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  • Writer's pictureJustin Sparks

What Happens When You Get a DUI Without a License | Sparks Law Firm

Most will find that laws in Texas are fairly cut and dry when it comes to both having a driver's license and driving under the influence. Drivers are required to know these laws, their associated penalties, and what it means for those who end up in the scenario being addressed.

Receiving a DUI conviction is an unfortunate experience for any driver in Fort Worth, but receiving one without having a valid driver's license or a suspended license is even more unfortunate. In cases where both have occurred, an individual will typically face two separate charges - a charge for unlicensed driving and a DUI charge. As such, there is a lot of trauma involved with breaking the law under these offenses. Unlicensed drivers may seek a free case evaluation from a qualified attorney to solve these issues.

Unlicensed Driving and DUI Charges

Unlicensed Driving and DUI Charges

Drivers with a DUI arrest for unlicensed driving and DUI charges can expect penalties from each of these charges. In Texas, DUI penalties will remain unchanged, regardless of if it was an unlicensed driver. However, the penalties inflicted upon those for driving without a license will depend on why they were driving without their valid license.

Normal DUI Penalties

DUI penalties will typically depend on the number of DUI convictions a driver has had in the past and if the offense had aggravating factors, such as:

  • A high blood alcohol concentration

  • If the vehicle had minors

  • Any resulting injuries and accidents

What Are the Fees for a First-Time Offender?

A first-time offense when a DUI is involved often comes with quite a hefty price tag. If no property damage or other severe result occurred, baseline expenses will most likely include:

  • Impound fees

  • Revoked driver's license

  • Towing fees

  • Bail

  • Court costs

  • Defense attorney fees

  • Fines

  • Treatment programs

  • License reinstatement fees

  • Insurance increases

The baseline expenses that result from a reckless night around Fort Worth can easily cost as much as $16 000 or more, and that is just for those who happen to have been caught driving with a high blood alcohol content (BAC).

What Are the Consequences Beyond Financial Penalties?

With the financial consequences sounding bad enough as it is, there may still be other consequences that a driver will face for putting themselves and others at risk. Here, the person will need the help of DUI defense attorneys.

Responsibility for Death and Damage

Those that drink and drive put lives at risk. Not only can driving drunk result in substantial property damage from behind the wheel, but it can also kill someone if there happens to be a car accident while the person is intoxicated.

The above may leave a person facing the following penalties:

  • Second-degree felony

  • Jail time of 20 years

  • $10,000 in fines

Ignition Interlock Installation

Texas law does not tread lightly on drunk drivers, even first-time offenders. One of the mandates for a first-time DUI conviction is to install an ignition interlock device in the defendant's vehicle. Not only does this severely impede how a vehicle functions, but it will also cost money to install.

An ignition interlock device is a device designed to record a person's current blood alcohol levels every time they attempt to start their vehicle. If it is over a set limit, their vehicle will not be going anywhere.

Suspended Driving Privileges

First-time offenses also include suspended driving privileges. If a person is charged with driving under the influence, this can leave them without a legal driver's license for as long as a year, after their first offense. This can even happen for those who have legally refused to take a breathalyzer test during the sobriety check.

Not only does it cost money to reinstate a license, but finding ways to get around Fort Worth may quickly begin to affect the finances of those convicted.

Unlicensed Driving Penalties

Unlicensed Driving Penalties

Never Issued or Expired

Anyone that has obtained a driver's license should know that it is illegal to operate a vehicle without one. Unfortunately, this does not stop people from breaking the law.

With that being said, the consequences of driving without a license or an expired license are usually far less severe than the penalties for driving under the influence, and in most cases, unlicensed driving will only carry the penalty of a fine.

In Fort Worth, residents that are caught driving without a valid license for the first time can face a fine of up to $200. Those caught violating the law for a second time within the same year can face an additional fine ranging from $25 to $200 for a misdemeanor.

However, for those found in violation of the law for a third time within a year, they may now be charged with both a fine and the possibility of jail time, ranging anywhere from 72 hours up to six months.

Those that have ended up injuring or killing someone as a result of an accident while driving without a license will face penalties that are a lot more costly and steep than what was mentioned above. The risk is just not worth the price a person pays.

Not On Person

Life may get the better of people, and they can end up running out the door with everything except their driver's license. Sometimes, a lucky select few will get away with a written warning, but many will end up with a ticket for failure to provide proof of a valid license.

Fortunately, Texas laws are a lot easier on those who don't have a valid license on them. If this is the case, most will avoid conviction by presenting a license to the judge that is in good standing and shows proof that a person is still legally allowed to drive. Only then will further penalties be avoided by paying a minimal dismissal fee.

Revocation or Suspension

Consequences that result from driving unlicensed are more serious if the motorist was without a license due to a revocation or suspension. If the suspended or revoked license relates to a previous DUI, the consequences are likely to hold even more weight in severity.

"Aggravated unlicensed operation" (AUO) is the act of driving with a suspended or revoked license. Standard AUOs typically carry up to $500 in financial punishment and a month in prison. However, if a driver's license suspension was due to driving under the influence, the AUO sentence will carry between $500 and $1,000 in levies and up to six months in prison.

Talk to Sparks Law Firm Attorneys

A DUI, unlicensed driving, or any other legal issue should involve a meeting with an experienced DWI lawyer in Tarrant County to find a way in which an individual's case can be fought for.

A qualified lawyer at Sparks Law Firm understands that everyone's situation is tricky and sometimes even downright confusing, so it is important that people know they are there for victims to develop a great attorney-client relationship. DUI cases can involve many questions, including how long does one go to jail for a 5th DWI or what happens if someone gets a DUI in your car, that a client may seek answers to. Victims may give these attorneys a call at (817) 381-7846 for a free consultation.


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