CAN A PETITION FOR AN OCCUPATIONAL LICENSE BE OPPOSED?

Date September 14, 2012

THE BELTZ LAW FIRM

214-321-4105

 

Occupational Driver's License In Dallas

Occupational Driver’s License In Dallas

Once you have filed for an occupational license, can the State oppose your request to obtain the license? The answer is Yes. BUT, only for certain situations.

 

The Transportation Code states as follows:

 

Sec. 521.243.  NOTICE TO STATE;  PRESENTATION OF EVIDENCE.  (a)  The clerk of the court shall send by certified mail to the attorney representing the state a copy of the petition and notice of the hearing if the petitioner’s license was suspended following a conviction for:

(1)  an offense under Section 19.05, 49.04, 49.07, or 49.08, Penal Code;  or

(2)  an offense to which Section 521.342 applies.

(b)  A person who receives a copy of a petition under Subsection (a) may attend the hearing and may present evidence at the hearing against granting the petition.

 

 

Dallas ODL Attorney

Dallas ODL Attorney

As you can see, the State may (ie, if they want) attend the occupational license hearing if the petitioner’s license was suspended for DWI, DWI Manslaughter, or other alcohol related conviction or if the petitioner was under 21 years old when he/she committed the offense and was convicted and subsequently suspended automatically under Section 521.342.

 

Otherwise, the State has no authority to appear and contest the granting of an occupational license for any other suspension reason.

Feel free to contact us:

AUTOMATIC LICENSE SUSPENSIONS

Date September 12, 2012

THE BELTZ LAW FIRM

214-321-4105

 

Occupational Driver's License In Dallas

Occupational Driver’s License In Dallas

An occupational license can be suspended for numerous reasons and below is a list of automatic suspensions:

 

Sec. 521.341.  REQUIREMENTS FOR AUTOMATIC LICENSE SUSPENSION.  Except as provided by Sections 521.344(d)-(i), a license is automatically suspended on final conviction of the license holder of:

(1)  an offense under Section 19.05, Penal Code, committed as a result of the holder’s criminally negligent operation of a motor vehicle;

(2)  an offense under Section 38.04, Penal Code, if the holder used a motor vehicle in the commission of the offense;

(3)  an offense under Section 49.04, 49.045, or 49.08, Penal Code;

(4)  an offense under Section 49.07, Penal Code, if the holder used a motor vehicle in the commission of the offense;

(5)  an offense punishable as a felony under the motor vehicle laws of this state;

(6)  an offense under Section 550.021;

(7)  an offense under Section 521.451 or 521.453; or

(8)  an offense under Section 19.04, Penal Code, if the holder used a motor vehicle in the commission of the offense.

 

 

Dallas Occupational License Attorney

Dallas Occupational License Attorney

Feel free to contact us:

OCCUPATIONAL LICENSE FOR UNDER 21Y/O ALCOHOL SUSPENSIONS

Date September 12, 2012

THE BELTZ LAW FIRM

214-321-4105

 

Occupational Driver's License In Dallas

Occupational Driver’s License In Dallas

Recently, a call came into our office regarding a person who was under 21 years old and received a suspension because of a conviction for driving while under the influence, asking about an occupational license.  Fortunately, the Texas Transportation Code does speak on this matter as follows:

 

 

Sec. 521.342.  PERSON UNDER 21 YEARS OF AGE.  (a)  Except as provided by Section 521.344, the license of a person who was under 21 years of age at the time of the offense, other than an offense classified as a misdemeanor punishable by fine only, is automatically suspended on conviction of:

(1)  an offense under Section 49.04, 49.045, or 49.07, Penal Code, committed as a result of the introduction of alcohol into the body;

(2)  an offense under the Alcoholic Beverage Code, other than an offense to which Section 106.071 of that code applies, involving the manufacture, delivery, possession, transportation, or use of an alcoholic beverage;

(3)  a misdemeanor offense under Chapter 481, Health and Safety Code, for which Subchapter P does not require the automatic suspension of the license;

(4)  an offense under Chapter 483, Health and Safety Code, involving the manufacture, delivery, possession, transportation, or use of a dangerous drug; or

(5)  an offense under Chapter 485, Health and Safety Code, involving the manufacture, delivery, possession, transportation, or use of an abusable volatile chemical.

(b)  The department shall suspend for one year the license of a person who is under 21 years of age and is convicted of an offense under Section 49.04, 49.045, 49.07, or 49.08, Penal Code, regardless of whether the person is required to attend an educational program under Section 13(h), Article 42.12, Code of Criminal Procedure, that is designed to rehabilitate persons who have operated motor vehicles while intoxicated, unless the person is placed under community supervision under that article and is required as a condition of the community supervision to not operate a motor vehicle unless the vehicle is equipped with the device described by Section 13(i) of that article.  If the person is required to attend such a program and does not complete the program before the end of the person’s suspension, the department shall suspend the person’s license or continue the suspension, as appropriate, until the department receives proof that the person has successfully completed the program.  On the person’s successful completion of the program, the person’s instructor shall give notice to the department and to the community supervision and corrections department in the manner provided by Section 13(h), Article 42.12, Code of Criminal Procedure.

