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Keeping Your Drivers’ License After A DWI

 Posted on April 15, 2022 in Criminal Defense

Midland Texas Criminal Defense LawyerWhen you walk into an Administrative License Revocation hearing following an arrest for driving while intoxicated (DWI), the deck might as well be stacked against you. Since the ALR hearing is not technically a criminal matter, many of the normal rules of evidence do not apply. The hearing officer, who is not a judge and probably not even an attorney, serves as prosecutor, judge, and jury in such cases.

In practice, however, the outcome is almost a secondary concern. Even if you do not “win” the ALR hearing, the process can be a very valuable component of your defense.

What is at Stake?

If you are arrested for DWI and you either refuse to provide a sample or fail the chemical test, the state will almost certainly take action against your drivers’ license. So, the only way to avoid possible licenses suspension is to take a breath or blood test and pass it. If you refuse a test, the Department of Public Safety may suspend your license for up to six months for a first offense and two years for a subsequent offense. If you failed the test, the suspension period is a maximum of 90 days or one year. Commercial drivers and motorists under 21 may face longer possible suspension periods.

As soon as you are booked on your DWI charge, the proverbial clock starts ticking. You only have 15 days to request a probable cause hearing; if you miss the deadline, the state automatically suspends your drivers’ license. Due to scheduling backlogs, it may be several weeks or months before a hearing is held. At the hearing, the primary question is whether or not the officer had probable cause to request a sample. Other concerns may be raised as well, such as whether you were made aware of the risks of failing or refusing the test.

The Hearing

Some counties are “closed file” jurisdictions, so the ALR hearing may be your attorney’s only opportunity to review the police report and other key documents. If the officer appears at the proceeding—and they normally do show up—the proceeding basically becomes a free deposition.

After considering the evidence, the hearing officer could reduce the suspension period based on the testimony. The worst possible outcome is a license suspension for the maximum period, which would have happened whether you requested a hearing or not. So, at an ALR hearing, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Speak With a Skilled Travis County License Reinstatement Lawyer

To learn more about how to keep your license as your DWI case proceeds, contact an Austin drivers’ license reinstatement attorney at Morales Law Office, Attorneys at Law, PLLC.. Call 512-474-2222 to schedule a free consultation and case review at our office today.



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