Texas Drivers License suspension is one of the biggest and most immediate concerns you are likely to have after an arrest for drunk driving or the suspicion of such in Houston. If you’ve recently been unfortunate enough to have had that sort of encounter with law enforcement, the important thing to know right now is that your driver’s license will automatically be suspended 15 days after the arrest, unless you request a hearing.
3 Things to Know Now:
- You must appeal the suspension of your license within 15 days or you will lose your right to challenge your license suspension
- A Commercial Driver’s BAC limit is .04 rather than the normal .08 for non-commercial drivers
- Even if your license is suspended for DWI you may be entitled to an Occupational License which will give you limited driving privileges.
Don’t wait until it’s too late to request this hearing. Call 281-280-0100 or contact our firm online and ask for an initial consultation with Houston DWI defense lawyer Tad Nelson today.
Why the License Suspension Hearing is Important
The main reason why this hearing is so important is obvious: if we are successful, you get to keep your driving privileges while the criminal case is pending. This can buy you the time you need to re-arrange your life in the event that you are convicted.
A second, nearly as important benefit of the license suspension hearing it is our first opportunity to get the police officer’s testimony on the record and of getting a glimpse of the prosecution’s case long before trial. Obviously, this is an essential part of developing the full trial and case strategy.
TWO LICENSE SUSPENSIONS
There are two ways your Texas Driver License can be suspended if you are arrested for a Houston DWI. You can be suspended administratively, or as the result of pleading guilty or being found guilty of a DWI related criminal charge in Houston.
The first suspension you face is an administrative action taken against your driver’s license. This simply means that it does not matter whether you win your Houston DWI criminal case, your driver’s license can be suspended even if the Prosecutor does not even file a DWI criminal case against you. This is the suspension that gives you the right to a hearing before an Administrative Judge, and provides you the first opportunity to cross-examine the arresting officer.
The second type of suspension occurs after you plead or are found guilty of DWI in criminal court. The result of the administrative hearing does not necessarily determine the outcome of the criminal hearing. The administrative hearing outcome can, however, be useful in helping persuade the prosecutor that they cannot meet their burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
DEFENSES TO ADMINISTRATIVE SUSPENSION
There are a number of things you can do to help us defend your driver’s license after a Texas DWI arrest. The first, and most important thing you can do is to contact us immediately after your arrest so we can begin preserving any evidence that may exist.
Here are some ways in which we defend against your driver’s license suspension:
- Independent Witnesses – People who were with you, or who you talked to immediately before, during, or after your arrest may be useful to show that the officer’s perception of your behavior, speech, and impairment was not observed by others. This is especially true if the witness is someone – such as a bartender – who is trained to identify intoxicated people.
- Improper machine maintenance – the police are required to perform regular testing and maintenance on the DWI breath machines. If they fail to do so, and you took the breath test, any evidence gathered by the machine should be thrown out and you may win the driver’s license hearing.
- Improper warning by the police officer – police are required to read a form to you that tells you what your rights are, and why they are requesting you submit to a breath or blood test. If they fail to read that form to you, or fail to read it to you properly, then your test results should be thrown out, and your driver’s license suspension reversed. The officer gave you legal advice – police are supposed to read the DIC form to you, but not to give you any other advice as to whether you should take the breath or blood test. If they do, you may be able to have the blood or breath results thrown out.
For these reasons, it is absolutely critical to hire a lawyer and request this hearing as soon as possible. The sooner you do the better chance you’ll have to avoid or minimize the consequences of your arrest.
Our firm and DWI defense attorney Tad Nelson provide skilled legal representation and services to people throughout Galveston County and the Houston metro area.
If you were arrested for drunk driving and want to avoid the automatic license suspension that goes with that – call our Houston or League City law offices directly at 281-280-0100 or contact us online today.