A DWI arrest can lead to an administrative license revocation (ALR) hearing that could result in a temporary loss of your driver’s license. You could win an ALR hearing in Texas by having a criminal defense lawyer represent you. Their familiarity with state law can lead to a credible defense. They can also file your hearing request within the allotted time, leverage the discovery process, question the arresting officer, and review and dispute evidence.
If you were recently arrested on a driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge in Texas, you could face serious criminal charges and related penalties. You will also face the separate civil process of an ALR hearing. While you can represent yourself, there are many benefits to letting a DWI lawyer handle your case and this hearing for you.
What Is an ALR Hearing?
The best way to avoid the short- or long-term loss of your license is to work with a local criminal defense lawyer who can explain the process, potential outcomes, and the strategy they will use to help you retain your driving privileges.
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), an ALR hearing is civil. DPS will suspend your license after a DWI arrest if the following occurs:
- You refuse to take a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test.
- You submit to the test, but your BAC is .08% or higher as a non-commercial driver.
- You submit to the test, but your BAC is .04% or higher as a commercial driver.
Even if the criminal charges against you are dismissed later, it will not affect your ALR hearing. You must still navigate this legal process to retain or regain your license.
What Happens at the ALR Hearing?
You have a limited time to request your ALR hearing—typically 15 days. Once requested, though, scheduling your hearing can take up to 120 days. Before the hearing, your lawyer will subpoena witnesses, address your questions and concerns, collect compelling evidence, and update you on the progress of your case and hearing.
Once scheduled (by mail, phone, fax, or online), the ALR hearing will occur before an administrative law judge (ALJ). Your lawyer will:
- Review the probable cause that led to your initial stop
- Subpoena the arresting officer or officers to ensure their presence
- Question the officer as the hearing progresses
- Question the procedures leading up to the blood alcohol testing
- Ensure the authorities advised you of your rights in full and in a language you understand
Your lawyer will prepare you and any supporting witnesses if you must testify at the hearing. A DPS lawyer will also be present to advocate for the state in favor of suspending your license.
If your license is not suspended, its renewal will be made effective immediately. If necessary, your lawyer may request an occupational license allowing you to drive under specific circumstances.
What If the ALR Hearing does Not Go in My Favor?
According to State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) guidelines, you do not have to accept losing your license without a fight. Your lawyer can help you file an appeal:
- At the court-at-law in the county where your original arrest was made
- In your county’s court, if no county court-at-law is available
To file an appeal, you or your attorney must file an appeal within 30 days of your initial hearing. Each court will have its rules and guidelines, so the best way to understand the appeals process is to let your lawyer explain it.
You must file a certified copy of your appeal to the SOAH and DPS offices in Austin. Some courts may also require a certified record of your initial hearing. The judge who hears your appeal will make a final determination.
For a legal consultation, call 713-225-1900
What Are the Consequences of Losing My Texas Driver’s License?
Whether long- or short-term, losing your license can wreak havoc in your personal and professional lives. In addition to preventing you from driving yourself or your family on necessary trips, the consequences of a suspended license can include the following:
- You could be left without a valid form of identification, which can make everyday life challenging.
- If you are a commercial driver, your current and future employment could be negatively affected.
- You cannot purchase or register a car in Texas.
- Your insurance rates could go up in the future.
- Transportation costs for you and your family could skyrocket.
- You may need to obtain a Texas state identification card.
You could face hefty fines and potential jail time if caught driving without a license. A DWI lawyer in your area can help you avoid these consequences and fight to hold on to your license.
How Long Will the Suspension Remain on My License?
The length of your suspension will vary based on whether you submitted to a BAC test or refused. If you refused:
- First-time offenders can lose their license for 180 days
- Subsequent offenders can lose their license for two years
If you submit to testing and your BAC is measured at .08% or higher:
- First-time offenders can lose their license for 90 days
- Subsequent offenders can lose their license for one year
A DWI lawyer will represent you and build a strong case at your hearing. They can question the arresting law enforcement officers and present evidence to keep your license.
Blass Law Can Represent You at Your Texas ALR Hearing
If you were arrested on a DWI charge, losing your license can be inconvenient and costly. At Blass Law, our DWI lawyers can help you avoid these damaging consequences.
Do not approach this complex hearing alone—we will fight hard for your driving privileges. Contact one of our team members today to find out what it takes to win an ALR hearing in Texas and how hard our legal team will go to bat for you.