When a Texas driver is accused of committing certain vehicular crimes, he or she may need to request an administrative license revocation (ALR) hearing. This legal proceeding is similar to a court trial and is presided over by an administrative judge. During an ALR or Administrative License Revocation hearing, the Department of Public Safety attempts to take a person’s ability to drive or driver’s license away.
The Administrative Judge decides whether a person’s license should be suspended because of a refusal to provide a breath or blood specimen or for producing a failing test result. Following an arrest, a defendant has 15 days to request an ALR hearing; otherwise, his or her driver’s license or ability to drive is automatically suspended. It is important to understand that this suspension is different than the suspension that may arise if you are convicted of an alcohol related offense. The ALR suspension is the result of either failing a breath or blood test or not complying with the “implied consent” agreement when you applied for a driver’s license. Even if you do not have a driver’s license, you can still have your ability to drive suspended. You still must request a hearing.
The burden of proof for the administrative case is a preponderance of the evidence or 50.1%. It is very difficult to win the ALR hearing on the merits because the burden of proof is so low, but we are able to win these cases quite regularly on technicalities. Additionally, the ALR hearing is very important to the DWI or Driving While Intoxicated case because if the officer shows up, we can cross examine them under oath. There is a transcript of the hearing and we can, in turn, use this as evidence in the criminal case. Oftentimes, the officers change certain details they remember of the offense that can be extremely beneficial in the criminal case. It is also a good tool to use to prepare for things that may come up in trial that was not written in the original offense report. Because these hearings are so important to the outcome of the criminal case, we almost always include handling these cases after being retained on the criminal case.
Individuals who commit any of the following offenses may need to request an ALR hearing:
• Driving while intoxicated (DWI)
• Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
• Intoxication Assault
• Vehicular Manslaughter
A refusal to provide a specimen can possibly result in a 180 day license suspension and a breath/blood test failure can possibly result in a 90 day suspension. Any attorney who doesn’t mention the ALR hearing during a consultation for Driving While Intoxicated should be avoided at all costs. To keep from having a driver’s license suspension, you need a criminal defense lawyer who will do whatever it takes to protect your rights. Call attorney Henry K. Nguyen today at 713-222-1800.
Why is It Necessary to Have a Lawyer?
Many people are under the impression that they do not need to consult with lawyers about something as ‘trivial’ as an ALR. Those who face administrative hearings often believe that they can prevail by themselves and that attorneys constitute an unnecessary expense. In actuality, nothing could be further from the truth; lawyers are how you win in an ALR hearing. An attorney can:
- Ensure that subpoenas are filed properly and on time
- Require the state to provide evidence
- Cross-examine witnesses
- File an appeal if the initial hearing has an unfavorable outcome
Once the administrative judge renders a decision, the accused might face a suspension of driver’s license or ability to drive. A refusal to provide a specimen can possibly result in a 180 day license suspension and a test failure can possibly result in a 90 day suspension.
Contact Houston ALR Attorney – Henry K. Nguyen
As you can see, a lot is at stake when it comes to an ALR hearing. Do not leave the outcome to chance when experienced help is just a phone call away. Houston criminal defense lawyer Henry K. Nguyen will stand by your side and guide you throughout the legal process. A prudent and skilled defense can often make the difference in ALR hearings.
Call the Law Office of Henry K. Nguyen, P.C. today at 713-222-1800 for a free consultation.