ALR Hearing

ALR Hearings in Texas

Save Your Driver's License After a DWI

Have you been arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas? The first step that you must take is to contact us at Guerra & Farah, PLLC for a free case evaluation with an Houston criminal defense lawyer who can assist you with preparing your case and fighting to keep your driver's license. It is imperative that you take immediate action because you have only 15 days to request an administrative license revocation (ALR) hearing from the Texas Department of Public Safety. Otherwise, you will be subject to an automatic suspension of your driver's license, regardless of whether you prevail in fighting the charges in criminal court.

About the Administrative License Suspension

The ALR hearing is a separate action from the criminal case. In a DWI case, the defendant is prosecuted by the Harris County District Attorney representing the state of Texas, and a conviction on the criminal charges can result in penalties including a fine of $2,000, between 3 and 180 days in jail, as much as $6,000 in license surcharges and a driver's license suspension lasting for up to a year. Even if your attorney succeeds in beating these charges, you can still lose your license for between 90 days and 2 years if you fail to take action to request an ALR hearing.

The ALR hearing is used in cases in which the DWI suspect refused to submit to a breath or blood test -referred to as an implied consent refusal - as well as when the suspect took a chemical test and failed. At the conclusion of the DWI traffic stop, the police officer confiscates the suspect's driver's license and issues a temporary driving permit. If the suspect does not request a hearing, an administrative license suspension will go into effect on the 40th day after the arrest.

What Happens at the ALR Hearing

The ALR hearing is provided through the Texas State Office of Administrative Hearings, and the hearing is presided over by an administrative law judge who serves as both judge and jury in the case. The standard of proof in the ALR hearing is lower than in criminal court, but it is based on much of the same evidence as can be used in the trial. Your attorney will have the opportunity to cross-examine the officer responsible for your arrest, and in many cases it is possible to have the client's driver's license returned. In other cases this is not possible, but even then the ALR provides invaluable information about what evidence the prosecution has and what the arresting officer has to say about the case. This insight can be used to great effect in the criminal trial.

To learn more about what to expect and begin preparing your case, contact a Houston DWI lawyer at Guerra & Farah, PLLC today!

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