Failure to pay criminal-justice debt causes many defendants to have their driver’s licenses suspended according to a recent NY Times (NYT) article. Whether your driver’s license gets suspended for criminal-justice debt will depend on the law of the particular state where you live.
In Texas, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) has an excellent website that lists the types of offenses (click on the surcharges link for more info) and situations that could cause your driver’s license to be suspended. Some of the reasons that could lead to your driver’s license suspension include: (1) Failure to appear for your court date; (2) Driving While License Invalid (DWLI); (3) Conviction for alcohol related offenses (such as DWI); (4) Convictions for drug related offenses; (5) Failure to pay child support; (6) Conviction for traffic related offenses; and (7) also for offenses committed in a different state or jurisdiction. This list is not exhaustive.
If you are charged with DWI (or alcohol related offense) or a drug offense, then it is important to speak with your attorney about the collateral consequences of a conviction before you enter a plea of guilty or no contest (nolo contendere). If your driver’s license is suspended, then you may not be able to drive to work. Further, if you are pulled over and are driving with a suspended license, then you may be charged with a new offense.
GENARO R. CORTEZ
730 W. Hildebrand Avenue, Suite 2
San Antonio, Texas 78212