What Happens at an ALR Hearing?
What happens at an ALR hearing in Houston, TX tends to be straightforward. An Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Hearing is a civil process that occurs after an arrest for driving while intoxicated (DWI). Additionally, it happens when you refuse a breath or blood test.
At this hearing, the state decides whether to revoke your driver’s license. When you work with a DWI lawyer, you have someone to help you throughout this process. However, it’s important to realize that you have to hurry.
After a DWI arrest, you only have 15 days to request an ALR hearing. Schedule a consultation with a DWI lawyer in your area today.
What Leads to an ALR Hearing?
Before you understand what happens at an ALR hearing in Houston, it’s important to know how to get there. This process begins as soon as a law enforcement officer suspects a DWI. Here’s a basic timeline for what occurs.
- An officer pulls you over for suspicion of drunk driving.
- They conduct a series of field sobriety tests. If you fail these tests, the officer arrests you for DWI.
- Then, the officer measures your BAC through either a breath or blood test.
- If you refuse or fail these tests, the police serve you with a notice that your driver’s license is up for suspension.
- You have 15 days from the date you receive this notice to request an ALR hearing. When you fail to request it, your license goes into automatic suspension 40 days after you receive the notice.
- The officer takes your license at the scene of the arrest and gives you a temporary driving permit.
- After the suspension ends, you cannot renew or reissue your driver’s license until you pay a reinstatement fee.
When you refuse to take a sobriety test, it results in the automatic suspension of your license for a period ranging from 90 days to two years. This is due to a violation of the implied consent law in Texas. Unfortunately, this remains in place regardless of the outcome of your trial.
However, with a DWI defense attorney on your side, you have someone to help you fight for your license and your future.
How to Request an ALR Hearing
Before we get to what happens at an ALR hearing in Texas, it’s important to understand how to request the hearing. If you work with an attorney, they handle this process for you. However, it’s important to understand the process.
At an ALR hearing, you have the opportunity to contest the suspension of your driver’s license. You have the option to request this hearing. However, you have to do so within 15 days of receiving the notice.
When you meet this deadline, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) mails you a letter at the address on record. This letter provides the details of the hearing.
In some cases, the DPS takes up to 120 days to schedule an ALR hearing. However, your license remains active up until the hearing occurs. When you miss the 15-day deadline, the DPS denies your request for a hearing.
You receive the denial by mail as well. When you want to know what happens at an ALR hearing and what to expect from the process, trust in an experienced DWI lawyer. As your advocate, your attorney guides you through the process to protect your future.
What Happens at an ALR Hearing: Inside the Hearing
In Texas, the State Office of Administrative Hearings hosts ALR hearings. Here are the basics of what happens at an ALR hearing in Houston.
- You and your lawyer present evidence.
- The DPS likewise presents their evidence.
- An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) considers the evidence and renders a decision.
When you work with a DWI defense attorney, they explore the circumstances of your arrest. If they find any flaws in the officer’s process, procedure, or behavior, they argue against the validity of the arrest.
Similarly, the DPS presents evidence in favor of the suspension of your license. If the judge decides that the DPS proved its case, they issue an order that authorizes the suspension of your license.
If they believe the DPS failed to prove its case, your license survives the process. The ALJ’s final order goes to all parties. However, it’s also possible to appeal their decision.
An Occupational License
Depending on what happens at an ALR hearing, you may need an occupational license. If the ALJ suspends your license, they may still allow you to apply for an occupational driver’s license. While this license carries restrictions, it allows you to drive a vehicle for work, essential household duties, and school activities.
This process requires you to send a petition to the county or district court, the court of the original jurisdiction where the DWI occurred, or Justice of the Peace. Then, the court decides whether to grant permission for you to apply.
See What Happens at an ALR Hearing with an Experienced Attorney
When you lose your license in a city like Houston, it has a major impact on your life. We live in a commuter city that almost requires that you drive. Consider life without a car.
How do you get to school or work? Who takes you to the grocery store? Can you make it to hang out with your friends easily?
What happens at an ALR hearing in Houston carries a lot of weight. Don’t let it burden your future. When you work with an experienced DWI attorney in Houston, you have an advocate on your side to protect your future.
As a Houston DWI lawyer, Herman Martinez has decades of experience in the courts. With experience as a former prosecutor, he understands the opposition and how they operate. When you need an attorney who understands every angle of the process, call the Martinez Law Firm.
Schedule a free case evaluation today to learn more about what happens at an ALR hearing. Then, see how our legal team protects your future.