Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer
Dallas / North Texas
When you have been arrested for a criminal offense such as Driving
While Intoxicated (DWI) you need an attorney with extensive expertise.
more on Texas DWI...
Misdemeanors are various crimes that do not rise to the level of a felony. Even though misdemeanors carry less jail time than felonies, they
can still be serious charges.
more on misdemeanors...
charged with domestic violence, family violence, child abuse charges, assault and battery...
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A person in Texas can have criminal records erased, or "expunged," under certain circumstances.
more on expunction...
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Attorney At Law
5005 Greenville Avenue, Suite 200
Dallas, TX 75206
Texas Administrative License Suspension Laws
DWI / Administrative License Revocation
|"Board Certified Criminal Lawyer" and "Former Assistant District Attorney"
Many Texas drivers who are arrested for driving while intoxicated do not realize that a DWI arrest creates two cases.
Specifically, a DWI arrest results in both a criminal charge, and also initiates a civil proceeding against the arrested motorist's driving
privileges called an Administrative License Revocation, or ALR.
An ALR suspension is initiated against an arrested driver when he either
refuses to submit to breath or blood testing, or alternatively, fails a
breath or blood test. The legal authority to impose an ALR suspension
against a driver lies in the Texas implied consent statute.
This law states that each person who operates a motor vehicle on Texas roadways
has given his implied consent to provide a specimen of breath or blood if
arrested for DWI and provided with the applicable consequences of refusing to
submit to testing (Texas Transportation Code ß724).
The implied consent statute also applies to operators of watercraft in Texas. In
Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) cases, a drivers license may be suspended for
refusing - but not for failing - to submit to the taking of a specimen a breath
or blood test if a person is arrested for an offense involving the operation of
a watercraft powered with an engine having a manufacturer's rating of 50
horsepower or above.
Further, in all intoxication-related offenses, Texas courts have decided that an
individual does not have the right to consult with an attorney before making the
decision to refuse or provide a requested specimen. Indeed, in cases where an
accident which produced serious life-threatening injury or the possibility of
death has occurred, a citizen can be forced to provide a sample of blood.
Notice of ARL Suspension / Hearing
Notice of ALR Suspension
Many police officers, after arresting a citizen, will tell the arrested driver
that if he does not agree to take a breath or blood test that his license will
be automatically and immediately suspended.
This is incorrect. When making an arrest for DWI, peace officers are required to
take possession of any Texas license issued by this state and held by the person
arrested and issue the person a temporary driving permit that expires on the
41st day after the date of issuance. Further, a request for a hearing to
challenge the proposed suspension will delay any ALR sanctions until a hearing
ALR Suspension Hearing Request Provisions
WARNING !!! An ALR suspension is AUTOMATIC...UNLESS you request a hearing to
challenge the suspension, in writing, WITHIN FIFTEEN (15) DAYS after receiving
notice of suspension from the arresting agency on a Department of Public Safety
approved form (generally received on the day of arrest).
If a hearing is not timely requested, the suspension will automatically begin on
the forty-first (41st) day after notice was received. If a hearing is requested,
no action will be taken regarding suspension until after the hearing has taken
place, even if the hearing takes place more than forty days after the arrest.
The ALR Hearing
The burden of proof at an ALR hearing is on the Department of Public Safety.
Once a driver or his attorney has made a timely request for an ALR hearing, no
suspension may be imposed against the driver until the Department of Public
Safety proves the following elements by a preponderance of the evidence at the
1. That there was reasonable suspicion to stop or probable cause to arrest the
2. That probable cause existed that the driver was driving or in actual physical
control of a motor vehicle in a
public place while intoxicated,
3. That the driver was placed under arrest and was offered an opportunity to
give a specimen of breath or blood
after being notified both orally and in writing of the
consequences of either refusing or failing a breath or blood
4. That the driver refused to give a specimen on request of the officer, OR,
that the driver failed a breath or blood
test by registering an alcohol concentration of .08 or
greater per 100ml of blood or 210 liters of breath.
NOTE: If the person who refuses is a resident without a license, an order
will be issued denying the issuance of a license to the person for 180 days.
NOTE: the term "prior alcohol or drug contact" as used to lengthen the
period of suspensions stated above has been defined as "a driver's license
suspension, disqualification, or prohibition order under the laws of this state
or any other state resulting from a conviction for driving while intoxicated",
"a refusal to provide a requested specimen", or "providing a specimen showing an
alcohol concentration of a level specified in §49.01 Texas Penal Code" (an
alcohol concentration of 0.08 or greater).
ALR Suspension Reinstatement of Drivers License After Suspension
If no suspension is imposed at the hearing, DPS is obligated to return the Texas
license to the person arrested. If a suspension is ordered either automatically
or after hearing, a driver must submit a reinstatement fee of $125.00 to TDPS
before the license will be reinstated. I advise my clients to send their fee to
TDPS as soon as they learn that a suspension has been ordered. Again, because of
the huge bureaucracy that has been created under the new law, waiting until the
60th or 90th day to submit your reinstatement fee will prolong reinstatement of
your license until the fee has been both received and entered on the TDPS
There is a special TDPS form that must be submitted to reinstate your driving
privileges. This form together with the reinstatement fee must be paid by money
order, cashier's check or personal check and sent by certified mail, return
receipt requested for proper documentation of payment and receipt to: Driver
Improvement and Control Texas Department of Public Safety P.O. Box 15999 Austin,
ALR Suspension One Final Note
In addition to protecting your driving privileges, there is an equally important
reason to request an ALR hearing, and that is to better defend you against the
DWI charge. Unfortunately, most drivers, and many lawyers who are unfamiliar
with DWI defense, do not realize the "discovery" importance of an ALR
proceeding. In this regard, the importance of having a hearing to challenge your
ALR case is twofold. First, with the assistance of a knowledgeable and skilled
defense attorney, many drivers are able to avoid a suspension of their driving
privileges. Second, by challenging your license suspension, you are providing
your attorney with an opportunity to use the ALR hearing to learn more about how
to best defend your DWI charge. In this regard, the "discovery" information
obtained through the ALR process can be invaluable to your defense, and is often
the deciding factor in determining whether the related DWI charges can be
successfully defended against.
Dallas / North Texas Criminal Defense Attorney
"Board Certified - Criminal Law Texas Board of Legal Specialization"
Ward Maedgen - Attorney At Law
|Ward Maedgen practices criminal defense law in the following cities and counties: Dallas,
Arlington, Cedar Hill, McKinney, Highland Park, University Park, Addison, Plano, Richardson, Mesquite, Garland, Irving, D/FW Airport,
Duncanville, Frisco, Carrolton, Allen, Lewisville, Flower Mound, Coppell, Farmers Branch, Forney, Hutchins, Wilmer, Rowlett, Grand
Prairie. Counties: North Texas, Dallas County, Collin County, Denton County, Rockwall County, Kaufman County