If you were recently arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas, it is important to understand that two different cases have been opened: a civil and criminal one. While it goes without saying that you will be required to participate in the criminal trial, it is up to you to decide whether or not you would like to schedule an administrative license revocation (ALR) hearing. After your arrest, you will have 15 days to request a hearing—the purpose of which is to fight for the reinstatement of your driver’s license—since a police officer would have the right to confiscate your license if you have either refused to take a chemical test or taken and failed a chemical test.
Although you will be issued a temporary permit, it will expire 41 days after your arrest and the suspension will go into effect. For this reason, it is recommended that you get in touch with a Houston DWI lawyer as soon as you have been arrested. You only have 15 days, so timely action is crucial. If you were to decide that you wanted to contest the suspension on the 16th day, you would be out of luck. Your driving privileges would automatically be revoked, regardless of whether or not you are eventually convicted of DWI. Depending on the reason why your license was confiscated and the number of prior convictions that you have on your record, the suspension would last for:
Refused to Take a BAC Test
- No Prior Convictions: 180 days
- At Least One Prior Conviction: 2 years
Failed a BAC Test (.08% or greater)
- No Prior Convictions: 90 days
- At Least One Prior Conviction: 1 year
If you decide to schedule an ALR hearing, the burden of proof would be on the Department of Public Safety. They would need to prove that the suspension was lawful in order for it to be upheld. In order to do so, they will need to show that 1) the officer had reasonable suspicion to stop the driver and/or probable cause to arrest the driver for DWI, 2) probable cause existed that the driver had operated a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, 3) the driver was informed of the consequences of refusing or failing a chemical test and 4) the driver subsequently failed to comply with chemical testing or registered a blood-alcohol concentration of .08% or greater.
If you can disprove even one of these elements, you may be able to successfully contest the suspension of your driver’s license. For this reason, we encourage you to speak with the Houston DWI attorney at Jim Medley & Associates, P.C. today. Call at (713) 668-4589 for a free consultation.