YOU ONLY HAVE 15 DAYS FROM YOUR ARREST DATE TO REQUEST AN ALR HEARING BEFORE YOUR LICENSE IS SUSPENDED!!!
Don’t be surprised when the police confiscate your driver’s license once you get arrested for DWI. They are authorized by law to do this.
WHAT IS “IMPLIED CONSENT”?
In Texas, the legislature enacted what is known as an “Implied Consent” law. Almost every state in the nation has this policy. “Implied Consent” means that every person who has received a driver’s license accepted it on the condition that if law enforcement ever requests a sample of your breath or blood, then you will provide it for them. Obviously, nobody is ever told this when you apply for or receive a driver’s license.
WHAT IS THE “STATUTORY WARNING”?
When you are investigated for DWI in Texas, and then arrested, the officer reads you the DIC 24 “Statutory Warning”. This piece of paper explains the applicable portions of the Texas Transportation Code regarding your license consequences of refusing the breath test and is required by law to be given to the suspect.
HOW LONG CAN MY LICENSE BE SUSPENDED?
The break down is divided by age, split between Refusals under 21 and Refusals over 21. If you are 21 or older and you refuse to provide a specimen, your license may be suspended for 180 days for a first offense. If you are over 21 and you blow over a .08 your license may be suspended for 90 days for a first offense. Minors could face a 180-day suspension for a breath test refusal and 60 days for a breath test failure on a first offense DWI. If it’s a subsequent offense, drivers could receive a two-year suspension.
WHERE IS MY DRIVER’S LICENSE?
When you are released from jail, you should have in your release paperwork a DIC 25 “Notice of Suspension”. This is your TEMPORARY DRIVING PERMIT because your driver’s license has been confiscated. The very last paragraph on the DIC 25 is very important. It tells you how to request a hearing on your license prior to suspension. If you do not request a hearing within 15 days of your arrest, your license will be automatically suspended 40 days from your arrest date. This is why it is so important for you to contact a DWI lawyer immediately after you are arrested. I will request this hearing for you and set in motion the necessary procedures for effective representation to win the driver’s license hearing.
WHAT IS A DRIVER’S LICENSE HEARING?
The license hearing will usually be referred to as the ALR, short for Administrative License Revocation. The ALR is important in your DWI case. The outcome does not affect the outcome of your DWI case. However, we can request paperwork and discovery in the ALR hearing from DPS that will be the same information used against you at your DWI trial. The ALR is typically much earlier in the process than the DWI resolution so we can get ahead of the opposition sooner.
WHAT HAPPENS AT THE ALR?
At the ALR, DPS has to prove three things in order to suspend your driver’s license. First, they have to show that the officer had reasonable suspicion to stop your vehicle. Reasonable suspicion means the police officer had reasonable, articulable facts to believe criminal activity has occurred or is likely to occur. Speeding, for example, qualifies as reasonable suspicion. Weaving within your lane arguably does not qualify as reasonable suspicion. Next, DPS must prove the officer had probable cause to arrest you for DWI. Probable cause is defined as being more likely than not an offense has been committed. If you fail a field sobriety test, or refuse to take field sobriety test, and admit to drinking alcohol, then this could be enough for an officer to have probable cause. Finally, DPS must prove either you took the breath test and blew over a .08, or you refused to take the breath test. If we can fight anyone of these three things, then we will win your ALR hearing, and you will not face a driving suspension.
WHAT HAPPENS IF MY DRIVER’S LICENSE IS SUSPENDED?
If DPS proves these three things, and your license is suspended, everything is still okay. If it is your first offense, we can get an Occupational License right away to allow you to drive to work, the doctor, school, and the grocery store, and other places required to carry out essential house hold duties. Also, because we subpoenaed the police officers involved, we have an opportunity to cross-examine them about their case and lock them into their side of the story. If they change their testimony at trial, we can impeach them with their testimony from the ALR.
WHAT IF THE OFFICER DOESN’T COME TO THE ALR?
If the officer doesn’t answer the subpoena, meaning the officer didn’t show up to the ALR, then DPS may have to dismiss your ALR and your license will not be suspended.