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If You Been Arrested For a DWI in Houston The Clock is Ticking!

Posted on June 7th, 2016

If You Been Arrested For a DWI in Houston The Clock is Ticking!

If you ever find yourself in the unenviable position of having been arrested and charged with DWI, the worst thing you can do is to stall. Hire an experienced DWI lawyer. The sooner, the better. Once you're formally booked and processed the clock starts to tick. The first window the government will try to shut you out of is your ability to fight a suspension of your driver's license. You have 15 days to get informed, and to take action. Most citizens understand that when they are being investigated for DWI they will be asked to give a breath test or a blood test. Most of those same citizens also understand that under most circumstances you have a right to refuse to provide either of those tests. The most common misconception I see though deals with what happens to your privilege to drive if you exercise your right to refuse to provide the breath or blood test. Many clients I have had were under the impression that if they refused the test, the suspension of their driver's license was automatic. That's not true. It's only automatic...if you stall for too long. The 15-day clock starts to tick on the day of your arrest. As long as you're inside that 15-day window you have the opportunity to submit a request for a hearing. These hearings are called Administrative License Revocations, or ALRs, for short. The purpose of the hearing is to determine whether the officer(s) had probable cause to arrest you for the charge of driving while intoxicated.

So, the scope of the hearing is very limited compared to what the State must prove to convict you of the offense in criminal court. In other words, the government has a much smaller burden to carry to prevail in those hearings. But, that's no reason to lie down and surrender. After all, this is the 'Come and Take It' State! If your attorney prevails at the ALR the State's attempt to suspend your license will be denied. There are many good reasons to attempt to fight the suspension of your license via the ALR. I cannot think of a single good reason to forgo the hearing. Either way, if you wait too long to hire a good lawyer to represent you, the government will forcibly close the window, and the opportunity will be lost.

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