In Texas, if your driver’s license gets suspended, you may have the option to apply for an occupational driver’s license (ODL). An ODL is a form of restricted license that allows you to drive only as necessary to (i) go to work, (ii) go to school and perform school-related activities, and (iii) perform essential household duties.
Situations Where You May be Eligible to Apply for an ODL
Obtaining an ODL requires submitting a request to the Justice of the Peace in your local jurisdiction, and then, if the Justice of the Peace determines you are eligible, filing all of the necessary paperwork and dealing with your insurance company. Not all individuals who have their driver’s licenses suspended are able to obtain an ODL. If you receive an occupational driver’s license, you will want to make sure that you guard and protect it so that you can continue to live your life without major interruptions.
You may be eligible to apply for an ODL if your regular driver’s license has been suspended for:
- Driving on an expired license
- Four or more moving violations in any 12-month period
- Refusing to take a breath or blood test after being arrested for DUI
- Unpaid fines (such as for driving without a license or driving without SR-22 insurance after a DUI)
- Certain other specified offenses
What Happens if I Get a Ticket While Driving on an ODL?
If you get pulled over while driving under an occupational driver’s license, you are facing the very real possibility that your license is going to be revoked. Aside from the immediate consequences of not being legally allowed to drive, this can have other serious consequences as well. For example, you will have to go to court on yet another driving-related offense; and, if you want to retain your driving privileges, you will need to convince the judge that you should still be allowed to drive. This can be extremely challenging, and you will most likely want the help of an experienced local defense attorney who can argue the facts and law on your behalf.
Importantly, an ODL cannot substitute for a suspended commercial driver’s license. If you need a commercial driver’s license in order to do your job, you will not be able to work while you are driving on an ODL. If you get pulled over for driving a commercial vehicle on an ODL, not only will you face charges for the traffic violation for which you were originally arrested, but you will also likely face charges for driving on a suspended license.
For More Information, Contact Oberheiden, P.C.
If you are facing possible suspension or revocation of your driver’s license, the criminal defense attorneys at Oberheiden, P.C. are here to help. For a free, no-obligation consultation, please contact us today.