Possession of Marijuana Conviction = Driver’s License Suspension = More Money for the State of Texas

May 17, 2012

In Texas, if you are convicted of possession of marijuana, you will lose your privilege to drive for a period of 180 days, according to § 521.372 of the Transportation Code.  A driver’s license suspension is costly.  

During the suspension period, an occupational driver’s license (ODL), also referred to as an essential needs license (ENL), can be obtained in most cases.  According to the Texas Transportation Code, § 521.241, a person can petition for an essential needs license to drive “in the performance of an occupation or trade or for transportation to and from the place at which the person practices the person's occupation or trade; for transportation to and from an educational facility in which the person is enrolled; or in the performance of essential household duties.”  To obtain an ODL, a Petition for Occupational Driver’s License must be presented to the County Court in which the conviction was rendered.  The fees to file the petition vary by county and range from $220 to $260.  

Once a petition has been filed with the court and the judge has signed an order, that paperwork along with SR22 insurance (these certificates vary in price by insurance company) must be mailed to DPS requesting an occupational driver’s license, along with the reinstatement fee – a fee assessed by DPS to validate your license following a suspension and ranges from $100 to $125 and up depending on the reason for the suspension – and ODL fee of $10.  

Although obtaining an ODL is not cheap, it is a smarter choice than driving with a suspended or invalid license.  Should you get pulled over and the officer determines you are not eligible to drive according to DPS, you could be charged with and arrested for Driving While License Invalid, a class B misdemeanor.  This would likely mean additional fines and court costs, an extended driver’s license suspension, and more fees assessed by DPS.  

If you’ve been charged with possession of marijuana, contact the 420Dude right away!