Can I Get My License Back After A Texas DWI Conviction?
So you were just arrested for Driving While Intoxicated? It was an awful and embarrassing experience. You were pulled over, pulled out of your vehicle, subjected to field sobriety “tests” on the side of the road for the world to see, asked to blow into a breath test machine or forced to give a sample of your blood, and then taken to jail. You made a few phone calls, and eventually you were released on bond.
My – Houston Criminal Attorney (281) 853-8537.
DWI Arrest in Texas – What Happens to my License?
Depending on where you got arrested, you will have your first court date in a week or a little over a month. You have many questions as you begin searching for an attorney. Before you begin meeting with Texas DWI Attorneys, you are probably wondering: what will happen to my driver’s license?
DWI: one case or two cases?
If an officer believes that you are intoxicated and arrests you for Driving While Intoxicated, the law says that he must inform you about certain legal warnings and then ask you for a specimen of your breath (breath test) or blood (blood test).
If you refuse this request, your license will automatically be suspended for at least 180 days. If you agree to give a breath or blood test, and the result shows an alcohol concentration of over 0.08 – the legal limit in Texas – then your license will be suspended for at least 90 days. This is called an Administrative License Revocation or ALR suspension.
The District Attorney in the jurisdiction where you were arrested will prosecute you for Driving While Intoxicated if they believe there is sufficient evidence.
The District Attorney will seek to convict you of DWI and send you to jail or a lengthy and difficult probation.
On the other hand, the Department of Public Safety (the entity responsible for granting driver’s licenses in Texas) will prosecute you for either failing the breath or blood test, or for refusing to submit to that breath/blood test.
DPS will seek to suspend your driver’s license. For these reasons, it can be said that a DWI arrest actually leads to two cases for the person arrested.
15 Days to Request a Hearing
Although it is said that your license will be automatically suspended if you fail or refuse to submit to a breath or blood test, you should know that there is a way to save your license!
You have 15 days from the date that you are given notice of the ALR suspension to request a hearing on this license suspension.
Generally you are given notice of the ALR suspension when you are requested and either refuse or fail a breath or blood test. You have to follow the prescribed rules on how to request that hearing, but if successfully done, your license will remain valid unless and until a hearing is held and a judge issues a ruling suspending your license based on evidence admitted at that hearing.
This is called an ALR hearing. It is very important that a hearing is requested in a timely manner. If you hire an attorney immediately, your attorney will be able to make this arrangement for you.
My License was Suspended – Now what?
If you lose your ALR hearing and DPS suspends your driver’s license, you may be eligible for a restricted driver’s license. The factors involved – including where you may obtain this license – vary greatly depending on the facts of your case. If you have a question about a restricted license, you should contact an attorney immediately.
If you win your ALR hearing then your license will not be suspended for failing or refusing the breath/blood test. In this event, your license continues to be valid.
If you are convicted of DWI and it is your first offense, your license will not be suspended if you are placed on probation, provided that you take a DWI education course in the first 180 days of your probation.
However, your license will be suspended for a period of 90 days – one year if you are convicted but not placed on community supervision (in other words, if you receive a jail sentence or fine only).
If your license is suspended because you were convicted of DWI, you may still be able to obtain a restricted driver’s license. Again, the factors vary depending on each case, so if you find yourself in this situation, contact an attorney immediately.
Contact Us (281) 853-8537
If you have been arrested for DWI in Texas and have questions about your license, contact our office immediately.