After a DWI accident, you should expect that the length of your driver’s license suspension will depend upon the facts of your case, including whether you are being charged with a first-time offense or a subsequent offense, and whether there are any enhanced offenses or penalties associated with the DWI accident.
Our team of Houston DWI accident defense lawyers can provide you with more information about DWI accident license suspensions and the steps you will need to take in order to have your driver’s license reinstated after a DWI accident conviction.
Understanding the License Suspension Penalties for a DWI Accident
To have your license reinstated, you will need to understand the length of your license suspension. DWI accidents can vary widely in terms of their severity. In some cases, a DWI accident will be a single-vehicle accident that occurs at relatively low speeds with no or minimal property damage and no injuries.
In other circumstances, a DWI accident can involve another motor vehicle or a pedestrian, and it can result in substantial property damage and significant bodily injuries. In the latter type of circumstance, the person facing DWI charges is likely to face enhanced offenses and penalties in addition to the DWI charge.
What are the penalties for a regular DWI conviction when it comes to license suspension? Beyond the possible penalties of jail time and monetary fines, a first-offense DWI results in a license suspension of anywhere from 90 days to 1 year.
For a second or subsequent offense, your license can be suspended for up to 2 years. In general, a DWI accident that involves only property damage and no bodily injuries will likely result in additional charges of reckless damage or criminal mischief, but the license suspension period may not increase.
However, “enhanced” offenses and penalties occur when someone sustains serious bodily injury in a DWI accident (intoxication assault) or is killed (intoxication manslaughter). With enhanced offenses and penalties, even if you are facing a first-time offense, your license can be suspended for up to 2 years under Texas law.
Steps for Reinstating Your License
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) outlines the specific steps you will need to take in order to have your license reinstated after a DWI accident:
- Confirm the date that your license is eligible to be reinstated, and confirm the compliance items and reinstatement fees you will need to submit;
- Pay your reinstatement fees through the DPS license eligibility website; and
- Submit all compliance documentation that is required for your case, and which may include, for example, evidence of completion of an Alcohol Education Program, a Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate (SR-22) from your auto insurance company, and installation of an ignition interlock device on your motor vehicle.
A Houston DWI accident lawyer can work with you on your case to help you understand the suspension period you are facing and to ensure that you provide all necessary materials in order to have your license reinstated in a timely manner.
Contact a Houston DWI Accident Defense Lawyer
Many Texas motorists who are involved in DWI accidents can be eligible to have their driver’s licenses reinstated. One of our Texas DWI accident defense lawyers can speak with you today about your circumstances. Contact The Law Office of Tad Nelson & Associates today for more information.