One of the most dire consequences of a DWI in Texas may be a long-term suspension of your driver’s license. This can be incredibly challenging to deal with as it may unexpectedly hamper your ability to do important things like get to work, visit your doctor, and help your family members with their needs. The good news is that you might be able to challenge your suspension if you act quickly. Let’s take a look at the process to challenge your driver’s license suspension in Texas after you have been arrested for DWI, and what you could do to protect your rights.
DWI-Related License Suspension Scenarios
If you provide the police officer with a blood test following your arrest, then you will generally hold on to your driver’s license until the results are obtained by Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS). If TxDPS determines that your BAC was above the legal limit, then you will be issued a notice of suspension / temporary driving permit. You only have 20 days from being mailed this notice to request a hearing to challenge your suspension.
Alternatively, if you fail or refuse to take a field sobriety test, or the breathalyzer shows that your BAC is above the legal limit, then the police officer might confiscate your license on the spot and then issue you a notice of suspension / temporary driving permit. In this case, you only have 15 days from being handed this notice to request a hearing to challenge your suspension. If you don’t request a hearing in time, then your license will be suspended on the 40th day following notice.
Challenging Your License Suspension Through The Administrative Law Revocation Hearing
If you appeal your suspension, then TxDPS will schedule your Administrative Law Revocation (ALR) hearing within approximately 30 to 120 days. The ALR program, which is conducted by the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH), is a civil process that is unrelated to your criminal matter. ALR requires TxDPS to suspend or disqualify your license if you are arrested for DWI or boating while intoxicated (BWI).
At your ALR, TxDPS will try to prove to a judge that your BAC exceeded the legal limit or that you refused the blood or breath test. In addition to determining whether your BAC in fact exceeded the legal limit, the judge also analyzes the evidence to determine if the police officer had a reasonable suspicion to make your traffic stop and had probable cause to arrest you for DWI. If TxDPS claims that you refused to be tested, then the judge must determine that you indeed refused and will also determine if the officer had reasonable suspicion to pull you over and had probable cause to believe that you were driving while intoxicated.
Prior to making a decision, the judge will hear your arguments and those made by TxDPS’ lawyers, while also taking into account testimony from your arresting officer and other relevant individuals. If you prevail at this hearing, then your license will not be suspended. However, if you do not prevail, then you still have an opportunity to save your license by appealing that decision within 30 days of being notified about it. In fact, filing an appeal will at least prevent your license from being suspended for 90 days to allow for your appeal to occur. If the appeals court sides with you, then it will order TxDPS to reissue your license. If you lose, then your suspension goes into effect and you may have to wait until your suspension period concludes to get your license reinstated.
Turnbull Legal Group Is At Your Service
Headed by a former district court judge and chief prosecutor, Turnbull Legal Group consists of highly respected and dedicated criminal defense attorneys who have helped countless Texans facing criminal charges such as DWIs. We are on your side. We can file a formal request for an ALR hearing on your behalf, relieving you of the stress. More importantly, we can represent you at your ALR hearing and file a petition for your occupational license. The criminal defense lawyers at Turnbull Legal Group will carefully review your situation, help you clearly understand your options, uncover holes in the State’s case against you, and vigorously defend your rights so that you can get back on the road as soon as possible. Get in touch with Turnbull Legal Group by calling (832) 479-2104 or by contacting us online today for a free consultation.