Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearings
You have two cases against you if you have been arrested for drunk driving. You likely know about the criminal case charging you with the crime of DWI, but you also have a civil case against your driver’s license. You have 15 days from the date of your arrest to request a hearing to try and save your license. If you hire Mark before then, he will request the hearing for you. If you don’t, we at Thiessen Law Firm can still help you so that you don’t lose that valuable driving privilege.
There is no constitutional right to drive. When you first got your license, you signed it, effectuating a contract between you and the State of Texas. One of the rules in the statutes says that if you are ever pulled over for DWI then you must provide a breath sample. It is called implied consent; however, in Texas, there is a clash between the Texas Transportation Code and the Texas Property Code. As a result, the State generally cannot force you to take a breath or blood test. We will go into more detail on implied consent below. You can and should refuse to take a breath or blood test.
If you refused the breath test, then the State is going to attempt to suspend your license for 180 days on your first DWI arrest. If you have another prior DWI where you refused the breath test and it is within 10 years of your first refusal, then the State will attempt a license suspension of two years. If that prior DWI was within 10 years but you took the breath test and failed, they will attempt a license suspension of one year. If you are a minor (under 21), then the suspension time will only be 90 days on the first refusal.
If you took the breath test and failed (over a 0.08), then the State will attempt a license suspension of 90 days on the First DWI and one year if you have any prior convictions within 10 years. Again, if you are a minor, then the suspension is only 90 days. Under the Fourth Amendment, though, you still have the right to a hearing on whether your license can be suspended. The hearing is called an Administrative License Revocation hearing (ALR). It is a civil hearing with an Administrative Law Judge at the State Office of Administrative Hearings. Once we request the hearing within the 15 day window after your arrest, then the hearing will be randomly scheduled around 5-8 months later, depending on what county the case is in. You do not have to attend the hearing, and not doing so is better if the officer decides to show up and then sees and remembers you. If s/he does appear, Mark Thiessen will get a chance at cross-examination under oath and get a transcript of her/his testimony to use in your criminal case. Many times the officer’s testimony is discredited at the ALR, resulting in a win for the DWI case. For that reason, many officers refuse to show up. If they fail to appear and they were properly subpoenaed, then you win and keep your license. At the ALR, we are either going to get valuable testimony for your criminal case or you will get to keep your license. Even if you lose your license, most times you are entitled to an Occupational Driver’s License, which we can also help you acquire. There are some complications regarding priors and commercial driver’s licenses, but those can be discussed in person if the need arises.
Contact Thiessen Law Firm today online or call us at (713) 864-9000 for a confidential, free case evaluation.