If you were just arrested and accused of DWI in Texas, the next two weeks are critical. Your thoughts might immediately run to hefty fines or jail time, but having your license suspended at an administrative license revocation (ALR) hearing can be just as devastating.
If you’ve been pulled over for suspicion of drunk driving and either refused or failed a breath or blood test, the Texas department of public safety (DPS) will move to suspend your license. You’ll receive a “Notice of Suspension” (DIC-25) in the mail which will serve as a temporary permit until you choose whether to challenge the suspension at an ALR hearing or until your license is revoked.
Wondering how to win an ALR hearing and save your license from suspension? You’ll need to request a hearing on time, hire a criminal defense attorney, and create reasonable doubt. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know to fight to win your DMV hearing and protect your driving privileges.
What happens at an ALR hearing?
An ALR hearing is a civil proceeding less commonly known as a DMV hearing. During the hearing, the department of public safety (DPS) must prove that you drove a vehicle in a public place with a BAC of 0.08 or higher and were given an opportunity to consent to a breath or blood test and read your rights. Conversely, you and your attorney will need to create reasonable doubt around the evidence, traffic stop, and arrest.
After listening to the evidence, any witness statements, and your testimony, the judge will rule on the disposition of your driver’s license. Should he rule against you, your license could be suspended for up to two years.
If you’re facing a DMV hearing as a result of a DWI, it would be in your best interest to hire a criminal defense attorney who also knows how to fight a DWI.
How long does it take to get an ALR hearing?
It can take two weeks to 120 days to get an ALR hearing date. DPS will send a response to the address on file containing the time, day, and location of your hearing. If you do not submit your request within 15 days, it will be denied. Requesting a hearing is your only opportunity to fight against the revocation of your license.
Continue reading: What happens if you don’t blow for a DUI
How to prepare for a DMV hearing
Before you do anything else, hire a Houston criminal defense attorney who is prepared to argue your case. They will be able to handle every step of the ALR process for you while bringing the aggressive representation you need to save your license.
Here are 5 steps you’ll need to take to fight a lost drivers license in Texas:
1. Request a hearing
You must request a hearing online or through mail within 15 days of your arrest otherwise your license will be suspended automatically after 40 days. Your request will be confirmed through mail to whatever address you have listed on file. You’ll want to ensure this address is updated or you will risk missing your hearing.
2. Choose whether your hearing will be in-person or via the phone
You are given the option to have your ALR hearing in-person or through a telephonic hearing. If you choose to have your hearing through the phone, you’ll need to get creative with your strategy as DPS will be able to go through evidence without a live witness. Whereas if you have your DMV hearing in person, you are given the right to subpoena the arresting officer. More on that below.
3. Subpoena witnesses
One of the quickest ways to have your ALR hearing dismissed is to subpoena the arresting officer. If they do not show and the DPS attorney isn’t able to present “good cause” as to why they did not appear, their paperwork will be excluded from the evidence. In the case that you don’t subpoena the arresting officer, the DPS attorney can present the officer’s written statement without giving you a chance to question them.
4. Introduce reasonable doubt
To avoid Texas drivers license suspension, your ALR hearing lawyer must dispute the evidence presented by the department of public safety attorney. This could include creating reasonable doubt that:
- There was reasonable suspicion to pull you over
- The officer had probable cause for your arrest
- You met the statutory definition of DWI
- Your legal rights were upheld during the arrest
To gain access to the evidence connected to your case, your lawyer will need to request them from DPS. These records could include the arrest report, videos, chemical test results, or your record.
5. Prepare your testimony
What you say during your sworn testimony at your DMV hearing will carry over and may be used against you in your DWI hearing. Hiring a good attorney is crucial in ensuring that you do not say anything self-incriminating.
Don’t Risk Losing Your License. Hire the Best DWI Attorney in Houston.
If you’re facing Texas driver’s license suspension, it is possible to have your ALR hearing dismissed so long as your lawyer is able to dispute any evidence. To do that, you need to hire a trial-tested DWI attorney.
Mark Thiessen, founding attorney of Thiessen Law Firm, is Triple Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, DWI Defense Law by the National College for DWI Defense, and DWI Law by the DWI Defense Lawyers Association, has been voted a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by The National Trial Lawyers Association, and voted a Texas Super Lawyer by Thompson Reuters.
With over 100 Not Guilty verdicts, Mark has proven that he will fight for your rights like no other. Call Thiessen Law Firm at 713-864-9000 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation today.
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