(c)  A person whose license is suspended under Subsection (a) remains eligible to receive an occupational license under Subchapter L. Suspension under Subsection (a) is not a suspension for physical or mental disability or impairment for purposes of eligibility to apply for an occupational license under Subchapter L.

 

 

Dallas Occupational License Attorney

Dallas Occupational License Attorney

Of course this is just the beginning of the discussion regarding an occupational license.

Feel free to contact us:

Two Ways to Lose Your Occupational License

Date September 6, 2012

The Beltz Law Firm

214-321-4105

 

Dallas Ticket

Dallas Ticket

In previous blogs we have discussed the punishment for violating the court order granting an occupational license. This blog is about the two ways to have an occupational license revoked, punishment not at issue.

 

First:

 

Sec. 521.252.  LICENSE REVOCATION.  (a)  The court that signs an order granting an occupational license may issue at any time an order revoking the license for good cause.

(b)  The court shall send a certified copy of the order to the department.

 

Here, it is important to understand that the court that signed the original order must revoke the occupational and it must be for “good cause.”  Good cause is often a debatable issue but regardless, is discretionary by the judge.

 

Second:

 

Sec. 521.253.  CRIMINAL PENALTY.  (a)  A person who holds an occupational license commits an offense if the person:

(1)  operates a motor vehicle in violation of a restriction imposed on the license;  or

(2) fails to have in the person’s possession a certified copy of the court order as required under Section 521.250.

(b)  An offense under this section is a Class B misdemeanor.

(c)  On conviction of an offense under this section, the occupational license and the order granting that license are revoked.

 

Dallas ODL Attorney

Dallas ODL Attorney

Here, the revocation is mandatory only upon a conviction of an offense listed above. There is no discretion by the judge.

 

Of course, before you try to handle something like this on your own, contact a qualified attorney to discuss your particular facts.

Feel free to contact us:

Other Possible Conditions of an Occupational License

Date August 31, 2012

The Beltz Law Firm

214-321-4105

Occupational Driver's License In Dallas

Occupational Driver’s License In Dallas

Depending on the reason for a license suspension, an occupational license may include additional conditions imposed by the discretion of the presiding judge or mandated by state law in order to operate a motor vehicle.   The most common condition of an occupational license is the installation of an interlock breath device on any vehicle driven by the petitioner. There are other, less common, conditions that may be imposed or must be imposed depending on the reason for the suspension.

 

First, the Texas Transportation Code provides:

 

Sec. 521.245.  REQUIRED COUNSELING.  (a)  If the petitioner’s license has been suspended under Chapter 524 or 724, the court shall require the petitioner to attend a program approved by the court that is designed to provide counseling and rehabilitation services to persons for alcohol dependence.  This requirement shall be stated in the order granting the occupational license.

(b)  The program required under Subsection (a) may not be the program provided by Section 521.344 or by Section 13, Article 42.12, Code of Criminal Procedure.

(c)  The court may require the person to report periodically to the court to verify that the person is attending the required program.

(d)  On finding that the person is not attending the program as required, the court may revoke the order granting the occupational license.  The court shall send a certified copy of the order revoking the license to the department.

(e)  On receipt of the copy under Subsection (d), the department shall suspend the person’s occupational license for:

(1)  60 days, if the original driver’s license suspension was under Chapter 524;  or

(2)  120 days, if the original driver’s license suspension was under Chapter 724.

(f)  A suspension under Subsection (e):

(1)  takes effect on the date on which the court signs the order revoking the occupational license;  and

(2)  is cumulative of the original suspension.

(g)  A person is not eligible for an occupational license during a period of suspension under Subsection (e).

 

Here, the completion of alcohol counseling is a condition when the person’s license has been suspended for failing to pass a breath or blood test for blood alcohol content (Chapter 524) or failing to comply with the implied consent laws concerning taking a breath or blood sample (Chapter 724).

 

Another condition that may be imposed:

 

Sec. 521.2461.  TESTING FOR ALCOHOL OR CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES.  The court granting an occupational license under this subchapter may require as a condition of the license that the person submit to periodic testing for alcohol or controlled substances, to be conducted by an entity specified by the court, if the person’s license has been suspended under Chapter 524 or 724 or as a result of the person’s conviction of an offense involving the operation of a motor vehicle while intoxicated.

 

Here, the condition is at the discretion of the presiding judge and should be included in the occupational license order as a condition.

