Attorney

ALR Hearings and Importance

It is critically important that you hire an attorney to represent you early in the process after getting arrested for a DWI. Regardless of whether this is a first DWI arrest or not, there are time sensitive issues that need to be addressed in order to ensure your rights and your everyday lifestyle are protected. The most common mistake is that people don’t hire attorneys before the 15 day time limit to contest the automatic suspension of their driver’s license.

What Happens to Your Driver’s License After You are Arrested for a DWI?

When you are arrested for a DWI, an officer will confiscate your license and issue you a temporary permit to drive. This permit is only valid for 40 days after your DWI arrest, after which your license will be suspended for as long as is set forth by statute. The length of a suspension depends on a variety of factors including whether this was your first offense, what your BAC was at the time of your arrest, whether you caused an accident, injury, or fatality, if you had a child ages 14 or younger in the car with you at the time of your arrest, of whether you had an open container in the car.

What can be Done About an Automatic Suspension?

After you are arrested for a DWI and receive your temporary permit, also called a Notice of Suspension and Temporary Driving Permit, you have 15 days to request an Administrative License Revocation Hearing. This is most often referred to as an ALR Hearing. If the ALR Hearing is not requested within that 15 day time period, then after 40 days your license will be suspended.

The process and procedure for requesting an ALR Hearing will be outlined on your temporary permit, but it is always wise to have an attorney request a hearing and represent you at the hearing to ensure your rights are being properly protected.

What if Your License is Suspended?

A person that has been arrested for a DWI and has had their license suspended through an ALR Hearing has the opportunity to appeal the suspension by filing an appeal petition. If someone is appealing an ALJ suspension, then the appeal petition has to be file stamped by a County or District Clerk within 30 days of the start date of the suspension. A certified copy of the appeal petition then has to be sent via overnight mail to the DPS by certified mail. The appeal is then ruled on, and if the suspension is reversed then the Texas DPS will reissue your license to you.

If you do not appeal your suspension, or if your appeal is unsuccessful, then your license can be reinstated at the conclusion of the suspension period.

Keep in mind that if you are convicted of a DWI, then in order to keep your license active after your suspension period and your conviction, you will also be required to pay an annual surcharge of anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000 for three years from the date of your DWI conviction. If you do not, then your license could become invalid and you could incur additional tickets, fines, or criminal charges.

The ramifications of being arrested and potentially convicted of a DWI offense is vast. That is why it is wise to let an attorney help you navigate the unfamiliar terrain. The sooner you hire counsel to represent you, the more that attorney can try and ensure your rights are protected at every level. With the time constraints imposed on DWI offenses, it is important to hire an attorney sooner rather than later.

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