Driving while intoxicated or DWI is a serious criminal charge. In any DWI there are really two things going on.
- The State’s criminal case with possible permanent DWI conviction on your record and;
- The State trying to suspend your driver’s license.
Criminal Record, Potential Punishment, and Fines:
There are many, many criminal consequences if you are found guilty of a DWI. First, let’s talk about what you should and shouldn’t do if you’re stopped for DWI in Texas.
Next, you may have heard of the infamous “No Refusal Weekends” in Texas. Refusal to take a blood or breath test for a first offense DWI will result in an automatic 180 day driver’s license suspension!
Depending on the number of prior DWI’s, in this example let’s say a 3rd DWI offense, a multiple offense DWI lawyer can tell you that you may receive a $10,000 fine, two to 10 years in prison, loss of driver license up to two years, and an annual fee of $1,000, $1,500, or $2,000 for three years to keep your driver’s license.
Driver’s License Suspension & Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Hearing
A DWI arrest carries the potential for license suspension. After a person is arrested for DWI they are generally given a Temporary Driving Permit and notice that they may request an Administrative License Revocation Hearing or “ALR” within 15 days of the Notice of Suspension. (The Notice of Suspension is usually given on the date of arrest.) Make an Online ALR Hearing Request.
Preparation for an ALR Hearing
Preparation for an ALR Hearing is very important. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail! At an ALR hearing, your attorney will have contest the grounds for your license being taken and the basis for the traffic stop itself. More importantly, your ALR attorney will have the opportunity to question the police officer who pulled you over, performed the sobriety tests, and arrested you. I can’t say enough how important an ALR Hearing is! The outcome of an ALR Hearing can have major benefits on your criminal charge. This is especially true if your lawyer wins your ALR Hearing. You can get a much better Plea offer from the State than you normally would if you win your ALR first.
At an ALR Hearing it is crucial that your attorney review in great detail the procedure and manner which the officer had you perform the “Standard Field Sobriety Tests” or SFSTs. These three tests include the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus or HGN (the pen and eye test), the Walk the Line Test, and the Raised Foot Test. During these tests, police look for “indicators of intoxication.” Many factors go into preparation for an ALR Hearing. If you lose the ALR and your license is suspended, and you need to drive, you will have to apply for an Occupational License.
When your Driver’s License is on the line and you’re facing criminal charges for DWI, you need to think about the long run and not just six months from now. DWI charges can be very expensive to you and to your family. Let’s sit down, talk about your case, and try to come up with a solution to put your DWI charge in the past.