A revoked license can cause significant inconveniences in your life, especially if you must use your car every day. Often, driver’s licenses are revoked in Texas as a penalty after facing a DWI charge. Subsequently, you need to understand the license revocation process right from the DWI stop to the hearing determining your outcome.
Thanks to the information on the revocation process, you can make reasonable decisions regarding the application process and any subsequent requirements. Further, you will need to work with a certified DWI attorney for the best chances of success in your license suspension hearing.
Finding a reliable attorney can be pivotal to your case outcome, as their efforts are persuasive to the administrative judge. When preparing your administrative hearing, your lawyer should walk you through the important procedures and provide court representation. This way, you stand better chances of success, leading to your driving license retention.
Understanding the Nature of an Administrative License Revocation Hearing
When DWI officers suspect you of drinking and driving, they can rightfully stop your vehicle and request you to undertake several tests. The officers subject you to these tests using a breathalyzer device or a blood test for other drugs. Additional tests will also be imposed on you after arrest, including checking your blood alcohol concentration (BAC)levels.
You should note that implied laws mandate any arrested person to comply with the subsequent tests. However, despite their applicability in Texas, you are still entitled to refusing the tests for personal reasons. The refusal will, however, result in various consequences, including a license suspension. These penalties are often issued to deter you from rebelling against the DWI regulations.
Consequently, any suspect who refuses to undertake the tests will receive a license suspension notice. It contains details on the date you or your attorney is expected to appear in court. Additionally, the notice will inform you of any other requirements to satisfy before appearing before an administrative judge.
DWI Suspects Mandated to Undertake BAC Tests
Being stopped at a DWI checkpoint and undertaking several tests afterward forms the primary sequence of events leading to your driving license revocation. However, a separate group of suspects may also have their licenses suspended even after a mandated testing exercise. The consequences occur from the non-compliance that warrants the law enforcement officers to impose their authority over them. The categories include:
DWI Suspect Whose Accidents Cause Fatalities or Serious Injuries
Any DWI-related accident that causes death or severe injuries to the victim amounts to a felony classification. The seriousness of each case outcome mandates the felony charge compared to misdemeanor offenses.
Due to this aggravating factor, a law enforcement officer will have to impose testing on you despite your resistance. Additionally, a license revocation hearing may still be scheduled to address your DWI involvement.
Presence of a DWI Test Warrant
Apart from felony DWIs, traffic officers may also have obtained test warrants for use against you. This means that you cannot lawfully resist undergoing any testing exercise, as a judge will have approved it. Warrants are often issued where the test to be conducted requires blood samples.
Thanks to the strict orders by the presiding judge, you are more likely to comply with the testing. However, some suspects may refuse to undertake BAC tests and opt for an administrative license revocation hearing. They may do this to strive for representation, especially if they believe that unjust procedures were followed during your DUI arrest. For some, the administrative license hearing is also a better alternative because the DUI attorney is present to represent your position.
Having Prior Convictions
Additionally, you will have a lower bargaining power to refuse DWI tests if you have previous DWI violations. The standard precedent for enforced tests targets suspects with two or more past violations within ten years. Subsequently, refusal to submit to the tests yields adverse effects, including a pending license suspension. By choosing this outcome, you will need legal services to help you represent your position in court.
How to Prepare for an ALR Hearing
Preparations are crucial to the outcome of any event. Thus, you want to ensure that your attorney is adequately prepared before scheduling an Administrative License Revocation hearing. Thanks to the research, evidence collection, and fact analysis they conduct, your case will be credible and persuasive.
There are numerous ways to ensure you are ready to face the administrative judge. Since each case involves unique circumstances and facts, your DWI attorney will apply these preparation tactics accordingly. They include:
Writing and Compiling Submissions
Case submissions are necessary for any hearing, as they present your arguments in writing. After the judge listens to your attorney's oral presentation in court, they will still use the written submissions for future reference.
Hence, preparing concise and detailed submission documents can propel your case toward success or sabotage it. Each outcome depends on your lawyer's effort in writing these submissions, along with the points raised under each section.
