Does The ALR Hearing For A DWI Impact The Criminal Part Of My Case?
If you fail to pass or refuse to take the breath or blood test, your driver’s license will be suspended for a period from 90 days up to 2 years in some cases.
If this happens you should request an Administrative Law Hearing (ALR). You have only 15 days from the date of the arrest to request the hearing. If you do not request the hearing your license will automatically be suspended. Once the hearing is requested the Texas Department of Public Safety will contact you via letter with the date and time of your hearing. Hearings may be conducted in person or on the telephone.
At the ALR hearing the Department must prove either that you refused to take the breath or blood test and that the officer had a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity to justify the traffic stop in the first place, that the officer had probable cause that you were intoxicated, that the officer asked you to submit to a breath or blood test, provided you with the necessary statutory warnings and you refused the test or if you consented to the test, that your blood alcohol level was .08 or greater.
If the Administrative Judge believes you either refused the test or the test show a blood alcohol level or .08 or greater then the Judge will sustain the revocation.
Necessarily, the defendant will learn significant facts about the state’s case which information can be very beneficial in the preparation of the defendant’s case and the testimony of the arresting officer may be used in the criminal trial. Knowing exactly what the office will say at the trial provides a key tactical advantage for the defendant.
What Are The Consequences Of Refusing The Breathalyzer Test In Texas?
The refusal to take a Breathalyzer test is the basis for a license suspension from 90 days to two years, even in first time DWI cases. In addition, the prosecution may talk about your refusal at your trial. As uncomfortable as that is, I still recommend that you refuse to take the test.
Are There Restricted Or Work Permits Available For DWI Offenders In Texas?
If your driver’s license is suspended because of a DWI, you can petition the court for an occupational license or an essential need based license, which allows you to drive to work, school, and doctor’s appointments. It is usually issued while your case is still pending, but in some cases it can also allow you to drive after a conviction.
A court can grant the occupational license except in cases of a hard suspension. Usually, this occurs in the case of multiple DWI convictions in a 5 year period and the hard suspension usually lasts from 90 days to one year.
What Are The Penalties Associated With A DWI Conviction In Texas?
A first time DWI conviction is a Class B misdemeanor and it carries up to 180 days in jail, and a fine of up to $2,000. A second DWI is a Class A misdemeanor, which carries up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000. If you have been previously convicted of two DWIs and you get a third, it is a felony offense and you are facing two to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. There are other consequences for prior convictions or if there is an open container in the vehicle or a minor in the vehicle.
Probation is available in these cases just as it is in most criminal cases. If the defendant is placed on probation, he or she may avoid incarceration as long as they comply with the terms and conditions of probation. Probation typically requires the defendant comply with the following:
- submit to random drug tests
- commit no other offense
- avoid injurious/vicious behavior and people of “immoral” character
- report monthly to a court probation officer
- permit home and work inspections by probation officer
- stay employed
- receive permission before leaving the county or state
- pay all fines and court costs
- support your dependents
- notify the court if your place of employment or home address changes
- DWI Education Class – two 4-hour classes
- M.A.D.D. Victim Impact Panel – 3-hour session
- Community Service (24-100 hours)
- Fines and Court Costs
- Alcohol/Drug Evaluation – 30 minutes to one hour
- No alcohol
- Ignition Interlock Device
- Crime Stoppers fee
- Any other reasonable term the court requires.
Beginning September 1, 2019 defendants will be able to get Deferred Adjudication Probation for first time DWI’s provided that the blood alcohol level is not greater than 0.15 and the defendant does not hold a commercial driver’s license at the time of the offense. Deferred Adjudication Probation is a form of probation which differs from regular probation in several ways: first, the defendant is not convicted of the offense and second, in the event of a violation of probation, the court may sentence the defendant to the full available range of punishment.
For more information on Impact Of ALR Hearing On DWI Case In Texas, a free consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (940) 440-5250 today.
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