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Licensed Professionals

Licensed Professionals

Being convicted of a DWI always results in statutory penalties. However, for licensed professionals there’s another set of costs that follow a DWI. Professionals whose careers require a license may face collateral career-related consequences because of a DWI.

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) manages all licensing for a number of industries and professions. According to the Texas Occupational Code, TDLR can impose disciplinary action if an employee is charged with an offense that relates to their occupation.

Depending on the circumstances of the DWI, licensed professionals could have their license suspended or revoked. If you or someone you know is a licensed professional and has been charged or convicted of a DWI, it’s crucial that you gain trusted legal representation immediately.

Attorney for Licensed Professionals in Houston, TX

A DWI conviction is never good news. As a licensed professional, you may have your license suspended or revoked in addition to paying large fines and facing possible incarceration. Any licensed professional whose been convicted or charged with a DWI as a licensed professional should seek an experienced criminal defense attorney.  

Attorney Matthew Horak is seasoned in criminal defense. He has thoroughly studied and understands the Texas Occupational Code regarding licensed professionals. Additionally, he is prepared to attend board hearings, collect evidence, and fight for your career. 

Call Matthew Horak now at (713) 225-8000 and schedule a free consultation surrounding your case. Horak Law accepts clients throughout the greater Houston metropolitan area and surrounding cities including Houston Heights, Gulfton, Magnolia Park, River Oaks, and Westbury.

Overview of DWI Consequences for Licensed Professionals in Texas

Licensed Professionals under the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation

A large number of occupations and industries are licensed and overseen by the Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR). Professionals that require licensing by TDLR may be susceptible to disciplinary action if they have been convicted of a DWI. The following are some professions that are regulated by the TDLR.

  • Real estate inspector;
  • Boxing promoter;
  • Water well driller;
  • Water well pump installer;
  • Barber;
  • Vehicle protection product warrantor;
  • Owners for vehicle storage facilities;
  • Talent agents;
  • Used auto parts recycler;
  • Auctioneer;
  • Staff leasing service provider;
  • Service contract provider;
  • Property tax consultant;
  • Property tax collectors and assessors;
  • Prepaid legal services provider;
  • Registered accessibility specialists;
  • Elevator inspectors;
  • Court interpreters;
  • Athletic trainers;
  • Air-conditioning or refrigeration contractor;
  • Pawnbrokers;
  • Electricians;
  • Underground storage tank installers;
  • Polygraph examiners;
  • Athletic agents;
  • Tow truck operators;
  • Used auto parts recycler;
  • Boiler inspector
  • Cosmologists;
  • Dyslexia therapists;
  • Driver safety educators;
  • Dietitians;
  • Licensed breeders;
  • Laser hair removal specialists;
  • Midwives;
  • Sanitarians;
  • Speech language pathologists;
  • Transportation network companies;
  • Message therapists.
  • Mold Assessors;
  • For-Profit legal services;
  • Orthotists and Prosthetists; and
  • Podiatrists. 

Not all professions are regulated by TDLR. Many occupations and industries have their own professional boards to oversee disciplinary action. Some of these careers or trades include peace officers, emergency medical personnel and attorneys. 

Possible DWI Consequences for Licensed Professionals in Texas

TDLR follows the Texas Occupational Code when determining if a criminal conviction warrants license suspension or revocation. Texas Occupational Code § 53.002 states that a person may have their license suspended, revoked, or be disqualified from participating in a licensing exam if he or she has done any of the following:  

  • A crime that directly relates to the responsibilities of the licensed profession; or
  • A crime that doesn’t directly relate to the responsibilities of the licensed profession but was committed less than five years before the date the person applies for the license.

Texas Occupational Code also states a person can have their license completely revoked if he or she is involved in any of the following scenarios:

  • Sentenced to prison for a felony conviction;
  • Had their felony probation revoked;
  • Had their parole revoked; or
  • Had their mandatory supervision revoked for a federal offense.

As you can see, the rules outlined by the Texas Occupational Code can be vague. A first-time DWI offense may not be directly related to your profession, so you’re able to avoid any type of career-related consequences. Though, if you had a DWI while on the job or on the way to work, it may be considered directly related to your licensed profession.   