Finally, a very rare (in our experience) condition is:

 

Sec. 521.2462.  SUPERVISION OF PERSON ISSUED OCCUPATIONAL DRIVER’S LICENSE.  (a)  The court granting an occupational license under this subchapter may order the person receiving the license to:

(1)  submit to supervision by the local community supervision and corrections department to verify compliance with the conditions specified by the order granting the license, including the conditions specified in accordance with Section 521.248; and

(2)  pay a monthly administrative fee under Section 76.015, Government Code.

(b)  The court may order the supervision to continue until the end of the period of suspension of the person’s driver’s license, including any extensions of that period.

(c)  The court for good cause may modify or terminate supervision before the end of the period of license suspension.

 

Dallas Occupational License Attorney

Dallas Occupational License Attorney

As you can see, an occupational license can include conditions required under the law and discretionary upon the judge’s opinion of your particular situation.

Feel free to contact us:

When an Interlock is not required to operate a motor vehicle

Date August 29, 2012

The Beltz Law Firm

214-321-4105

Occupational Driver's License In Dallas

Occupational Driver’s License In Dallas

A condition of some occupational licenses is that an interlock must be installed on any vehicle the driver operates. This condition is usually in effect when the person has been convicted of an alcohol related offense such as DWI or Intoxication Assault or Intoxication Manslaughter.

 

There is, however, an exception to this rule as outlined in the Texas Transportation Code:

 

(e)  A person to whom this section applies may operate a motor vehicle without the installation of an approved ignition interlock device if:

(1)  the person is required to operate a motor vehicle in the course and scope of the person’s employment;

(2)  the vehicle is owned by the person’s employer;

(3)  the employer is not owned or controlled by the person whose driving privilege is restricted;

(4)  the employer is notified of the driving privilege restriction;  and

(5)  proof of that notification is with the vehicle.

 

Traffic Ticket Lawyer In Dallas

Traffic Ticket Lawyer In Dallas

This exception is NOT for the operation of commercial vehicles.  However, it is a relief for drivers who hold positions such as pizza delivery drivers who operate company cars as part of their job duties. It is not a substitute for operating a vehicle to perform essential household duties, such as going to the grocery store, because the exception is limited to the operation of the vehicle during the course and scope of the person’s employment.

Feel free to contact us:

 

Interesting and Little Known Facts About Interlocks

Date August 28, 2012

The Beltz Law Firm

214-321-4105

 

Dallas Municipal Court

Dallas Municipal Court

Hidden in the deep, dark trenches of the Transportation Code are little known and rarely discussed conditions of interlocks regarding occupational license orders.  When so ordered, an interlock must be installed on any vehicle driven by an occupational license holder. This condition is usually required when a license is suspended for certain alcohol related convictions. Interlock devices can be expensive to install and maintain and tedious to operate.

 

The Texas Transportation Code does offer a glimmer of hope when this is a condition of an occupational license. As follows:

 

c)  The person shall obtain the ignition interlock device at the person’s own expense unless the court finds that to do so is not in the best interest of justice and enters that finding in the record.  If the court determines that the person is unable to pay for the device, the court may impose a reasonable payment schedule for a term not to exceed twice the period of the court’s order.

 

Notice, that the court has the jurisdiction to determine if paying for an interlock device would be against the best interest of justice and enters the finding on the record.  The court can enter the person into the a payment schedule.

 

Additionally:

(d)  The court shall order the ignition interlock device to remain installed for at least half of the period of supervision.

 

Dallas ODL Attorney

Dallas ODL Attorney

So, according to this provision, the device does not necessarily have to be installed on the vehicle for the entire period of the occupational license order.

 

The point of these provisions is to provide reasonable conditions when requiring an interlock as part of an occupational license order. More importantly, it is best that an experienced attorney present the petition and argue for these conditions, if appropriate, in the best interest of the client.

Feel free to contact us:

Occupational License Myths and Facts: Myth Number Three

Date August 27, 2012

The Beltz Law Firm

214-321-4105

www.http://dallas-occupational-license-lawyer.com

 

Dallas Ticket

Dallas Ticket

Rumor has it that if your license has been suspended because of a DWI, you will be required to install and use a ignition interlock device on any vehicle that you operate as part of an occupational license order. Let’s put that rumor to bed!

Texas Transportation Code

Sec. 521.246.  IGNITION INTERLOCK DEVICE REQUIREMENT.  (a)  If the person's license has been 

suspended after a conviction under Section 49.04, 49.07, or 49.08, Penal Code, the judge, 

before signing an order, shall determine from the criminal history record information maintained 

by the department whether the person has any previous conviction under those laws.

