Only 15 Days to Request Your ALR Hearing.
If you are arrested for Driving While Intoxicated in Texas, you have two essentially separate cases from the beginning: 1. The Drivers License Hearing and 2. The DWI Criminal Charge. It is highly recommend to hire a DWI Defense Lawyer within 15 days of your arrest for Driving While Intoxicated. Then, your lawyer can request the ALR hearing for you. If this hearing is not requested within 15 days of your arrest, you will not only lose the opportunity to save your drivers license, you also forfeit the opportunity to cross-examine the arresting officer. Often a skilled DWI lawyer can set up your DWI legal defense at the drivers license hearing.
Overview of the ALR Hearing
The ALR hearing result has nothing to do with whether or not you are guilty of driving while intoxicated. Attorneys for Department of Public Safety handle the ALR hearing, not the criminal court prosecutors. An administrative law judge presides over the hearing, not the DWI criminal judge. The ALR hearing is governed by civil rules. The burden of proof is much lower at the ALR hearing. Meaning, DPS must only prove the legal elements by a preponderance of evidence. Later at the DWI criminal trial, the burden of proof is much higher, beyond a reasonable doubt. The only elements to be determined at an ALR hearing are 1. the legality of the traffic stop, 2. the legality of your arrest and 3. whether you refused the breath or blood test, or if you provided a specimen and your alcohol level was over a 0.08.
Losing the Battle to Win the War
The battle at the ALR hearing to save your drivers license is usually difficult to accomplish. But the main goal is to win the War – the DWI Charge! A criminal lawyer can subpoena the arresting officer to appear at your ALR hearing and testify under oath. The officer is subject to cross-examination at the hearing. A skilled defense lawyer can ask the officer a crafted series of questions and begin setting up your DWI defense.