Dallas County, TX Traffic Tickets
Dallas County Occupational Driver License (ODL) Lawyer
Is your driver’s license suspended and you think that you simply can’t legally drive? Think again! The Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) authorizes several different types of driver licenses, including an Occupation driver license (ODL), or temporary driver license. An ODL, authorizes you to drive legally, even while your driver’s license is suspended.
With the help of a Dallas County Occupational Driver License (ODL) lawyer like Todd E. Tkach, P.C. we can try to get an ODL for you so you can retain some driving privileges!
The purpose of an Occupational driver license is to allow a person, whose driver’s license has been suspended, to continue to legally drive for the purpose of “essential needs.” This includes driving for the purposes of work, household duties, school, and church services. Although ODL driving privileges are restricted by time and geographical area, it gets you on the road ... Legally!
The process to get an ODL is not easy, and not all people qualify. So, call attorney Todd E. Tkach today to see if you qualify for an ODL and to start the process of getting you back on the road legally.
Keeping You Driving ... Legally!
Driving legally in Texas is a privilege, not a right. But, for most people, driving is necessary in order to get to work, take care of children, and run a household. Completing basic household duties would be extremely difficult without the ability to legally drive. To make matters worse, the criminal penalties for driving without a valid driver’s license are severe. A first conviction leads to surcharges imposed by the Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) in the amount of $750.00. A second conviction for driving with an invalid driver’s license allows the State to file a charge against you as a Class B Misdemeanor, which carries a punishment ranging up to 6 months in the County Jail and/or up to a $2,000.00 fine.
The law authorizing Occupational Driver Licenses is an attempt to reconcile the loss of necessary driving privileges with the severe punishment for driving illegally.
Who Qualifies for an Occupational Driver License?
Occupational Driver Licenses are not uncommon but require proof of certain criteria to obtain. Who qualifies for an Occupational Driver License?
First, you must have held a valid Texas Driver License that was suspended. If you never had a Texas Driver License, you can’t get an Occupational Driver License.
Second, you can’t get an Occupational Driver License is your license was “revoked.” “Revoked” is very different than “suspended.” Revoked means that your driver license was taken from you for a specific reason, such as you are not medically fit to drive, you failed a required DPS exam, or you owe child support. With these conditions, you cannot hold a driver license or an Occupational Driver License until the problem causing the revocation is cured.
Third, you can’t get an Occupational Driver License if you have obtained 2 prior Occupational Driver Licenses in the past 10 years after convictions mandating the suspension of your driver license.
Fourth, you must otherwise qualify for an Occupational Driver License, but for the reason for the suspension.
If you are not excluded by the 4 criteria above, you may petition the court for an Occupational Driver License. You must present to the court proof that you have an “essential need” to drive a motor vehicle. “Essential need” means that you need to drive for work, school or to perform essential household duties.
If you prove an “essential need,” the court may order an Occupational Driver License be issued to you. As stated before, an Occupational Driver License is restricted. The law restricts driving to no more than 4 hours in any 24-hour period, except that on a showing of “necessity” the court may allow you to drive for any period determined by the court that does not exceed 12 hours in any 24-hour period. Additionally, you must identify the counties in which the essential need exists, and you are limited to driving in those counties only.
When can you petition for an Occupational Driver License? For most people, a petition for an Occupational Driver License may be filed immediately after a driver license suspension. However, there are waiting periods under certain circumstances, as follows:
- If your driver license has been suspended in the last 5 years because of a drug or alcohol related enforcement (i.e. you refused to take a breath test), there is a 91-day waiting period;
- If your driver license has been suspended in the last 5 years because of 1 conviction for DWI, Intoxication Assault, or Intoxication Manslaughter, there is a 181-day waiting period; and
- If your driver license has been suspended in the last 5 years because of 2 or more convictions for DWI, Intoxication Assault, or Intoxication Manslaughter, there is a 1 year waiting period.
However, these waiting periods can be waived by the Judge with proof that you have installed an ignition interlock system on your vehicle.
Occupational Driver Licenses are valid for up to 2 years. However, if you are successful with obtaining an order from a court for an Occupational Driver License, you may only legally drive for 45 days, unless and until you file all of the necessary papers with DPS and pay a driver license reinstatement fee and an Occupational Driver License fee. Additionally, any time you drive, you must carry with you, not only the Occupational Driver License issued to you by DPS, but the Order for Occupational Driver License issued by the court. Failure to do either is a Class B misdemeanor.
If your driver license has been suspended, but you need to drive, call us as soon as possible. With the help of a Dallas County Occupational Driver License (ODL) lawyer like Todd E. Tkach, P.C. you are much more likely to get an ODL. There are many hoops to jump through and hurdles to overcome to get an Occupational Driver License. We know the substantive laws, the procedure and how to complete the necessary paperwork to obtain an Occupational Driver License. Don’t go-it-alone! Call us now to talk with one of our representatives about getting your Occupational Driver’s License today!
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