When you face DWI charges in Texas, you also face the suspension of your driver’s license — even if the prosecution ultimately drops the charges against you. Your DMV hearing provides your only chance to fight a driver’s license suspension.
If you depend on your license for getting to work, school, doctor’s appointments, and personal errands, you might feel overwhelmed with nowhere to turn. A DMV hearing lawyer in Garland may be able to help you keep your license.
The Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg can help with your DMV hearing. Contact us today to get started: 214-696-9253.
What Is the Purpose of a DMV hearing?
Texas laws separate the legal aspects of DWI into two categories: the criminal aspect of your case and the civil (or administrative) side.
The criminal component of a DWI case involves the prosecutor, entering a plea, and, if necessary, the trial and sentencing. The civil component, the DMV hearing, determines the disposition of your driver’s license.
This hearing, officially known as the Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing, takes place entirely outside the scope of the criminal proceedings. Overseen by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDPS), the DMV hearing proceeds even if the prosecutor or judge agrees to drop the criminal case against you.
Do You Need a DMV Hearing Lawyer?
TxDPS does not require you to have a DMV hearing lawyer present at the ALR hearing. However, there are several reasons why an attorney can be beneficial to your case:
- To Preserve Your Legal Rights. The DMV hearing process adheres to standard legal practices and rules, very similar to those used in criminal proceedings. This means that the prosecutor can use anything you say under oath against you in your criminal trial. Your lawyer will prepare you for questions and, during the proceedings, ensure that you do not present any testimony that could harm your criminal case.
- To Schedule Your DMV Hearing. Scheduling your hearing is critical for avoiding an automatic suspension of your license. Your lawyer can handle the formal, written request necessary for scheduling the hearing and keep you updated on all critical information.
- To Help Protect Your Driver’s License. The ability to drive ensures that you can get to work or school, keep doctors’ appointments, and handle important personal errands like grocery shopping. Your lawyer can present evidence during your hearing to help protect your license and minimize or eliminate suspension. If TxDPS does suspend your license, your attorney can help with appeals and application for a provisional license.
- To Help Your Criminal Case. The DMV hearing can help your criminal case in ways you may not have realized. Because the arresting officer must testify under oath at the ALR hearing, your lawyer can use this opportunity to learn more about the prosecution’s evidence and any potential weaknesses. This can provide invaluable insight and help your lawyer identify and inform potential defense strategies.
What Can I Expect from the DMV Hearing Process?
The basis for the DMV hearing process is the agreement established between you and the TxDPS at the time you get your driver’s license in Texas.
This agreement prohibits you from drinking and driving and obligates you to submit to chemical testing for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) upon the request of law enforcement.
This agreement gives TxDPS the right to revoke or suspend your license whenever you violate the agreement.
When the police pull you over for DWI, they must have reasonable suspicion that you are legally intoxicated. During the traffic stop, the officer must establish probable cause to request chemical BAC testing. Officers typically use field sobriety testing or roadside breath testing to establish probable cause.
If the officer has probable cause, she will place you under arrest, confiscate your driver’s license and issue you a form known as the TxDPS DIC-25 form, Notice of Suspension and Temporary Driving Permit.
This form serves as your 15-day temporary driving permit, but it also provides the necessary information for scheduling your DMV hearing. If you fail to schedule your hearing within that 15-day period, TxDPS will suspend your license.
How Do You Schedule Your ALR DMV Hearing?
Following the instructions on the DIC-25 form, you can request your DMV hearing by mail or you can submit your request using the electronic form on the TxDPS website.
TxDPS will contact you by mail, using your address of record, when it schedules your hearing. However, it might also reject your request for a hearing if you made any errors on the request form or if it did not receive your request by the deadline.
In that case, you have relinquished your right to present evidence in defense of keeping your license.
What Should You Expect the Day of Your DMV Hearing?
TxDPS typically holds ALR/DMV hearings at one of the Texas Office of Administrative Hearings field offices or another location convenient to Garland. An administrative law judge will oversee the proceedings.
Once the judge calls the proceedings to order, the judge will hear evidence from the officer who conducted your DWI arrests as well as any other party who has evidence to present in your case. You will also have the opportunity to provide testimony.
Your DMV hearing lawyer will have the opportunity to question the arresting officer (and others presenting evidence against you, if applicable) under oath.
Once testimony concludes, the judge will rule on the suspension of your license. You will receive the decision in the mail at a later date.
If TxDPS suspends your license, an ALR suspended license lawyer can help you appeal the decision or obtain a provisional license, which allows you to drive only to work, school, or necessary personal appointments.
Choosing a DMV Hearing Lawyer in Garland
Choosing the wrong DMV hearing lawyer can cost you your driver’s license for as long as two years, depending on the severity of your criminal charges.
Look for an attorney who has a high level of familiarity with the ALR process. Equally important, however, is finding a lawyer who will fight for you, to ensure the best possible outcome in your DWI case and DMV hearing.
Randall Isenberg fights tirelessly for his clients. And he has the experience you need to win your case. In addition to years as a criminal defense attorney, Randall spent much of his career as a felony prosecutor and a district court judge. This insider knowledge means he knows how to get the job done for you.
Contact the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today for a free case review: 214-696-9253.