented in court by one of its’ designated representatives, who will present the Departments case against you to the judge. Their case will include the petition that they filed, along with any evidence, including your driving record and any records of the specific charges against you. After the TxDPS representative finishes presenting their case, you will be given an opportunity to present evidence and make arguments.
At the conclusion of the presentation of evidence and arguments, the judge will make a decision in the form of an “Affirmative” finding or a “Negative” finding. If the finding is “Negative,” you won! With an “Affirmative” finding, you lost and you may lose your driving privileges. If it is a “suspension” that is sought by TxDPS, the judge may “probate” the suspension, which allows you to continue to drive for pay during the probation period. With a revocation and/or a disqualification, the judge can NOT probate the loss of your driving privileges. There is no time limit on a revocation, since it can possibly be cured by the driver license holder. The length of a suspension or disqualification depends on the underlying violations. The Texas Transportation Code provides judges with broad discretion regarding suspension periods, including time periods up to 2 years. For CDL disqualifications the time periods for loss of driving privileges includes, - 60 days, 120 days, one year, three years, or lifetime. Loss of driving privileges, in the event of an Affirmative Finding, begin on the 11th day after the hearing, unless probated in the case of suspension. For a complete list of the violations causing revocations, suspensions and disqualifications, and the time periods, click the link below.
Just because you get a TxDPS letter notifying you of a revocation, suspension or disqualification, it doesn’t mean they will win or that you can’t continue to drive - You can fight and win!
Your CDL license can be revoked, suspended or disqualified for a multitude of reasons. The TxDPS letter you receive, notifying you of the Department's action against you, will normally inform you of what they claim you did to justify the loss of driving privileges. But, even if you did exactly what TXDPS says you did, you can still fight them in court; … and you can win! After receiving a TxDPS suspension letter, do not sit back and do nothing. That will guarantee a loss of your driving privileges. Take positive action. Your first order of business should be to call us to successfully defend you against these charges. We take the fight to them, using every possible avenue to stop the Department’s actions, including challenges to jurisdiction, procedure, evidence, and the substantive law. Our strategies have proven successful in the overwhelming majority of our cases. Let us put those strategies to work for you!
CDL Revocation, Suspension or Disqualification
In addition to defending you for your CDL violations, we can also defend your CDL itself in any revocation, suspension or disqualification action almost anywhere in the State of Texas. For further information, see the pages linked below.
For information about defending your CDL Violations, also see Our CDL Violations Practice.