Congratulations to Attorney Megan Cook and to her Client who got his Driving While License Invalid Enhanced Case DISMISSED today, October 11th, 2012. The DWLI case was dismissed due to insufficient evidence. The stated Client hired Cook & Cook two months ago to fight the false charges.
For Information on what to do if you need to drive and your license is invalid, click here.
What is “DWLI” anyway?
DWLI is a class C misdemeanor if it is a first time occurrence, which means a person will essentially be given a traffic ticket with fines. But, for the case that was dismissed as mentioned above, that case was different than a regular DWLI, because it was a DWLI enhanced. This means that the client was charged with having gotten a second DWLI. DWLI enhanced charges are class A misdemeanors that can result in 1 year of Bexar County Jail time, and up to $4000 in fines.
How to Fight a DWLI Case
As with all criminal charges, there are perhaps hundreds of ways to assess any given case and determine whether or not the case is winnable against prosecution. One particularly notable defense to DWLI charges is that if you got your license suspended, and were not properly informed of the suspension, then that is a defense to driving while your license was invalid. How can you be a criminally charged with something if you did not know you were violating any laws, is essentially the theory there. Though, this defense will not work if your license was suspended due to something like a DWI conviction where you had to have had notice at some point from your legal counsel that your license was suspended for a given period when you got the DWI conviction.
The following Texas DWLI law applies to the above mentioned case:
§ 521.457. DRIVING WHILE LICENSE INVALID. (a) A person commits an offense if the person operates a motor vehicle on a highway: (1) after the person's driver's license has been canceled under this chapter if the person does not have a license that was subsequently issued under this chapter; (2) during a period that the person's driver's license or privilege is suspended or revoked under any law of this state; (3) while the person's driver's license is expired if the license expired during a period of suspension; or (4) after renewal of the person's driver's license has been denied under any law of this state, if the person does not have a driver's license subsequently issued under this chapter. (b) A person commits an offense if the person is the subject of an order issued under any law of this state that prohibits the person from obtaining a driver's license and the person operates a motor vehicle on a highway. (c) It is not a defense to prosecution under this section that the person did not receive actual notice of a suspension imposed as a result of a conviction for an offense under Section 521.341. (d) Except as provided by Subsection (c), it is an affirmative defense to prosecution of an offense, other than an offense under Section 521.341, that the person did not receive actual notice of a cancellation, suspension, revocation, or prohibition order relating to the person's license. For purposes of this section, actual notice is presumed if the notice was mailed in accordance with law. (e) Except as provided by Subsection (f), an offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by: (1) a fine of not less than $100 or more than $500; and (2) confinement in county jail for a term of not less than 72 hours or more than six months. (f) If it is shown on the trial of an offense under this section that the person has previously been convicted of an offense under this section or an offense under Section 601.371(a), as that law existed before September 1, 2003, the offense is a Class A misdemeanor. (g) For purposes of this section, a conviction for an offense that involves operation of a motor vehicle after August 31, 1987, is a final conviction, regardless of whether the sentence for the conviction is probated. Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, § 30.98(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1207, § 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 855, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.