If you have been arrested for DWI, you are likely concerned about losing your license and the impact that will have on your ability to earn a living and take care of your responsibilities to your family. In Texas, your driver’s license can be suspended as an administrative penalty for driving while intoxicated regardless of whether it is your first or subsequent DWI offense. While you do have the right to contest the suspension of your license, you only have 15 days to request an administrative license revocation (ALR) hearing. Contact an experienced Houston DWI defense lawyer immediately following your arrest to help fight your license suspension.
If you arrested for DWI, Texas will attempt to automatically suspend your license through an ALR hearing. If you fail or refuse a blood or breath test, an officer will place you under arrest for DWI and issue you written notice that your license will be suspended. The police officer is required to confiscate your driver’s license and issue you a temporary permit. If for some reason the officer does not provide you with notice of suspension at the time of arrest, the Texas Department of Public Safety will mail you a letter. It is important to understand that this is an administrative process that is separate and apart from the penalties that you will face in your criminal case.
Texas law gives you 15 days from the date you receive notice of suspension, to request a hearing to appeal the administrative proposal to suspend your license. If you fail to request a hearing within the required timeline, you waive your right to contest the suspension and your license will be automatically suspended for either a minimum of 180 days, if you refused a blood or breath test, or a minimum of 90 days, if you failed a blood or breath test. Should you fail to request a hearing within the required timeline, the automatic suspension will take effect 40 days after the date notice of suspension was initially served. You will have to pay a $125 reinstatement fee in order to restore your driving privileges following the suspension.
If a hearing is requested within the required 15-day timeline, Texas DPS will send a letter to notify you of the date, time and location of the hearing. Hearings are conducted by the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH). The DPS must show that the officer had reasonable suspicion to stop your vehicle and probable cause to arrest you for DWI and that you either failed a blood or breath test by providing a BAC sample or .08 or more or that you were offered the opportunity to provide a blood or breath test and refused. If the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) rules in favor of the state, you have the right to appeal that decision.
How a DWI Attorney Can Help Save Your Driver’s License
If you have been arrested for a DWI, you need to contact a DWI attorney as soon as possible so that you can preserve your right to contest your license suspension. Having the knowledge and skill of an experienced DWI attorney in the ALR process is invaluable and greatly improves your chances of avoiding suspension. In addition to contesting the license suspension, the ALR hearing will provide your attorney the opportunity to learn more about the types of evidence the prosecution plans to use in your criminal case and to question police officers about the details surrounding your arrest.
Houston DWI attorney Ned Barnett can request an ALR hearing for you, prepare a defense, accompany you to your ALR hearing, question the arresting officer and and present an argument before the ALJ. He has over 20 years of experience helping clients contest license suspension and he will make sure you are prepared for a successful ALR hearing. He specializes in DWI defense and knows how to point out the legal and factual weaknesses in a case.
Mr. Barnett is a former state and federal prosecutor in the Houston area and is Board Certified in criminal law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. With over 25 years of practical legal experience, and certifications in field sobriety, blood and breath tests, he knows how to build a compelling defense. Mr. Barnett has an exemplary reputation as a criminal defense attorney and he is dedicated to obtaining the best possible outcome for his clients.
Learn more about the steps that can be taken to challenge DWI charges or to save your driving privileges by contacting the Law Offices of Ned Barnett today at (713) 222-6767. Call now to schedule a free, no-obligation review of your case.