Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Hearing Requests

Attorney Marsh
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Two clients recently got arrested for DWI and came into my office. One was for a DWI over .08 but less than .15. The other was for a DWI over .15.What’s the difference between the two? The first is a class B misdemeanor and the second is a class A misdemeanor.

Q: What do the two have in common?

A: I made administrative license revocation (alr) hearing requests for both.

Every DWI has two parts. One part is the State’s request to revoke or suspend your driver’s license. The second part is the criminal aspect of committing a crime. The suspension hearing is conducted in front of an Administrative Law Judge and the criminal case is presented in the “Court” that the public sees on TV. Administrative hearings are much less formal than “Court.” Today’s focus is on the administrative license revocation (alr) hearing requests. Generally, clients don’t go to the ALR hearings unless there is a good reason. An example would be to explain a medical condition they have and that the officer may have been misunderstood whether or not the client was intoxicated. Criminal Prosecutors are not present at ALR hearings. Hiring an attorney at this stage or prior will greatly help your position.

First, when it comes to an ALR hearing, timing is everything. An ALR hearing must be requested within 15 days of the date of your arrest. If the hearing is not requested, you lose the opportunity forever. Your license will be automatically suspended 40 days AFTER the Notice of Suspension was sent. Use it or lose it.

Second, when filling out the form online to request an ALR hearing, you need to decide whether you want an in person hearing or telephone hearing. The difference between the two is very important for tactical reasons. Preparation is generally less at the ALR hearing stage than in Court hearings. Although the ALR hearing is more informal, an person hearing gives you the benefit of seeing the officer testify before a potential trial in Court. Not to mention, if the officer doesn’t show up for an in person hearing – you automatically win.

An ALR hearing over the phone can often be more convenient but it is not as engaging as face to face, in the same room. In addition, the officer has the leisure of being able to simply make a phone call to testify. This means no need to get dressed, travel, arrange their daily schedule around the hearing etc…

The primary purpose of the ALR hearing from my perspective is to attempt to keep your license from being suspended. Also, I am able to lock the officer into his or her report as to what happened when you were arrested for DWI. Testimony from the officer is under oath and Transcripts can be used later at trial if the officer’s story changes after the ALR hearing.

Following administrative license revocation (alr) hearing requests, preparation beings. Next week I’ll discuss preparing for administrative license revocation (alr) hearings.