Stephen H.: Hello, I’m Stephen Hamilton, board certified criminal defense attorney practicing in Lubbock, Texas and the South Plains area. Today’s video clip deals with your driver’s license. What happens if you lose the driver’s license hearing or you didn’t request one within 15 days after you are arrested for a DWI? The hearing is whether or not your driver’s license is going to be suspended. But let’s say we have the driver’s license hearing and we lose and the administrative judge that’s handling that suspend your driver’s license. What do you do then? One of the first things that we have to work on if you’re eligible is what is called an occupational or an essential needs license. Now, it’s not a license to do everything, but it will give you certain times of the day, certain hours to drive, typically in certain areas.
Stephen H.: The law, at least as of March of 2011, says that if you’re eligible for an occupational license, you can drive up to 12 hours a day. A lot of times, we’re going to structure it, for example, 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Then we have to reach an agreement with the district attorney’s office that’s handling the drivers license as to what counters you can drive in. Sometimes we can get the entire state of Texas. Sometimes we’re restricted to the counties that we live in, Lubbock, Hockley County, those types of areas.
Stephen H.: There are reasons for their variations. Do you have a job that requires you to drive all the time? Are you on call? Should we look at what we call a driver’s log? Maybe you don’t have the job that you work eight to five, maybe you work eight to three and then you’re on call and you got to work split shifts. Those are all the things that we have to start working on to structure your occupational license.
Stephen H.: Sometimes there’s a period of waiting, especially if it’s a second DWI that we may not be able to get the occupational license immediately. Then we have to have some documentation from DPS that takes several weeks to get in. That’s why it’s really important if you’ve been arrested for a DWI that you call me. Come in and see me as soon as you can so we can start preparing the paperwork, working through the things we’re going to need to get you this occupational driver’s license.
Stephen H.: One of the worst things you can do if you have a DWI is being out there driving on a suspended license, because if you’re caught, they’ll take you to jail. If you want to talk to me about the occupational license, please give me a call to office. My office number is area code (806) 794-0394. Come in and save me. That’s it. I’m Stephen Hamilton. Have a great day today.