Williamson County DWI arrest-will I lose my license?
Administrative License Revocation Assistance in Williamson County and throughout Central Texas
When a person is arrested for a DWI charge in Williamson county, one of their immediate concerns is whether they are going to lose their driver's license. After all, the police will ordinarily seize the driver's license when the person is arrested, and when they are released from jail they are handed a big stack of papers full of legalese about their case. One of these documents is entitled "Temporary Driving Permit" but what does this mean? The truth of the matter is that although a person's physical driver's license has been seized, their ability to drive has not yet been suspended.
ALR Attorney FAQ's
- What is an ALR?
- Where is the ALR hearing? Should I attend the hearing?
- Why request an ALR hearing?
- Won't I just lose my license automatically? What Good Does an ALR Hearing Do?
- Will I be able to drive even if my license is suspended?
People who are arrested of driving while intoxicated may not realize that in addition to the criminal charges and court date, they are also facing an administrative license revocation (ALR) as well. An ALR occurs when a person accused of drunk driving either refuses to take or takes and fails a blood or breath test. Because of Texas' implied consent law, any person who does not take a blood or breath test when they are arrested for a DWI can have their license suspended in an ALR.
The purpose of the ALR program is supposed to be to allow for a fair and efficient administrative hearing process to determine whether the person's license should be suspended due to driving or boating while intoxicated. If you have been arrested for driving or boating while intoxicated anywhere in Central Texas, it is imperative that you hire an experienced criminal attorney like Board Certified Criminal Defense Attorney Russ Hunt, Jr.
The ALR hearing location depends on where the individual was arrested. For Williamson county cases, the ALR hearings are held at the Williamson county Jester courthouse annex in Round Rock on Old Settler's. For Travis county arrests, the hearings are held at the state office building located on West 15th Street in Austin. Hearings for Bell and McLennan cases are held in Waco. It is also possible to have a telephonic hearing and in some cases this may be strategically advantageous.
My advice to my clients is not to attend the ALR hearing, whether it is a live hearing or a telephonic hearing. The ALR hearing is not a criminal matter but an administrative hearing. In the event that the client attends the hearing, the ALR attorney can and will call that individual as a witness. The client does have a Fifth Amendment right to remain silent about incriminating facts, but the ALR attorney can ask the individual about potentially incriminating facts such as the amount of alcohol he had to drink, or which bar she had just come from, and the individual will have to specifically invoke his or her right to remain silent after each question. A much wiser course is to avoid this confrontation in this context.
Individuals who have refused or failed a blood or breath test following a DWI or BWI arrest may be forced to have their driver's license suspended from anywhere between 90 days and two years. Refusal or failure of the test may also result in an automatic one-year disqualification of a commercial driver's license (CDL). A person who has been arrested for a DWI or BWI can request a hearing on the ALR suspension, but this hearing must be requested within 15 days of the person's arrest.
At the ALR hearing, the individual may contest the administrative license revocation. The request must submitted before the 15 day deadline or it is waived. Once the hearing has been scheduled, the Department of Public Safety will send a letter to the person with a date, time, and location for the hearing. The State office of Administrative Hearings conducts the hearing, and the Department of Public Safety, who requested the suspension, must provide facts to the hearing officer to try and convince the officer that a suspension is warranted. The administrative judge must then determine if the reasons for the license suspension are valid.
The Department of Public Safety will be represented by a DPS attorney at the hearing, and the individual whose license they are trying to suspend may either represent himself, or that person may hire an attorney. The court will not appoint an attorney for the person, and if the individual wishes to hire a lawyer, they must do so before the hearing date. The State has the burden of proving the necessary facts at the hearing in order to suspend your license. It is not uncommon for them to be unable to prove those facts and a person's license not to be suspended. Sometimes a subpoenaed officer does not appear. Sometimes the arrest paperwork omit a crucial factor. Sometimes the DPS fails to provide required discovery prior to the hearing. None of these factors that could help avoid a suspension can occur unless a hearing is conducted, so having the hearing is crucial if we hope to avoid the suspension. At the very least, requesting the hearing will delay the onset of the driver's license suspension past the 40 day post-arrest grace period.
If you wish to drive prior to the conclusion of your DWI case, it would be beneficial for you to hire me. I can help you by submitting the proper documents to fight your license suspension. I will then obtain and review copies of the police report and breath or blood testing results to help me prepare for your hearing. I have over 20 years of criminal defense experience, and may be able to assist you protect your driving rights.
In the event that we do not prevail at the ALR hearing, I may be able to assist you to obtain an occupational driver's license (ODL). This is a limited-purpose license that will enable you to legally drive to and from work, school, church, the doctor, the grocery store, and other essential household functions.
Contact Board Certified Criminal Defense Attorney Russ Hunt, Jr. in Georgetown, Tx after a DWI arrest to see if he can help you before, during, and after your ALR hearing.
General DWI Topic Pages
- Back to DWI Overview
- What is Intoxication?
- What are the possible punishments for DWI and related charges?
- What is DWI probation like?
If you have been arrested for DWI in Williamson or Travis counties or the surrounding areas, contact Board Certified Criminal Defense Attorney Russ Hunt Jr. for immediate assistance.
Russ Hunt, Jr. is known for powerful, compassionate representation.
Schedule your free no-obligation case evaluation.
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