You have only 15 days from the date of arrest to request a hearing to save your driver's license.
You May Lose Your Driver’s License Unless You Act Now
At the time of your arrest, the police officer likely presented you with a Notice of Suspension/Temporary Driving Permit (DIC - 25). Hopefully you have thoroughly read this document and are aware that your driver’s license will automatically be suspended 40 days from the date of arrest (or the date you were served with the notice, whichever is later) unless you or your attorney request a hearing in the manner prescribed by law.The importance of requesting this hearing can not be overstated.If you retain me, this is the first formal step I will take to protect your legal rights and preserve your right to drive.
Why You Should Request a Hearing
There are two reasons to request the hearing:
- force DPS to prove its case, rather than just rolling over and letting them have your license; and
- assist in defending against the criminal charges
Force DPS to Prove its Case
DPS is only required to prove its case by a preponderance of the evidence.This is the same burden of proof applicable in civil cases, simply the greater weight and degree of the credible evidence.In contrast, in the criminal case, the State will be required to present evidence of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.Moreover, DPS case meet its burden by submitting written reports prepared by law enforcement.
You can, however, compel live testimony by obtaining a subpoena for the arresting officer, and requesting the presence of the breath test operator and the supervisor in charge of the breath test program, if applicable.If these law enforcement witness are properly subpoenaed/requested and fail to appear at the hearing, DPS will be unable to introduce documents authored by the missing person.This may prevent DPS from meeting its burden of proof.This means you will not lose your license.
Obtain a Preview of the State's Evidence in the Criminal Case
As soon as you retain me, I will file a discovery request seeking to obtain copies of documents prepared by the arresting officer setting forth the officer’s observations of you which form the basis for his decision to initially detain and ultimately arrest you.In addition, if you took a breath test I will obtain a copy of the breath test slip along with maintenance records for the specific machine on which you were tested.
Under most circumstances, it will be to your benefit to subpoena the arresting officer, breath test operator and technical supervisor to testify at the ALR hearing.At the hearing, I will have the opportunity to learn what each witness will say at trial.Often police officers do not come to these hearings prepared to testify, they often guess, contradict their written reports or other witnesses.I will obtain a written transcript of all testimony.This is ammunition that will be available at the criminal trial to impeach the officer in the event he later tries to change his testimony.
The information obtained at the hearing is critical to an informed decision as to whether or not the criminal case should be set for trial or resolved by a plea agreement.
What Must DPS Prove at the Hearing
What DPS must prove depends on whether you failed the breath/blood test or refused to take one.
Blood/Breath Test Failure
The issues that must be proved at a hearing by a preponderance of the evidence are whether:
- the person had an alcohol concentration of .08 or greater while operating a motor vehicle in a public place; and
- reasonable suspicion to stop or probable cause to arrest the person existed.
Refusal to Take Breath/Blood Test
The issues at a hearing under this subchapter are whether:
- reasonable suspicion or probable cause existed to stop or arrest the person;
- probable cause existed to believe that the person was:
- operating a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated; or
- operating a watercraft powered with an engine having a manufacturer's rating of 50 horsepower or above while intoxicated;
- the person was placed under arrest by the officer and was requested to submit to the taking of a specimen; and
- the person refused to submit to the taking of a specimen on request of the officer.
Length of Suspension
The length of suspension depends on several factors
- whether you refused to take or failed a breath/blood test;
- whether you have any prior law enforcement contacts or suspensions; and
- your age.Suspension terms range from 90 days to 2 years.
If your license is suspended you may be eligible to obtain an occupational driver’s license which will allow you to drive to and from work, school and in the performance of necessary household duties.
WARNING! You have only 15 days from the date of arrest to request a hearing to Save Your Driver's License
Call 713-981-4200 to schedule a free phone or in-person consultation with a DWI attorney