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If your Texas license has been suspended you may be eligible for a Tarrant County Occupational License. An Occupational License is a restricted driver's license that allows you to drive for essential needs while your regular license is suspended. Essential needs include things such as school, work, or to accomplish other essential household duties. An Occupational License does not cover commercial vehicles. Below is information on the requirements to obtain an Occupational License. 

Who can apply?

Just about anyone whose license has been suspended may apply for an Occupational License. If your license is suspended by the DPS you can apply in your county of residence or county of offense. If your license is suspended by a Judge, then you must apply for the license in the court issuing the suspension. Here is a chart of suspensions by the DPS.

Basic Requirements of a Tarrant County Occupational License.

Each Court may have different requirements. Below is an overview of the requirements:


Tarrant County Jail Release

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Tarrant County Jail Release can be a confusing process especially for someone who does not have prior experience getting someone out of jail. The first step in the process is for a bond to be set by a Tarrant County Magistrate. Once the bond amount is set then the bond can be post for the individual to be released.

How Are Bail Bond Amounts Determined?

After arrest, an individual will be taken to a Tarrant County Magistrate where bond will be set. The Magistrate is located at the Tarrant County Jail. If a person is arrested and taken to a city jail, the arrestee must be taken to the Tarrant County Jail to have the bond set. The Magistrate takes into account certain criteria when setting the bond amount. Criteria include but not limited to:

  • Alleged facts of the case
  • Risk of arrestee to re-offend
  • Financial assessment (ability to pay)
  • Prior criminal history and history of appearing at court
  • Community safety

Three Ways To Post a Bail Bond In Tarrant County

1. Personal Bond

There is no cost to the individual who receives a Personal Bond. A Personal Bond is a sworn agreement by the defendant and Tarrant County that the individual will return to court as ordered. The agreement requires the individual to comply with the Personal Bond Conditions. The conditions of the Personal Bond will require the individual to appear at court dates. The conditions also may require the individual take random drug tests and checking in with the Personal Bond Office. If an arrestee breaks a condition of the Personal Bond agreement, they may end up back in jail.


4/20 is Marijuana Day! Who would have thought ten years ago that in April 2020 the government would require most of us to "social distance" at home and only essential businesses would be open. It is mind blowing how far the legalization movement has come that some states would consider marijuana dispensaries essential businesses! As long as the federal government considers marijuana a Schedule 1 Drug, it will be up to individual states to determine the legality of marijuana. Unfortunately even on 4/20 Texas still considers possession of any amount of marijuana illegal.

Where and When Did 420 Start?

There are different version of the beginning of 420, but one of the most popular is that a group of friends in California called the Waldos would use 420 as a reference to smoking weed. The story goes that the Waldos would meet at 4:20 after school to toke up and search for a mystery crop of marijuana. 420 has become so popular that a main stream newspaper USA Today wrote an article about the origins of 420. The Waldos have created a website documenting their first use of the term 420.

The term 420 seems to have disappeared during the mid 1970s until around 1990. High Times published a timeline of the use of 420 that can be found here. In 1990 a mysterious flyer was circulating promoting 420 at Grateful Dead shows.


What is the Labor Detail Program?

The Tarrant County Sheriff's Office Labor Detail Program is an alternative to jail program. The Judge in a case has the authority to allow a convicted individual to work off their sentence on the Tarrant County Labor Detail Program instead of serving their sentence in jail. The conviction must be for Tarrant County Jail time, either working off the time of a jail sentence or days in jail as a condition of probation. In the Labor Detail Program, an individual does not go to jail but reports to the program at least one time a week to work off their sentence. The benefit of Labor Detail is that an individual does not go to jail!


What type work will an individual complete on Tarrant County Labor Detail Program?

Various community and county projects are available on the Labor Detail Program. Examples of assignments include but not limited to:

  • Cleaning up the common areas of the jail
  • Picking up outside around the County Courthouses
  • Working at the recycling center
  • Washing county vehicles
  • Cleaning up parks
  • Working with non-profit organizations and government agencies in the area. Organizations include State, County or Municipal Agencies as well as non-profit agencies, charities, Independent School Districts, neighborhood associations, churches and fellowships.


Labor assignments

  • Low risk misdemeanor and felony participants may be assigned to any kind of work
  • High risk misdemeanor and felony participants shall be assigned to work on road or cemetery clean up crews or at the labor detail facility. They will not be assigned to schools or other locations where children are present.
  • Sex offenders with pending cases or convictions will only be assigned to work at the labor detail facility
  • Participants who are unable to perform physical labor may be assigned to the recycling center or to non-physical details at the labor detail facility on a case by case basis.


Will participants receive good conduct time and credit for time already served?

Yes, participants will receive good conduct time! The Labor Detail Program credits good time as 2 days credit for each day of work. This means that if an individual is sentenced to 30 days, the individual will attend Labor Detail 15 times! Credit for prior time spent in jail for the sentenced case is not given unless the number of days is verified by the court and forwarded to Labor Detail. Credit for time served days verified by the court will be credited on a day for day basis. Start with the original sentence days, subtract credit time served days and divide by two. Round up if it is an odd number and that is the amount of days an individual must serve on labor detail.


After you have been arrested for Driving While Intoxicated the next step is for the officer to request a sample of your breath or blood. The breath test is taken at the jail using the intoxilyzer and the blood sample can be taken at the jail or hospital. Many people are surprised to learn the breath test is not taken on the side of the road but later at the jail! The results of the breath and/or blood test may result in a suspension of your driver's license. Many officers carry a portable breath test device but that breath test does not count toward determining your alcohol concentration or license suspension.

Statutory Warning

The Statutory Warning is the form that an officer will read to you formally requesting a specimen following a DWI arrest. The officer may request a specimen of breath, blood, or both. The officer decides what type of specimen you will provide. The warning may be read to you at the scene in the back of the police car or at the jail. The warning sets out the consequences for providing a sample over .08 or refusing to provide a sample. You will be provided a copy of the document to follow along with while the officer reads it to you.

What happens if you provide a sample over .08?

If you provide a sample over .08 your license will be suspended for 90 days. If there is a prior alcohol related contact (prior DWI) on your driving record within ten years your license will be suspended for one year. The New York Times wrote an article about breath testing that you might find interesting.

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