If you were arrested for any level of DWI and refused a chemical test, the State of Texas will attempt to suspend your driver’s license. You only have 15 days to request a hearing to fight the suspension. If you do not request a hearing, the driver’s license suspension will be automatic and take effect on the 41st day after your arrest. The police officer told you that your license will automatically be suspended, but this is not actually true.
When you hire The Wilder Law Firm, you will be putting more than 25 years of experience with DWI charges and driver’s license suspensions to work for you. Fighting the suspension is an integral part of defending any charged with DWI, and I personally handle these hearings. This requires more work on my behalf but you are hiring me to do everything I can for you, and that starts with the ALR hearing. Call us at 214-741-4000 and we will start fighting to save your driver’s license today.
What is an ALR hearing?
The ALR hearing is a civil proceeding and is separate and distinct from your DWI charge. The sole purpose of this hearing is for the State of Texas to try and suspend your driving privileges.This hearing has nothing to do with your criminal DWI charge, nor is it used to try and prove you are guilty of the DWI charge. The State of Texas can attempt to suspend your driving privilege even if you are never formally charged with a DWI. You are not entitled to a jury for this hearing. It will be held in front of an Administrative Law Judge who is employed by the State of Texas and is not an elected official working for the County, just as your criminal Judge who will hear your DWI is.
Once we receive a hearing date, we will subpoena the officer to the hearing. If the office does not show once subpoenaed, the State will dismiss the ALR and your license will not be suspended. If we do not subpoena the officer, the ALR rules allow the State to offer the police officers’ sworn report into evidence against you. By subpoenaing the officer, the sworn report is not automatically admissible and will only be admissible if the officer is present for the hearing and sponsors the report. We will get sworn testimony from the officer and will break it down into three categories:
- How you drove your car.
- Your personal conduct with the officer.
- How you performed and how the officer instructed and graded the sobriety tests.
I will first obtain very detailed testimony on how you were driving your car. I want to know if you were driving in a normal fashion and just committed a simple traffic violation or were you driving in a fashion that would be consistent with an intoxicated driver. It is important to have the officer testify very specifically about your driving so I can best determine if they had a legal basis to pull you over.
Once the officer turns on their strobe lights for you to pull over, I will get detailed testimony as to how long it took you to respond, how you actually pulled over, and where you came to stop your car. I will get the officer to testify if you conducted the stopping sequence in a normal fashion or in a manner that would be consistent with an intoxicated driver.
When the officer contacts you, there are so many things they look for to see if you might be intoxicated. Your demeanor, eyes, breath, facial expressions, ability to provide driver’s license and insurance, questions about alcohol consumption, and general conversation about what you had been doing that evening will all be covered in detail by me obtaining sworn testimony from the officer.
When you were asked to exit the car, did you have any difficulty opening the car door, getting out of the car, or closing the car door? Officers pay attention to this and I will have the officer testify as to how you exited. Once out and asked to walk to the rear of your car, did you sway, stagger, stumble, trip, or put your hand on the car for balance? I am very specific in my questions and will obtain as much detailed testimony as I can concerning your conduct. I will be able to compare that testimony to how you look on video to determine how accurately the officer was in their testimony.
I will pay very close attention in examining the officer on what occurred during the sobriety tests. How you performed and the clues seen will be covered. But there is more to it. I will test the officer’s knowledge of how to instruct each sobriety test and their knowledge of how each clue is defined. I will make sure the officer testifies thoroughly during the entire hearing. I will pin them down on each and every clue they claim they saw and have them give very descriptive testimony. Any inaccurate sworn testimony obtained can be used to impeach the officer in the criminal DWI case.
Rest assured, everything will be done to prevent the State from suspending your driving privilege and to get the most beneficial testimony to help in preparing your defense for your criminal DWI charge.
What is an Occupational Driver License
If the Judge suspends your driver’s license, we can apply for an Occupational Driver License (ODL). Judges almost always grant ODLs, for they know you have to be able to drive to get to work so you can provide for yourself and your family. If your driver license has been suspended before for an alcohol related incident, or if your alleged alcohol concentration is 0.15 or greater, you may be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in your car as a condition of the ODL, but the Judge will still grant you one.
Defending You and Your Driving Privilege is Our #1 Priority
When facing a potential driver’s license suspension, you only have 15 days to request it. We will request that for you to make sure it is properly done. Trying to save your driving privilege is an important aspect of not only your personal life, but in trying to best prepare defense for your DWI charge. When you hire The Wilder Law Firm, you will be putting our experience, skill, and dedication to work for you. Call us at 214-741-4000 for immediate help.