Most DWI attorneys work in teams where junior associates are often in charge of drafting the initial submissions. However, the senior attorney handling your matter should familiarize themselves with the document contents and correct any inconsistencies.
Administrative judges can often tell when a lawyer has not gone through the submissions, as the oral presentation may be incoherent and inconsistent. Your attorney will go through the documents and compile the final draft for further preparation. Their knowledge of what to present will also boost your confidence in the entire process.
Filing the Necessary Documents on Time
Additionally, you want to work within the administrative court deadlines to avoid stressful consequences. This calls for efficiency on your attorney's side, as they should conduct research, draft the documents and file them on time. If the stipulated duration is exceeded, you may have to face several consequences or suffer an automatic license revocation.
This also applies where you decide to file an appeal after a dissatisfactory ARL outcome. If your attorney does not file the appeal documents within the thirty-day time frame, you will have the license suspended or revoked. Subsequently, you lose your driving privileges until the final DWI case outcome.
Going Through Available Evidence from the Department of Safety
Further, you always want to be aware of the opposition's strategies for better chances of a successful hearing. You can do this by inquiring about the type of evidence they intend to present against you during the hearing.
By verifying their sources of proof, you will also avoid having inconsistent evidence presented against you. In addition, diligence can save you from unwanted arguments in court regarding evidence credibility. Ultimately, knowing what type of evidence to expect will save time and increase your credibility as you will not have to oppose it.
The commonly requested evidentiary sources include BAC level readings, witness statements, and additional DWI police reports. If you detect any false or inconsistent details, your defense lawyer should reach out to the opposition and inquire more about the credibility of the documents. Raising these issues early will also resolve subsequent anomalies that may occur in court.
Store any Request and Notice Documents Safely
Sometimes, miscommunication may occur where you miss a court deadline because the notice showed an incorrect date. Disparities also stem from the lack of document distribution at the required time. Again, this is often at your expense, as the state aims to discredit you during the ALR hearing.
Working with a DWI attorney will keep the opposition on its toes, as they will store all communication documents safely. Each notice or request should be dated to reference any inconsistencies that may occur in the future. This includes the receiving date for each party, which can be added using a stamp or writing. Having these documents when preparing for a hearing can help you justify late applications in case of miscommunication.
Recording the Waiting Period Before a Hearing
Although you may intend for your ALR hearing to happen as soon as possible, you should remember that most court processes take time. Subsequently, the presiding administrative judge may request additional time to finalize the ALR meeting requirements.
The period can last for up tofour months orone hundred and twenty days. During this period, your DWI attorney will follow up on your matter and ensure that your documents are still up for assessment and consideration.
How to Schedule an Administrative License Revocation Hearing
If you are confident in your preparation process and are ready to schedule the administrative license revocation hearing, you can explore several options. Firstly, you may file your application on the Public Safety Department website. This option may be suitable for clients who prefer online services, particularly due to the ongoing pandemic.
However, filing an ALR hearing request can be a slow process because of several setbacks. For example, your online application may not be opened immediately and instead will fall in an archive or 'waiting' database. Consequently, you may wait for weeks or even months without hearing back from the department. This delay costs you your freedom to continue with your life without apprehensions or reservations about driving.
Moreover, making virtual requests could result in incorrect processing, leading to a frustrating outcome. For example, any typos in your details may result in the identity of a completely different person. For some, identifying the mistake may take some time and cause various setbacks. Eventually, the entire process will take longer than it should have when working with an attorney.
Therefore, we recommend reaching out to your DWI lawyer for reliable and expeditious services. On top of ensuring that your request has accurate information, your lawyer will follow up on the status update. Once your hearing date draws closer, you will also receive an alert to keep you informed on the progressive developments.
Upon the approval of your request, you will need to access aDIC-25 form. It serves as your interim license pending the conclusion of the hearing. Subsequently, you can still operate your vehicle during the administrative process, although you will face some restrictions. For example, traffic officers may be more prone to scrutinize you based on the ongoing matter in court.