(b)  As part of the order the judge may restrict the person to the operation of a motor vehicle

equipped with an ignition interlock device if the judge determines that the person's license has 

been suspended following a conviction under Section 49.04, 49.07, or 49.08, Penal Code.  As part 

of the order, the judge shall restrict the person to the operation of a motor vehicle equipped 

with an ignition interlock device if the judge determines that:

(1)  the person has two or more convictions under any combination of Section 49.04, 49.07, or 

49.08, Penal Code;  or (2)  the person's license has been suspended after a conviction under 

Section 49.04, Penal Code, for which the person has been punished under Section 49.09, Penal Code.
Dallas Occupational License Attorney

Dallas Occupational License Attorney

So, the short answer is that an ignition interlock is required if the judge, based on a criminal history record, determines that (1) the person has committed 2 or more convictions under any combination of driving while intoxicated, intoxication assault, or intoxication manslaughter; or (2) the person’s license has been suspended for a conviction for a second or subsequent DWI offense.

The judge, at his discretion, may order an ignition interlock as part of an occupational license order if the person’s license has been suspended only once for a conviction for DWI, intoxication assault, or intoxication manslaughter.

Notice where the judge is required to order the ignition interlock and where the judge has discretion is based on the person’s criminal history involving intoxication offenses.

If you would like a free evaluation of your particular situation and whether you will be required to have an ignition interlock, Feel free to contact us:

Occupational License Myths and Facts: Myth Number Two

Date August 16, 2012

The Beltz Law Firm

214-321-4105

http://dallas-occupational-license-lawyer.com

Occupational Driver's License In Dallas

Occupational Driver’s License In Dallas

Myth Number Two: “I can only get an occupational license in the county that I reside”

 

This seems to be a recurring myth spread about occupational licenses. The truth is that the proper venue for filing a petition for an occupational license depends on the reason for the suspension.

 

According to the Texas Transportation Code, Section 521.242, a person whose license has been suspended for a reason other than a mental or physical disability or a conviction under 49.04 of the Texas Penal Code (DWI laws), may file a petition for an occupational license in either (1) the county in which the person resides or (2) the county where the offense occurred that caused the suspension.  For example, if you live in Dallas County but your license was suspended because of a conviction in Tarrant County, you could file the petition in either county.  Of course, you would want the experience of an attorney to determine the best county to file the petition because experience with the different counties may make a difference in reaching a successful result.

 

Dallas ODL Attorney

Dallas ODL Attorney

The foregoing applies to non-DWI suspensions and non-mental or non-physical disability suspensions. Otherwise, Section 521.242 requires a petition to be filed in the county or district court in which the person was convicted if the person’s license was suspended or canceled due to a conviction in that court and the person has not been issued more than one occupational license within 10 years preceding the date of the filing of the petition.

 

An occupational license is a serious en devour and should not be undertaken without serious consideration into all aspects of filing such an important petition. We strongly recommend using an attorney with years of experience in various courts and under different reasons so you can best achieve your goal to drive on the road legally again. If any of the information above caused you concern, please do not hesitate to contact our office for a free phone consultation about your particular case. After all, you wouldn’t pack your own parachute just because you could!

How Long Does it Take to Obtain the Hard Occupational License?

Date August 14, 2012

The Beltz Law Firm

214-321-4105

http://dallas-occupational-license-lawyer.com

 

Dallas Ticket Lawyer

Dallas Ticket Lawyer

With some degree of consistency, our clients have found that they are not receiving the hard copy of their occupational license from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) within the time that their order granting the occupational license can be used as a temporary license.  Through no fault of their own, DPS has been failing to properly issue an occupational license to some of our clients despite the fact that DPS received all the necessary documents and fees in a timely manner.

 

Section 521.249 of the Texas Transportation Code states that a person may use a certified copy order granting the restricted license until the 31st after the date the order was granted or came took effect.  The same section further states that upon receipt of the order from the court granting the occupational and if in compliance with the Safety Responsibility Act (section 601 of the Texas Transportation Code), DPS shall issue a hard copy occupational license.

 

The key here is that all requirements must be satisfied before DPS shall issue the hard copy of the occupational license. That seems to be easier said than done for DPS. We have encountered numerous occasions this year when DPS has received the order for the occupational license and all the fees (we have the cancelled checks) and DPS does not issue the hard copy of the license because for one reason or another they claim to not have received all the requisite items to issue the license.

 

Usually, a letter from our office explaining DPS’s mistake, along with proof that it was received by DPS, remedies the delay in issuing the license. In the meantime, however, more than 31 days has passed from the date of the effect of the order and the person is driving with an invalid license!

 

Dallas Occupational License Attorney

Dallas Occupational License Attorney

We have tried in vain to have DPS acknowledge their mistakes and provide some surety that these “mistakes” would not continue to happen, which is detrimental to our clients. But, DPS has ignored our letters and requests for replies. If and when DPS changes their mismanagement, we will let you know. In the meantime, if we obtained an occupational license for you and it has been more than 31 days since the order went into effect and you have NOT received your hard occupational license, please contact our office immediately to discuss your options.