8:00 - 6:00

Hours Mon. - Fri.

214.329.9433

Call Us For Free Consultation

Facebook

Twitter

Google+

Search

Lang

 

DWI/DUI Videos

Navigating Your Texas ALR Hearing

Navigating Your Texas ALR Hearing

How to Fight Your Administrative License Suspension

 

The Texas Department of Public Safety operates the Administrative License Revocation (ALR) program. The ALR program processes the administrative license suspensions of all those arrested for a DWI in Texas. Those facing ALR action, however, have a right to request an administrative hearing at which they can contest the suspension. Administrative hearings are different than criminal court hearings and require a different burden of proof and evidentiary rules. To help you navigate the ALR program and fight your license suspension here’s some helpful information to get you started.

 

Time Is Running Out

 

You only have 15 days from the date you receive your notice of license suspension to request your ALR hearing. Note that if the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) mailed you the notice, your receipt is presumed to be five days from the postmark date on the envelope. So, if the DPS does not have your current mailing address, you could run into trouble. Make sure you contact the DPS as soon as possible if you were arrested for a DWI but have not received your notice yet. The DPS will deny any requests for hearings received after 15 days. If you don’t request a hearing, the ALR program will suspend your license 40 days after you receive your notice.

 

How to Request a Texas ALR Hearing

 

You will need a few pieces of information to request a hearing, such as the date and county of your arrest, the name of the arresting agency and of the arresting officer. The notice of suspension should include the information you need for the request. Request your ALR hearing by phone, mail or online. Mailing your request (certified with return receipt) or requesting it online is preferable, as you’ll have written proof of the request.

 

It may take between 30-60 days to get a hearing. Typically, you can request your hearing be held either live or over the phone. If you cannot make the initial hearing date, you may be able to request a continuance if made at least five days before the scheduled hearing.

 

Discovery

 

Once you have your hearing date, your attorney can request discovery for you. Discovery is the evidence the DPS has in its possession. Typically, this will include the police report and chemical test results. During this phase, you can also subpoena witnesses. You will also be given the specific elements the DPS must prove to suspend your license in your Notice of Hearing. Review these elements with your attorney to plan your defense. Many factors can be questioned such as:

 

  • Whether the officer stopped you lawfully
  • Whether the officer arrested you lawfully
  • Were you read the DIC-24 prior to being asked to consent to a breath or blood test?
  • Did you refuse after being read the DIC-24?
  • Did you fail the blood or breath test?
  • If you failed the blood or breath test, there are multiple aspects of each test that may be challenged.

 

Sometimes even small mistakes in ALR paperwork can turn the case in the defendant’s favor. Always work closely with an experienced Dallas-Fort Worth DWI defense attorney who has handled ALR hearings. This is to ensure you take advantage of every weakness, ask the right questions at the hearing and leverage every fact you can.

 

Your ALR Hearing

 

Always request an ALR hearing, even if you think you will lose. If you plan on taking your DWI case to trial, you can use the discovery (i.e. information, testimony, and evidence) obtained at the hearing to help you prepare for your trial. If you prevail, the DPS will not suspend your license. If you don’t, the DPS will suspend your license, but you can appeal the decision. If your license is ultimately suspended, you can obtain an Occupational Driver’s License (ODL).

 

Again, the ALR hearing is an opportunity you should take advantage of. But work with a skilled attorney with a good track record of prevailing at ALR hearings. These hearings are administrative (rather than criminal) and revolve around relatively few elements. Thus, they can be easier to win than criminal cases. It’s an ideal chance to contest your license suspension while you’re waiting for your DWI case to resolve.

 

If you need help dealing with a DWI license suspension in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email clients@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Quick Tips for Navigating Your Texas DWI Case After an Arrest

10 Quick Tips for Navigating Your Texas DWI Case After an Arrest

Navigating Unknown Territory

 

You never thought you’d hear the words, “I’m placing you under arrest.” by a police officer. Now it’s happened, and you don’t know what to do or who to turn to. Every day in Dallas-Fort Worth, well-meaning citizens are arrested for DWI. Maybe they just had a few drinks with dinner. Maybe they weren’t even over the legal limit, but the officer that pulled them over thought otherwise. If you find yourself in this stressful and unfamiliar territory after a DWI arrest, you are not alone. To help you navigate your Texas DWI case after an arrest, here are ten quick tips our firm has compiled.

