Remember, you have two legal cases brought against you in the event of a DWI charge: a criminal case and a civil case. The criminal case is based on you breaking the state’s traffic laws, while the civil case concerns your danger to public safety.
As part of the civil case, the Department of Public Safety will pursue an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) in order to suspend your license. The suspension is automatic unless you contest by requesting a hearing within 15 days of your DWI charge. If you fail to contest, your driving privileges will be automatically suspended and there is no way to get it back.
The following are the proper steps to save your driver’s license:
- Go over the Notice of Suspension. The arresting officer should provide you with a notice that explains the details of your license suspension. For the next 40 days, this notice is your legal but temporary Texas driver’s license, allowing you to drive unrestricted as long as you have the paper with you. However, if the officer failed to give you this paper, you may have grounds for dismissal.
- Mark your calendar. Remember, you have 15 days from the date of your arrest to request a hearing and 40 days to drive unrestricted.
- Speak with a lawyer. Get an experienced DWI lawyer that will fight to get your driving privileges back. Hire one that has an exceptional record getting license suspensions and DWI convictions dropped.
- Contest your suspension. Again, it must be done within 15 days of your arrest. Once you file your request, the license suspension will be postponed until your hearing occurs, even if it exceeds the 40-day suspension time limit.
- Attend the hearing with your attorney. Your lawyer will present a defense for your driving privileges and a judge will rule on whether or not to suspend your license. If your hearing does not go in your favor, you can appeal it and delay your license suspension at least for another 90 days.