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What Can I Expect at an ALR Hearing?


Why an ALR Hearing Would Be Necessary

In the state of Texas, an Administrative Driver’s License Revocation (ALR) hearing is a civil process that occurs after an individual has been arrested for a DWI. However, when an ALR hearing is required, it means that the court must decide whether the guilty person should have their license revoked. Every DWI arrest can involve two separate license suspensions: one for a criminal conviction and one for refusing or failing to take a breath or blood test. If an ALR has been scheduled, it usually means that one of the following events occurred at the time of the arrest:

  • The individual refused to take a breathalyzer test or provide a blood sample at the request of the law enforcement officer.
  • The individual provided a breath sample that registered their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at .08 or above.
  • The individual provided a blood sample that registered their BAC at .08 or above.

Typically, during the time of the arrest, the law enforcement officer would issue a statutory warning that gives the individual 15 days to request an ALR hearing, which will be their chance to prevent a license suspension. This 15-day requirement is strict, and if the individual waits 40 days, the license will be suspended automatically without the chance to plead their case at a hearing.

It is important to understand that before the hearing, the driver’s license will be automatically confiscated and law enforcement will issue a temporary driving permit. If the individual submits the request for a hearing before the deadline, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will send a letter to their address on record with the location, date, and time of the hearing. This hearing can be up to 120 days after the request is submitted.

Steps of an ALR Hearing

At an ALR hearing, an administrative law judge will hear the defendant’s case as to why the license should not be suspended, as well as the prosecution’s case for why it should. In order to win the case and suspend the defendant’s license, the prosecution would have to prove the following:

  • The law enforcement officer established reasonable suspicion before making a traffic stop.
  • The law enforcement officer established probable cause that the defendant was drunk driving.
  • The law enforcement officer placed the defendant under lawful arrest and asked the defendant to take a chemical test.
  • The defendant refused to take a chemical test or the results of the test showed a BAC of .08 or higher.

The ALR hearing is a powerful and important part of the outcome of this case, and attending this hearing can work in your favor if you have an experienced DWI attorney like Derek A. Adame on your side. The ALR hearing can make the difference between a guilty and not guilty verdict. The decision made at an ALR hearing is separate from the decision made at a criminal proceeding. However, it can still shed light on valuable information that can help win the case. That is why, if you find yourself attending an ALR hearing from your DWI arrest, you will want to hire an attorney who is well-versed in the legal process and will present your case in the best light possible.

During the hearing, the defendant will subpoena the officers involved in the arrest. This is different from the criminal proceeding because in those cases, the state must present evidence and subpoena witnesses. If the officers fail to appear at the hearing after the subpoena, the case will be dismissed. The average citizen is not aware of how to subpoena someone or the steps involved in this, so this is another area in which having an attorney on your side will prove to be helpful. If the officer appears at the hearing, your attorney can cross-examine them and inquire about a variety of talking points that could make your side of the story appear more positive.

One of the best ways to approach this is to attack the State’s case against you. An attorney will help facilitate the conditions for each aspect of the case to be fully examined. If the conditions are right, we can help prove that the traffic stop was invalid, that there was lack of probable cause, or that the results of the test were inaccurate. An attorney like Derek A. Adame will be able to identify the point where the State’s case might not hold up and build reasonable questions surrounding it. If we are able to do this to the extent that the State cannot prove its case, that is when you have a chance of winning the ALR hearing and avoiding a license suspension.

We understand that this process can be quite stressful. You might have never expected to be faced with the possibility of losing your driver’s license. Our team has seen plenty of cases like this before, and we want you to know that you are not alone in dealing with this process. From helping with the administrative aspects of the case to presenting your situation in a positive light, we will take some of the burden off of your shoulders as we navigate your case together. Not only are we here to help produce the best possible outcome for your case, but we are here to provide the support you need.

If you are facing DWI charges and need an attorney to provide legal support, call Derek A. Adame, Attorney at Law at (940) 441-4239 or contact us online.

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