Can I Get A Lawyer for My ALR Hearing?
You certainly can. In fact, we strongly advise it. An experienced DWI attorney serving as your primary advocate in court ensures that you’re employing the best strategy for dealing with such a delicate situation. In Houston, having the ability to drive is critical; the last thing you want is for your Texas Driver License to be suspended. It could land you in jail.
Experienced legal representation also aids in avoiding the costly mistakes that can occur when representing oneself or being represented by a novice. Even lawyers facing criminal charges refuse to represent themselves in court.
My license would be suspended, according to the officer. How should I proceed?
He was referring to Administrative License Suspension, or ALR, but not all arrests result in license suspensions. A “Notice of Suspension” is usually served immediately after a test is failed or refused.
The accused’s license will be automatically revoked unless DPS receives a hearing request within 15 days of receiving his notice of suspension.
If you make a proper and timely request, you will be entitled to a hearing to determine whether your license should be suspended. The State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) will conduct that hearing, which is usually held within six weeks of arrest.
ALR hearings are governed by a plethora of laws, including the transportation code, criminal law, rules of evidence, rules of procedure, SOAH rules, and DPS rules. This is yet another reason why you should contact a qualified lawyer as soon as possible. DO NOT WAIT. Below is a printable ALR hearing request form you can complete and fax right now.
How to Beat an ALR Hearing in Texas
When you are pulled over for suspicion of DWI, your first thoughts are likely to be about the criminal case, but the license consequences can be devastating. An ALR hearing (also known as an Administrative License Revocation Hearing) is the procedure for preventing a license from being suspended following an arrest for driving while intoxicated.
When a motorist is stopped on suspicion of DWI in Texas and refuses or fails a blood or breath test, their license is suspended by the Texas DPS. The person will be issued a “Notice of Suspension,” also known as a DIC 25, which will serve as a temporary driving permit until the driver decides whether or not to contest the license suspension through an ALR hearing.
An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) sits in on an ALR hearing to hear the evidence in the case. In an ALR hearing, DPS bears the burden of proof. The driver may challenge the DPS case by bringing up any legal issues that may exist. In contrast to a criminal case, where the burden of proof must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, the burden of proof in an ALR hearing is only preponderance of evidence.
The ALJ will issue an ultimate ruling and order following the hearing. If the judge finds that DPS has proven its case, the individual’s driver’s license will be suspended. However, if the judge determines that the DPS has not proven its case, the individual’s driver’s license will not be suspended.
The DIC-24 notice informs you that you have only 15 days to request a hearing on your license suspension. This does not guarantee that you will have a hearing within 15 days. It simply means that the request must be submitted within that time frame. It is common to wait weeks or even months for a hearing date.
Hire an attorney for your DWI case and request that they handle the ALR hearing on your behalf. They will understand the ALR process and will have the best chance of winning the ALR hearing. If you decide to represent yourself, take the following steps to protect your license at a Texas ALR hearing.
Request for ALR Hearing
TO: Texas Department of Public Safety, fax #: (512) 424-2650
Please type or print clearly Date faxed :____________________________
Current Mailing Address (WARNING: DPS may mail notices of hearings and other important information to the address on your driver’s license – update it immediately), including City, State, ZIP Code:
Home Telephone Number __________________________________________________________________
Work/daytime Telephone Number ____________________________________________________________
Driver’s License Number and Issuing State _________________________________________________________
Date of Birth __________________________________________
Date of Arrest _________________________________________________________________
County of Arrest ________________________________________________________________
Arresting Agency ____________________________________________________________________________
Arresting Officer and Badge Number, if known _______________________________________________________
Are you requesting an in-person hearing or telephone hearing? Circle one —- in-person/telephone
I HEREBY REQUEST A HEARING FOR THE PURPOSE OF (Check only one)
__________ FAILED TEST: Contesting the suspension of my driver’s license and/or driving privilege based on alleged failure of breath/blood/urine test, the result being allegedly 0.08 or greater.
__________ REFUSED TEST: Contesting the suspension of my driver’s license and/or driving privilege based on alleged refusal of breath/blood/urine test.
******* The request for hearing must be received by the Texas Department of Public Safety no later than fifteen (15) days after you have been served with notice of suspension, which is normally served on the day of arrest. It is advisable that you fax this document and get a printed confirmation that the fax was sent and received before the deadline.