Driving on a suspended license is a new, additional crime
Simply stated, driving on a suspended license is a new, additional crime. In most jurisdictions, these added offenses will carry a mandatory jail sentence, especially if you are a repeat offender or have serious charges pending when you drive while suspended. These sentences can be very punitive. In one Texas case, the repeat drunken driver who kept driving while suspended received a 99-year jail sentence!
"But I had to drive! I had to go to work!"
You might have an excuse for driving while your license is suspended if your driving was in light of a true emergency (i.e., to save someone's life), but it is the court that determines if your reason for driving really was a situation that rose to the level of a legal "necessity." Just having to get to work is not an emergency, nor is having to transport your children to school or to soccer practice. It takes little imagination to predict the consequences of such a situation.
Driving on a suspended license might also worsen your pending DUI-DWI case
Driving on a suspended license might also worsen your pending DUI-DWI case, particularly if the judge in that case is the same judge on the suspended license case. Such "repeat" offenses send the judge a message that you are not remorseful for your DUI-DWI because you violated an additional state law even before the first case was resolved.