Frequent Questions

Read more about frequently asked criminal law questions.

Is a Texas Occupational Drivers License valid in other states?

This is a question I often get from clients.  The answer depends on the foreign State’s law regarding occupational licenses. You should always check with the state’s Department of Public Safety ahead of time.

Texas law requires a court order granting an occupational license to be submitted to the Department of Public Safety before a license is issued, along with the necessary fees and an SR-22 policy.  The court order serves as an occupational license for 45 days.  Once DPS receives the required documents, an occupational license is mailed to the licensee.  The order lists various restrictions placed on the license holder such as hours allowed to drive, driving curfews, driving purposes and roads of travel.  Some judges restrict driving to specific counties.  Other judges allow driving on all roads and highways in Texas.  However, Texas judge only has jurisdiction to allow a person to drive in Texas.  If you are stopped while driving in Texas, Texas law requires you to show the officer your occupational license as well as the court order.  If you are stopped in another state, you are only required to provide your occupational license, unless the law of that state provides otherwise.

It is also important to note that if the license holder has an interlock device, judges cannot add any restrictions to the order, except the interlock requirement.  Texas law relating to occupational drivers license is very complex.  If you have any questions relating to a Texas occupational license, contact Gary Redman for a free consultation.

It is strongly recommended that you hire an attorney familiar with the expunction process.  The rules governing an expunction are very complex.  A petition for an expunction must be drafted and filed in court.   A hearing will be set and procedural rules must be followed.   Once an expunction order is final, the records relating to your arrest are destroyed and you can deny the arrest, unless you are testifying in a criminal proceeding (then you only have to state the records have been expunged).  Given the value of an expunction order, the entire process must be done correctly. The last thing you want is to deny the arrest while some of the records exist.

Contact Dallas Expunction Attorney Gary Redman or complete the Free Eligibility Check under the Record Clearing.

If you are arrested for a criminal offense, you should immediately ask for an attorney.  Then keep quite, even if you are innocent. The fact that you’ve already been arrested means the officer feels there is a probability you committed a crime.  At this point, there is most likely nothing you can say to change the officer’s mind.  If anything, you’ll help build a case against you from incriminating yourself.  If your “side of the story” will help, an attorney will be able to provide it to the officer.

At the courthouse, I over heard a clerk telling a defendant, “Ma’am, you may need to hire an attorney.”  The woman said, “I don’t need a lawyer, I’m innocent!”  

If you are facing a crime, it is always in your best interest to hire a criminal defense attorney.  The sooner the better.  And, it is rarely, if ever, a good idea to “tell your side” to law enforcement without an attorney present.  Whether or not you feel you’ve been wrongfully accused of a crime, a criminal lawyer will be able to protect your constitutional rights, keep you form incriminating yourself and begin building your defense if necessary.

Dallas Criminal Lawyer Gary Redman

 

Make sure you always remain calm, cool and collective…even if you are wrongly arrested.

This is one of the most common questions.  And my response is always, “it depends on how much you’ve had to drink.”  My answer is divided into three scenarios-  1. Did you consume a few drinks but are not intoxicated?; 2. Consumed enough to be possibly be over the legal limit but you can do well on the tests?; or 3. Are you flat out wasted and definitely should not have been driving?  Before I explain, let me make it clear I’m not an advocate for drunk driving. And, I do not feel anyone should drive under scenario 3.

First, the officer should ask you to exit the car for field sobriety tests.  The standard field sobriety tests consist of the HGN test, Walk and Turn test and One Leg Stand test.   Officers can also add tests such as the finger to nose test, alphabet (not backwards), counting backwards etc.  If you have had very few drinks, but you are not intoxicated, its better to take the sobriety tests.  This includes a blood test.  However, if you cannot pass the balance tests for any reason, intoxication, or due to other medical, physical or any other conditions, respectfully refuse the test.  Refusing all tests can and often is interpreted as a sign of being intoxicated….whether you are sober or not.  It looks better to pass the tests (or perform well) as opposed to refusing everything.

Recently, a female friend called me as she was getting stopped and asked me what to do.  I asked her how much she had to drink.  She told me, “I swear, only two vodka waters over a two hours.”  As the officer was approaching her car, I told her to do all of the tests and demand a blood test.  I also told her to get ready for the ride to the jail, because she would probably still be arrested.  She preformed extremely well on the field sobriety tests and was still arrested.    Her car was towed.  She had to post bond.  A DWI charge was filed against her.  Months later, her blood test showed her blood alcohol level well under the legal limit.  She was found not guilty at trial and her records were expunged within 30 days.  If she had refused everything, it would have been a more difficult trial to win.

Some clients have told me that other lawyers advised to “always refuse all tests and request a lawyer.”  This is good advice under scenario 3 “flat out wasted.”  But, this is not always good advice.  If my client above had refused everything, it would have been a much more difficult trial to win.  If it’s ever questionable whether you can pass the tests, it’s probably best to respectfully refuse them and request a lawyer.  Then, stop talking!

Dallas DWI Attorney Gary Redman