Additionally, if you are a repeat DWI offender or have a felony-level DWI you may be susceptible to suspension or even termination. It’s important that you don’t take board hearings lightly and come prepared with an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side.

How TDLR Determines Disciplinary Action for a DWI in Texas

Determining whether a crime relates to a certain occupation can be a little subjective. The Texas Occupational Code has outlined some factors that TDLR must consider when determining whether a criminal offense directly relates or not. The following are the primary factors the TDLR uses to evaluate a DWI offense.

  • The seriousness and nature of the offense;
  • The relationship of the DWI to the purposes of requiring a certain professional license;
  • If the DWI might offer more opportunities for the licensed professional to engage in additional criminal activity that’s similar; and
  • The relationship of the DWI to the capacity, ability, or fitness that’s required to perform the duties of the licensed profession.

In addition to these primary factors, there are additional factors the board may use to determine if a DWI is linked to a licensed profession. Those factors include:

  • The person’s professional history;
  • Age during the commission of the DWI;
  • The time period between criminal offenses;
  • The work ethic and conduct of the person before and after the DWI;
  • If there is evidence of the person’s rehabilitation or effort to rehabilitate while incarcerated or after their release;
  • Evidence that shows the person’s fitness for the occupation, which can include letters of recommendation from:
    • Prosecutors that tried them;
    • Arresting law enforcement;
    • Correctional officers who had custodial responsibility;
    • Sheriff or Chief of Police of the person’s county or city; and
    • Any other person who is in contact with the convicted person.

It’s up to you as the licensed professional or applicant to utilize compelling evidence for the board hearing. Hiring a skilled criminal defense attorney can significantly increase your chances of avoiding license suspension, revocation, or disqualification from a licensing exam. An experienced attorney can collect evidence, attend disciplinary proceedings, and battle for your license in front of the board.

Statutory Penalties for a DWI

It can be hard to wrap your head around the career-related consequences. Sadly, if you’re convicted of a DWI you may be forced to face statutory penalties as well. The following chart outlines the possible penalties for those convicted of a DWI offense. 


Number of Offenses:

Offense Level:

Jail/Prison Time:



First Offense



Class B Misdemeanor

Minimum of 72 hours in jail; maximum of 180 days in jail






Second Offense



Class A Misdemeanor


Minimum of 30 days in jail; maximum of 12 months in jail.






Third Offense



Third-Degree Felony


Minimum of 2 years in prison; maximum of 10 years in prison.





In addition to legal consequences, a person may be required to complete additional conditions for their DWI sentencing that may include: 

  • Community service;
  • If applicable, a drug and alcohol evaluation;
  • If applicable, completion of a court-ordered program;
  • Required installation of an ignition interlock device (IID); and
  • Annual surcharges by the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Additional Resources 

Texas Occupational Laws – Visit the official website for Texas Occupational Code, a collection of laws and regulations for licensing agencies by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. Find out more about how the board determines an offense to be directly related to a profession, what the regulations are for applications with a criminal history, and more.

Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation – Visit the official website for the Texas Department for Licensing and Regulations. Find more information on licensing types, how to apply or renew for a new license, watch a TDLR commission meeting, and current news related to licensing professionals. 

DWI Attorney for Licensed Professionals in Harris County, Texas 

Are you a licensed professional or are about to take a licensing exam? Have you recently been convicted of a DWI or other related offenses? If so, you must start taking steps to retain your license now. The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation may suspend or revoke your license because of your conviction.

Matthew Horak is an experienced attorney who is dedicated to preserving the licenses of professionals. He understands that handling both criminal penalties and career penalties can be extremely overwhelming. That’s why he’s proficient in defending his clients from both consequences. Have some peace of mind today and call Horak Law.

Contact attorney Matthew Horak at (713) 225-8000 today to schedule a free consultation. We accept clients throughout the greater Harris County area and surrounding counties including Fort Bend County, Liberty County, Brazoria County, and Galveston County.

This article was last updated on November 27, 2018.


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