Most people do not realize that DWI cases always involve two completely separate types of proceedings. From the very start, defendants must deal with the civil license suspension portion, called an "ALR" Hearing (or Administrative License Revocation Hearing). The primary concern usually, of course, is the other portion of a DWI case, and whether or not there will be a conviction for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI).
But regardless of the outcome of the criminal portion, license suspensions can pose unique problems. You can read more about the ALR process here. The Law Office of Carl David Ceder, PLLC, can help you if your license has been suspended. You may be eligible for an appeal of the suspension, or for an occupational license.
Once a driver is arrested for DWI, he or she has 15 days to request the ALR hearing. If an ALR Hearing is not requested, your license will automatically be suspended on the 41st day after your arrest. During the ALR hearing, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) may decide to grant the license suspension. If granted, the amount of time your for which your license is suspended will depend on the results of any blood or breath tests conducted, as well as any prior DWIs.
For DPS to be able to succeed at an ALR hearing, they must prove that the officer had reasonable suspicion to initiate the traffic stop, as well as sufficient probable cause for the arrest. However, the burden of proof at an ALR hearing is lower than that of a criminal trial, which is "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt." Due to the lower standard of proof in civil proceedings, the ALJ tends to order license suspensions almost all of the time. However, the ALR can still be used as a very helpful discovery tool in the criminal case. It can provide the first chance to cross-examine the investigatin officer on why the decision was made to arrest for DWI. If the ALJ orders the license suspended, an occupational license can be obtained (if circumstances permit).
Lengths of Suspensions in Texas
Administrative license suspension penalties vary, depending on whether a breath or blood test was refused, or failed (.08 or higher), and whether there were any prior license suspensions or DWI convictions.
First DWI Arrest:
Breath Test Failure: If you consented to a chemical test (either breath or blood) during the field investigation or after your arrest for a DWI, and the result was a BAC of .08 or higher, your license will be suspended for 90 days.
Breath Test Refusal: If you refused to consent to a chemical test offered by the arresting officer after they have read the required DIC-24 statutory warning, your license will be suspended for 180 days.
Subsequent DWI Arrest:
If you have any prior DWIs during the past 10 years, the license suspension penalties increase with subsequent DWI arrests.
Breath Test Failure: If you submitted to and failed a chemical test (breath or blood) and you have had prior alcohol or drug-related conduct within the past 10 years, your license will be suspended for a period of 1-year.
Breath Test Refusal: If you refused chemical testing after the officer read to you the required DIC-24 statutory warning, and you have had prior alcohol or drug-related conduct within the past 10 years, your license will be suspended for 2-years.
Occupational License Waiting Periods: If it has been less than 5 years since any prior license suspensions, you must wait 90 days to become eligible for an Occupational License. However, if you were actually convicted of an alcohol or drug offense within the last 5 years, the waiting period is 180 days.
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Carl David Ceder can help if you are facing a license suspension following a DWI arrest. Carl practices all over the Dallas Metroplex, including all of Dallas, Tarrant County, Collin County, Denton County, Rockwall County, Kaufman County, and all adjoining counties:
- Dallas License Suspension Lawyer - Dallas, University Park, University Park, Grapevine, Garland, DeSoto, Irving, Carrollton, Addison, Duncanville, Richardson, Cedar Hill, Cockrell Hill, Coppell, Grand Prairie, Lancaster, Lewisville, Mesquite, Seagoville, Wilmer, Wylie
- Tarrant County License Suspension Lawyer - Fort Worth, Southlake, Keller, Arlington, Bedford, Burleson, Colleyville, Crowley, Euless, Everman, Grapevine, Flower Mound, Grand Prairie, Hurst, Lakeside, Mansfield, North Richland Hills, Westlake, Saginaw, River Oaks
- Collin County License Suspension Lawyer - McKinney, Plano, Garland, Allen, Dallas, Carrollton, Richardson, Fairview, St. Paul, Weston, Lucas, Melissa, Nevada, Westminster, Frisco, Celina, Murphy, New Hope, Prosper, Wylie
- Rockwall County License Suspension Lawyer- Rockwall, Dallas, Fate, Heath, Mobile City, McLendon-Chisholm, Rowlett, Royse City, Wylie, Munson, Blackland
- Denton County License Suspension Lawyer - Dallas, Denton, Flower Mound, Fort Worth, Southlake, Hebron, Argyle, Justin, Lake Dallas, Plano, Bartonville, Coppell, Northlake, Carrollton, Corinth, Hebron, Highland Village, Justin, Lakewood Village, Lewisville, Northlake, Prosper, The Colony, Westlake