What to Expect During the Administrative License Revocation Hearing
When you are ready to proceed with the hearing, your attorney and the Public Safety department representative will present their arguments. The system is adversarial and is chaired by an administrative judge. Therefore, you can expect sessions similar to those in a formal criminal trial case. The only difference is that both parties will argue on whether you should retain your driver's license pending the final trial outcome.
Since the Public Safety department is keen on eradicating risk factors on the road, the representative presents arguments to discredit you. For example, they may refer to your preliminary alcohol screening test results that indicated moderate to high intoxication levels. Furthermore, any evidence collected from physical attributes of intoxication is also relevant in the hearing.
Past DWI offenders are often in a disadvantaged position because of the prejudice they may face. The Public's Safety representative will use any previous convictions to justify the need for license revocation. Despite the Public Safety representative's arguments, your attorney can also provide defenses and counterclaims to challenge your license revocation. Thus, a DWI lawyer plays numerous different roles depending on the case at hand.
Your lawyer's presentation can also extend to providing any details that the state representative may have missed out on. For example, they will elaborate on the submissions you provide advocating for license non-revocation. With these additional details, you can provide a different perspective to guide the administrative judge in reaching a positive outcome.
In case of an unsatisfactory ALR hearing outcome, your attorney can explore several options. The main one involves filing an appeal to challenge the administrative judge's final decision. First, however, you should comply with the set appeal time limit to avoid inconveniences.
Usually, your attorney will havethirty days after a suspension date is set to file and present your appeal. This calls for the need to work with a diligent lawyer who is quick to react and conduct more research on your case. Your DWI attorney should also be efficient enough to file the appeal on time for a second chance in the hearing.
Before the administrative judge can listen to the new appeal case, they will revoke any imposed license suspension orders. This is because limiting your access to the license is unfair, as the very decision is being contested. Therefore, you may retain your license and enjoy several driving liberties before your case is concluded.
Sometimes, ALR hearings do not require you to be present. Having your lawyer represent you will be sufficient and saves you the time and expenses you would otherwise spend to appear. Nonetheless, the administrative judge may order your presence in unique cases, especially if they require specific information that only you can provide.
Effects of the Administrative License Revocation Hearing on the DWI Trial
The outcome of your administrative license hearing has an indirect impact on your DWI criminal trial. This is because the ALR hearing is primarily held to determine whether you are entitled to retaining your license after violating DWI rules.
Subsequently, the subject matter in contention varies from a DWI trial in various ways. For example, a DWI trial seeks to determine whether you are guilty of drinking and driving. Thus, the evidence analysis revolves around your BAC test results, physical signs of intoxication, and field sobriety test results. Further, the prosecutor handles your case and argues it out with your DWI lawyer.
On the other hand, ALR hearings narrow down on reasons for retaining your driver's license. Thus, no direct link between the two hearings exists. Despite this, the details revealed in the ALR hearing could play a role in your DWI criminal hearing. For example, if the judge decides to revoke your license, the prosecutor may use it as a point to discredit you in the trial. Due to this, your attorney should still strive to have the administrative judge decide in your favor.
Find a DWI Attorney Near Me
Although the outcome of your DWI case may be unrelated to the ALR hearing decision, you need to secure a positive outcome, if possible. This is because the information submitted during the ALR hearing may be influential in your DWI formal trial. As a result, you want to have the best opportunity for a positive outcome by working with a qualified attorney. With their help, you can present credible evidence, defenses, and counter-argument surrounding the DWI violation case.
At Fort Worth DWI Defense Lawyer, we dedicate our services to providing excellent legal assistance in DWI offenses. Over the years, we have handled multiple administrative license revocation hearings that have enriched our experience in the field. Therefore, you can expect an active team of attorneys devoted to your case and securing the best possible outcome. So, if you or a loved one is about to face an administrative license revocation hearing in Fort Worth, Texas, call us today at 817-470-2128.