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Do I need an attorney to obtain an occupational drivers license in Texas?

Lubbock, TX |

The reason I am asking is because a paralegal offered to file the petition and draft the order for me, but I would like to know if that is legal or if there will be a problem.

Attorney Answers 5


  1. She cannot file it for you. You can file it yourself, or an attorney can file it for you. It's up to you whether to trust the paralegal to properly draft the petition and motion. If it's incorrect, it will be denied and you will end up hiring an attorney and paying another filing fee. Obviously, I would recommend being sure it is done right the first time.

    Macy Jaggers's answer to a legal question on Avvo does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Please consult an attorney who practices criminal law in your jurisdiction for the most accurate legal advice.


  2. There are many more steps than you mention and you don't say how much experience, if any, this paralegal has in handling these matters, so it is hard to tell. Frankly, after handling hundreds of these AND having a high opinion of paralegals generally, I won't trust a paralegal on an Occupational. It is highly unlikely that any paralegal in Lubbock could get enough experience to be trustworthy for this type matter. There are too many twists and turns to make it work properly. Because of the problems of folks like you getting an ODL at a reasonable expense, I manage a website designed to provide expertise at an affordable cost. This is an option for you to consider.


  3. The short answer is that you do not need an attorney to file a petition for a restricted license. You can file one yourself, and represent yourself pro-se. The question is why would you? This is not something that will cost that much to handle. Have them handle it. If you handle it yourself, and the petition is denied, you are out your filing fee, if there is one, as well as your time. There are procedures which lawyers handle, which seem easy. That's because competent professionals makes it look easy. But, if there are problems that arise during an otherwise routine procedure - the competent attorney will know what to do - to assist you, so that you can drive in the performance of your occupation or trade.

    James R. "Jim" Butler,Houston,Texas,DWI Lawyer. Free Consultation .Call (713)236-8744. Pardon my typing and or grammar,I am sending from my i-phone.I only represent people accused of DWI in Texas. My answer is based upon the limited amount of information supplied in your question. The answers I give on this site are intended for general educational purposes only. If you already have an attorney, I always suggest that you consult with that attorney first.


  4. By "file", I assume you mean the paralegal would actually prepare the petition on your behalf. A paralegal cannot solicit non-attorney clients or provide legal services directly to the public. A paralegal cannot sign a legal pleading or represent you in court. A paralegal may not draft a legal document for a member of the public, unless the paralegal is working under the direct supervision of a licensed attorney. A paralegal who does any of the above is engaging in the unlicensed practice of law, which is a felony in Texas.

    Legally, you may do this yourself (pro se); however, you should have an experienced attorney handle it for you.

    Attorney Paul Kendall's answer to this question is for information purposes only. The answer is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship between Paul Kendall and the person who asked the question or anyone reading the answer. Paul Kendall offers initial consultations at no charge.


  5. A paralegal offering to draft and file a petition for you is engaging in the unauthorized practice of law. There are special issues that arise in occupational licenses, especially if yours involves a DUI, that only an experienced attorney can identify and offer you guidance on.

    We recently published a Blog on Occupational Licenses in Texas that you may find helpful. Good Luck!

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