Houston ALR Lawyer – Administrative License Revocation Disputes

First and foremost, we know how important a driver’s license is to our clients.  Living in a city like Houston, it is almost impossible to get around and do the things we need to do on a daily basis without a valid driver’s license.

Normally when someone is arrested for DWI or any other intoxicated related charge, there is a separate driver’s license case that needs to be challenged.  Whether you gave a breath or blood test or refused to give a breath or blood test, the Department of Public Safety will automatically suspend your license unless you or your lawyer timely requests a hearing to challenge that automatic suspension.

Our Attorneys Can Dispute Your License Suspension at an ALR Hearing

But you have to take action fast.

You have to fight to get your driver’s license reinstated after a DWI arrest, because it’s automatically suspended even if the charges are later dropped.  All of this without even being proven guilty of DWI. The automatic driver’s license suspension is called Administrative License Revocation (ALR) in Texas.


 You have only 15 days from the date of your arrest to request an ALR hearing. 

If the hearing is not requested timely, you will automatically lose your driver’s license on the 40th day after your arrest for DWI.


The challenge to this automatic suspension is handled by an administrative law judge in a different court than where your DWI is being handled.  The hearing is called an Administration License Revocation hearing and it is incredibly important to the defense of your DWI case.  Having a competent attorney representing you at this hearing can be the difference in you winning or losing your driver’s license and potentially your DWI case.

Through our years of experience, we have found that the information that we learn during the ALR hearing can often lead to the DWI portion of the case being dismissed or reduced to a lesser charge.  We are able to question the arresting officers about the facts of the arrest without them having the benefit of being “coached” by the district attorney that is handling the case prior to your jury trial.  Unfortunately, many attorneys don’t take advantage of this unique opportunity to learn about the facts of you case. But we do. And we can only help you if you get in contact with us.

Get Answers from a Lawyer and Learn What to Expect

What is an ALR Hearing?

Normally when someone is arrested for DWI or any other intoxicated related charge, there is a separate driver’s license case that needs to be challenged.  Whether you gave a breath or blood test or refused to give a breath or blood test, the Department of Public Safety will automatically suspend your license unless you or your lawyer timely requests a hearing to challenge that automatic suspension.  CAUTION!  You have only 15 days from the date of your arrest to request this hearing.  If the hearing is not requested timely, you will automatically lose your driver’s license on the 40th day after your arrest for DWI.

Why Should I Challenge My License Suspension at the ALR Hearing?

The challenge to this automatic suspension is handled by an administrative law judge in a different court than where your DWI is being handled.  The hearing is called an Administration License Revocation hearing and it is incredibly important to the defense of your DWI case.  Having a competent attorney representing you at this hearing can be the difference in you winning or losing your driver’s license and potentially your DWI case.

By participating in a hearing during the administrative license revocation (ALR) process, you’ll be able to ensure your rights are protected and regain full driving privileges as quickly as possible. During this hearing, an administrative law judge will hear arguments from the prosecuting attorney about why you should lose your driver’s license; you’ll need to show that the evidence against you did not justify the initial stop or your subsequent arrest, and revocation of your license is inappropriate.

Having the arresting officer committed to his or her ALR testimony under oath can provide you with great fodder for cross-examination during your DWI trial, and may cast enough reasonable doubt to prevent you from being convicted. However, ALR hearings are governed by strict deadlines, so it’s important to be aware of the process and begin working your case as quickly as possible.

Consulting an attorney or law office can be crucial to your success — performing statutory research while gathering all the documentation you’ll need to argue why your license should be reinstated can be time-consuming, and missing even a single deadline may waive your ability to continue pursuing your case. By engaging someone who has handled (and won) many prior ALR hearings, you’ll be able to rest assured knowing you’re in experienced hands.

When Does ALR suspension begin?

An ALR suspension is performed as a matter of course in DWI arrests. If you refuse to take a blood alcohol test (either a breathalyzer on the scene or a blood test at a nearby hospital) after being pulled over on suspicion of DWI, your license will be automatically subject to suspension pursuant to Texas law. By that same token, if you’re pulled over, consent to a blood alcohol test, and test higher than the legal limit of 0.08 BAC, your license will also be suspended.

What is the deadline to request an ALR hearing?

You have a fairly short window — only 15 days from the date of your arrest — to request a hearing. Requests must be made in writing on a form approved by the Texas Department of Public Safety. You’ll usually be provided with a copy of this form after your arrest, but can request one directly from the Department. Failing to request your hearing within 15 days can waive your right to contest your license suspension.

Can you appeal ALR decisions?

If, after an ALR hearing, your license is suspended, you have the right to appeal an ALR decision. Appeals must be filed within 30 days of the adverse decision, and just like failing to request a hearing in the first place, failing to appeal within 30 days can waive any further right to contest the suspension.

How can you keep your job if you lose your license?

For those without a friend or family member to provide a ride to work during the suspension period or who live outside the reach of any public transportation services, a revoked driver’s license can mean an instant trip to the unemployment office. Fortunately, you may be able to obtain limited driving privileges during your suspension by applying for an occupational license.

This occupational license will allow you to travel to and from school, work, or your child’s school or daycare, but traveling outside these specific routes can subject you to arrest for driving while suspended.

How long can your license be suspended?

Under Texas law, an administrative law judge can suspend your driver’s license for at least 90 days. However, longer suspension periods can be imposed for those with prior DWI convictions or who refused to provide a blood sample.

  • For first-time offenders who provided a blood sample, a maximum suspension of 90 days;
  • For prior DWI offenders (within the last 10 years) who provided a blood sample, a maximum suspension of 1 year;
  • For first-time offenders who refused to provide a blood sample, a maximum suspension of 180 days; and
  • For prior offenders who refused to provide a blood sample, a maximum suspension of 2 years.

Because of these steep consequences, you’ll want to contact an attorney to discuss your administrative case as soon as possible after your arrest.

Sources

https://www.dps.texas.gov/DriverLicense/alr.htm

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