The Effective Date of the Occupational License

Ask  a Lawyer a Question About an Occupational License

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Texas Department Of Public Safety

Texas Department Of Public Safety

Around the legal community there has always been some confusion about when an occupational license will be effective once signed by the judge. This is not anything new since some of the wording can easily be misconstrued or misinterpreted. Therefore, it is no wonder that even judges can wrongly, albeit unintentionally, grant or fail to grant an occupational license based on the misunderstood provisions in the statute.

The first step to making sense of the law is to lay it out in its original form:

Sec. 521.251.  EFFECTIVE DATE OF OCCUPATIONAL LICENSE.  (a)  If a person’s license is suspended under Chapter 524 or 724 and the person has not had a prior suspension arising from an alcohol-related or drug-related enforcement contact in the five years preceding the date of the person’s arrest, an order under this subchapter granting the person an occupational license takes effect immediately.  However, the court shall order the person to comply with the counseling and rehabilitation program required under Section 521.245.

(b)  If the person’s driver’s license has been suspended as a result of an alcohol-related or drug-related enforcement contact during the five years preceding the date of the person’s arrest, the order may not take effect before the 91st day after the effective date of the suspension.

(c)  If the person’s driver’s license has been suspended as a result of a conviction under Section 49.04, 49.07, or 49.08, Penal Code, during the five years preceding the date of the person’s arrest, the order may not take effect before the 181st day after the effective date of the suspension.

(d)  Notwithstanding any other provision in this section, if the person’s driver’s license has been suspended as a result of a second or subsequent conviction under Section 49.04, 49.07, or 49.08, Penal Code, committed within five years of the date on which the most recent preceding offense was committed, an order granting the person an occupational license may not take effect before the first anniversary of the effective date of the suspension.

(e)  For the purposes of this section, “alcohol-related or drug-related enforcement contact” has the meaning assigned by Section 524.001.

 

So now, lets breakdown this statute (as my criminal procedure professor would say). First, if the person’s license has been suspended for a traffic violation or alcohol related conviction AND he/she has no prior alcohol related contact within the five years preceding the date of arrest for the current suspension, then the occupational license takes effect immediately.

 

If the person has a suspension from an alcohol related contact (a.k.a. arrest) within the five years before the date of arrest for the current suspension, then the occupational license does not becoem effective until the 91st day after the date the suspension starts.

 

If the person has a suspension from an alcohol related conviction (as opposed to arrest) within the five years preceding the date of arrest, then the occupational license does not become effective until after the 181st after the  current suspension begins.

 

If a person had a suspension two or more times due to an alcohol related conviction within the five years preceding the date of the arrest for the current suspension, then the occupational license does not become effective until one year after the current suspension begins.

 

The reason why this has become so confusing is because inexperience lawyers and judges fail to properly apply the dates to the statute or misinterpret the meaning of contact and/or conviction.  We have seen it happen on numerous occasions.

 

Traffic Ticket Lawyer In Dallas

Traffic Ticket Lawyer In Dallas

Therefore, you do not want to trust your most important tool, “the ability to drive.” to anyone other than an experienced attorney and team of legal professionals who are well versed in the law and its application.

 

Call today to arrange your free consultation.