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AttyDort, Trial Attorney
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 96
Experience:  14yrs Exp in all major CA crim/traffic courts.
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My son received a DWI approximately 2 years ago in Texas. He

Customer Question

My son received a DWI approximately 2 years ago in Texas. He recently has been working with DPS to rectify his monthly DWI surcharges. His SR-22 and insurance is up to date and he filed for reinstatement of his licence Before all that could be rectified, he had to pay an outstanding speeding ticket to get his licence reinstated. They sent a letter today stating that his licence would be suspended for another year because they found he was given the speeding ticket a year ago while his licence was suspended. The officer never indicated this a year ago and the fact that the proposed suspension is well a year after the event does not seem right. He has requested a hearing with a local court. What are his options?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Traffic Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Unfortunately, the license suspension by DMV does not have a statute of limitations. If they find a person was driving on a suspended license when they were supposed to not be on the road, this is basis for them to extend the suspension on the license for driving while suspended. This is an administrative action, not a criminal action, and is out of the hands of the court. Your son's only recourse is filing an administrative appeal with Texas DMV and make his case for them at least reducing his suspension based on his substantial compliance. He is going to have to give some good cause reason for why he was violating the law by driving while his license was suspended to try to convince the administrating hearing officer to at least be lenient and perhaps reduce the new suspension or at least get an occupational (hardship license to allow him to go to and from work). That is his only realistic recourse.
Expert:  AttyDort replied 2 years ago.

In most states a driver can challenge a drivers license suspension by court or administrative hearing. It sounds like that is what he has coming up. In nearly all jurisdictions, a lack of actual knowledge of a suspension is a legitimate defense. When I handle these cases (in CA only) that is my favorite issue. Not sure if it applies. My tip would be to hire a defense attorney to represent him at the hearing. Try to win.

It does not matter whether or not the officer noticed the drivers license was suspended. The officer may have actually been "missing" that fact to give him a break and to avoid impounding another car and arresting another person.