What Happens to my Driver’s License if I Have Been Charged With a DWI in Texas?

Cesar MontalvoDWI Law, Traffic Law

If you are suspected of an alcohol-related offense and refuse to take a breath or blood test, your driver’s license will be suspended if you’re over 21 and don’t ask for an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Hearing within 15 days from the date of service of your DIC-23. After 40 days, a driver’s license will automatically get suspended on the 41st day. Moreover, there’s a 180 day waiting period before you can apply for a license again. If you choose to give a breath or blood test and fail, meaning you blew a .08% BAC or above, then it is a 90-day suspension. Whether or not you give consent and fail or refuse altogether, your license will be suspended unless an ALR Hearing requested.

How Long Does Someone Have to Request That ALR Hearing?

In Texas, a person has 15 days from the date they’re read and served the statutory documents DIC-23 and DIC-24 to request an ALR Hearing. The deadline is strict and it is important to make the request as soon as possible. Once requested you may request an extension or continuance, and your license will not get suspended during that time.

What Exactly Happens at the ALR Hearing? Do I Have to Attend?

Your attorney and the attorney for the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will attend the ALR Hearing. The DPS is the department you petition about your license suspension based on the alleged offense. You do not have to attend the ALR Hearing. At this ALR Hearing, documentary evidence, such as the statutory warnings and the police report, is presented. If they have a witness, they may present that witness at the hearing. The witness is usually the arresting officer or the breath test operator. Sometimes, they’re one in the same. The arresting officer and/or the breath test operator will testify as to the probable cause for stopping and arresting you for driving while intoxicated. If they prove their case, the administrative law judge will determine that there was probable cause to arrest you for DWI. As a result, they’ll uphold the suspension and suspend your license. At that point, you could appeal the matter or apply for an occupational driver’s license while your license is suspended.

What are the Typical Sentences for First and Multiple DWI’s in Texas?

The statue states that a first time DWI is a Class B offense A Class B carries a fine of up to $2,000 and a three-day jail sanction. Most counties, Bexar County included, waive the three-day jail sanction if you take some sort of plea recommendation. However, the statute ultimately requires that you fulfill the three days. In the worst cases, a person can get six months in county jail. There are also collateral issues associated with your license.

If the DWI charges is a second DWI offense, it graduates to a Class A misdemeanor. A Class A misdemeanor carries a fine of up to $4,000, as well as up to a year in county jail. Every subsequent DWI will be enhanced. It’ll go up a class each time.

What is a Non-Disclosure Order of a DWI in Texas? Who Would Qualify?

A non-disclosure order of a DWI in Texas is a statutory order sealing your arrest record. The order tells the court and arresting agencies to seal any evidence or proof from employers or other agencies seeking information that otherwise would be viewable. The non-disclosure order allows the maintenance of arrest records, but they cannot be disclosed without a court order unsealing them. Certain employers often run a background check. And so, these orders are helpful to people who are seeking jobs with certain clearance levels, such as the military.

Is it Possible to Have my DWI Charge Reduced to a Lesser Offense?

It is possible to have a DWI charge reduced to a lesser offense. It is all fact driven, depending on the facts of your case. Some prosecutors are more inclined to offer a reduced sentence contingent on your criminal history and cooperation at the time of the stop. If there is any restitution and you pay it off, those factors can help your attorney negotiate with the district attorney for a lesser included offense. A typical lesser included offense is obstruction of a highway, which allows for a deferred adjudication. A deferred adjudication is a community supervised probated sentence. If you do well on the deferred adjudication, your case will get dismissed.

Since September 1st, 2019, it’s rarer to get a reduced charge because the legislature has now allowed individuals with first time DWIs to qualify for deferred adjudication in certain circumstances. Therefore, chances are that the district attorney or county attorney will not likely reduced a charge, but they’ll encourage a deferred adjudication.

For more information on the Consequences of a DWI in Texas, an initial consultation with the best DWI Lawyer in San Antonio is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (210) 296-5605 today.