In addition to criminal charges, a DWI arrest in Highland Park also means you will face a potentially lengthy suspension of your driver’s license. You do have one opportunity to fight to keep your driving privileges, however — the DMV hearing.
The DMV hearing can also influence the criminal portion of your case, in ways you may not realize. Having a DMV hearing lawyer in Highland Park on your side will not only help protect your legal rights but may also provide valuable insight for crafting your criminal defense.
For a complimentary consultation with a member of our team, contact The Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today at 214-696-9253.
The DMV Hearing Allows You to Fight for Your Driving Privileges
When the police arrest you for DWI, it triggers a process known as Administrative License Revocation (ALR). The ALR process is a civil action that proceeds separate from the criminal aspect of your case. In fact, you must attend the DMV hearing portion of ALR even if the prosecutor drops the charges or the court dismisses your criminal case. Otherwise, the state will suspend your license.
The Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) oversees the ALR process. An administrative law judge will conduct the hearing and decide about your license at its conclusion.
If you select Randall Isenberg and his team to represent you at your Highland Park DMV hearing, we will assist you in a variety of important ways, including:
- Protecting your legal rights
- Preparing you to give testimony
- Subpoenaing witnesses
- Obtaining key evidence
- Questioning witnesses
- Making the most persuasive possible case to the judge
If necessary, we can also appeal your driver’s license suspension or petition the court on your behalf for an occupational license. This license allows you to drive to work, school, and for necessary personal reasons such as medical appointments, going to the bank, buying groceries, and going to court.
Potential Consequences of the DMV Hearing
The length of time you stand to lose your license depends on your prior record and the details of your drunk driving offense.
For a first-offense DWI, for example, you risk a driver’s license suspension of as long as one year. For subsequent offenses, or if you have any aggravating circumstances related to your offense, you could lose your license for as long as two years.
Aggravating circumstances that could extend the length of your license suspension include:
- Having open alcohol in your car
- Having a passenger younger than 15 in your car
- Causing an accident while drunk
- Causing injuries while drunk
- Causing the death of another person while drunk
- Having a BAC above 0.15
You must also pay a surcharge (between $1,000 and $2,000) under the Driver Responsibility Program (DRP). TxDPS assesses this surcharge annually for a total of three years. As you can see, losing at the ALR hearing could cost you much more than just your driver’s license.
Initiating the DMV Hearing Process
The police trigger the ALR process at the time they arrest you for drunk driving. At that time, the arresting officer provides you with Form DIC-25, Notice of Suspension Temporary Driving Permit.
This form serves three purposes:
- Advises you of the suspension of your license
- Provides you the legal right to drive for the stated period
- Describes the steps you must take to schedule the DMV hearing
From the date of the notification, you only have 15 days to formally request a hearing. If TxDPS does not receive your request within that period, it will suspend your license automatically.
Once TxDPS schedules your DMV hearing, it will notify you by mail of the date, time, and location.
How the DMV Hearing Relates to Your Highland Park DWI Case
The ALR process proceeds independently of your criminal case. However, the two components of a Texas DWI case are interrelated in two important ways.
- The prosecution can use any testimony or evidence presented during the DMV hearing in your criminal DWI case: This means that any statements you make under oath in the ALR hearing can potentially affect the outcome of your drunk driving charges. For example, if you make incriminating statements during the DMV hearing, it can help the prosecutor get a conviction.
- Your legal team can also use any testimony or evidence presented to bolster your criminal defense: As a part of the DMV hearing process, we can compel TxDPS to provide us with copies of their evidence. This provides us with our first glimpse at the strength of the prosecution’s case, potentially providing direction for our legal strategies for both the DMV hearing and the DWI charges.
We can also compel the arresting officer to appear at the DMV hearing, providing us the opportunity to question them under oath.
In the process of reviewing the evidence and questioning your arresting officer, we can identify potential weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case. We can use those flaws to negotiate with the prosecutor to get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed, and we can use them during the ALR hearing to make the most robust possible case against suspending your license.
Meet for Free with a Member of Our DMV Hearing Team in Highland Park
The DMV license suspension hearing process can be confusing and daunting, but you do not have to face this experience alone. When you choose the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg to assist you, we will fight tooth and nail for the best possible outcome in your case.
With more than 30 years of experience in the Texas criminal justice system, DWI attorney Randall Isenberg brings a unique level of insight to your case. To help ensure you understand your options, we offer a free case evaluation for people facing drunk driving charges and a DMV hearing in Highland Park.
To schedule your appointment, call our office today at 214-696-9253.