If you are arrested for DWI in Texas, there are two separate cases you have to defend yourself against. One is the criminal charges for driving while intoxicated. The other is a civil case called an Administrative License Revocation ALR hearing. The civil case begins the moment that you are arrested, and it has nothing to do with your whether you are found guilty or innocent in your criminal case.
What Is an ALR hearing?
Once you are arrested for DWI, you have 15 days post-arrest to request an ALR hearing. To defend yourself against your license being suspended for 120 days to two years, you have to go in front of a judge to plead your case. If you either fail a breathalyzer or chemical test, or you fail to take one, you will be required to stand for an ALR hearing to determine whether your license will be suspended or not.
What Happens at an ALR Hearing?
After you request a hearing, the court will send a notification to the last address that they have on file. At the hearing, all parties involved will present their case. If the judge believes that a case has been made against you, they will suspend your license. If they feel that no case has been made, the suspension will be lifted.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Defend Myself in an ALR Hearing?
Although your ALR hearing has nothing to do with your criminal charges, it is still wise to have someone defend you. Since you have a chance of losing your license for an extended period depending on how the case goes, it is an excellent idea to protect your license by hiring a lawyer. Even if you think that you are innocent and the charges against you in criminal court will be dismissed, because the ALR hearing is separate, it is still possible for you to have your license suspended.
The Burden of Proof
It takes reasonable doubt for a judge to find you guilty of criminal DWI charges. However, the civil case ALR hearing has a much lower burden of proof. It is much easier for the prosecutor to prove their case in civil court. Therefore, the likelihood that you will have your license suspended without representation is higher. Don’t take a chance of losing your license without having someone defend you.
If you are arrested for DWI, you face two separate court cases: a criminal case and a civil case. To defend yourself and your license, it is best to have the representation of a professional like Stephen T. Bowling in your corner throughout the entire process. Contact him today to discuss your pending court cases for DWI.