 

Invoke Your Constitutional Rights

 

During and after your DWI arrest, it’s important to invoke your constitutional right to remain silent when interrogated by the police.

 

Post Bail

 

It’s difficult to navigate a DWI case from jail. Post bail as soon as you can or enlist a friend or family member to help. You can also call an attorney to post a surety bond, securing your release from jail. You’ll want to jump into action a soon as possible to maintain as much control over your case as you can.

 

Call an Attorney

 

In reality, this can and should be your first step. But if you’ve just been released from jail after a DWI arrest, calling an attorney should definitely be the first thing you do. Without having insider knowledge of the Texas criminal court system and the specific jurisdiction under which you are being charged, you have a very slim chance of successfully fighting your charges.

 

Request a Hearing

 

You have 15 days from the date you receive your notice of license suspension in which to request an administrative (ALR) hearing through the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). Your ALR hearing is your chance to fight your license suspension, so take advantage of it.

 

Heed Your License Suspension

 

If you failed to request an ALR hearing or didn’t prevail at your hearing, the DPS will suspend your license 40 days after you receive your notice of license suspension. Watch that date. If your license is suspended, speak with your attorney about obtaining an Occupational Driver’s License (ODL).

 

Discuss Your Options

 

Go over your options for handling your case with an attorney. Do you want a DWI trial? Try to negotiate a plea bargain? Learning about your options will give you peace of mind. Also, it will help you make an informed decision about how to proceed with your case.

 

File Pre-Trial Motions

 

If you are heading to trial, work with your attorney to file any pre-trial motions that may help you, such as a motion to suppress evidence.

 

Prepare for Trial

 

Most DWI cases resolve before trial by way of plea bargains (in our opinion generally not your best option). But if you weren’t offered a plea bargain you can accept, prepare for trial with your attorney so you know what to expect, what to say, how to act and what to do.

 

Go to Trial

 

If you make it all the way to trial, this is your chance to fight your charges full force. Make sure you are working with an experienced criminal defense attorney who has handled DWI trials in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to have the best chance of an acquittal.

 

These steps can help you get through the stressful and at times confusing DWI case process from arrest to trial. If you are ready to take your DWI charges seriously and fight them with all you’ve got, consult with a Dallas-Fort Worth DWI defense attorney immediately to get started.

 

If you’re facing DWI charges in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email clients@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

Raising the Stakes: Aggravating Factors in Texas DWI Cases

Raising the Stakes: Aggravating Factors in Texas DWI Cases

Upping the Ante

 

If you are charged with DWI in Texas, you could face steep fines and surcharges, community service, DWI classes, increased insurance requirements and potentially jail time. And in light of certain aggravating factors, the court can increase those penalties significantly. Aggravating factors are elements that, if present, give the court reason to “enhance” your sentence if you are convicted. Common aggravating factors in Texas DWI cases include:

 

A Prior DWI Conviction

 

A prior DWI conviction if proven will increase the minimum jail sentence associated with the charge. The public policy behind this increase is that the person charged did not learn from the first DWI conviction. However, a knowledgeable DWI attorney may be able to keep out prior convictions or even get the State to agree to not consider it.

 

Open Container of Alcohol in the Car

 

If you have an open container of alcohol in the car when you were driving while intoxicated, you could face a mandatory six-day jail sentence. Driving with an open container of alcohol is a crime in and of itself, typically punishable by just a fine unless you are underage.

 

Underage Drinking

 

In Texas, there are two types of charges for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol: DWI and DUI. DWI applies to drivers over the age of 21 who drive while intoxicated. DUI applies to underage drivers for driving under the influence. An underage driver need not be intoxicated to face DUI charges and may face additional charges for underage drinking.

 

High BAC

 

A high BAC in Texas is an aggravating factor in DWI cases. If your BAC (blood alcohol concentration) level was .15 or higher, you could be charged with a Class A Misdemeanor. Interestingly though, the minimum jail sentence (0 days in jail) for a first time DWI where the BAC is equal to or greater than 0.15 is actually less than if your BAC was less than 0.15. Therefore, a BAC equal to or greater than 0.15 might work to your benefit in a DWI trial.

 

Minor in the Vehicle

 

If you have a child (under the age of 15) with you when driving while intoxicated, you will face felony charges.

 

Causing an Accident

 

If you cause an accident and someone was seriously injured, you could face harsher penalties.

 

Aggravating Factors? Call an Attorney

 

The State of Texas provides many situations where courts can go above and beyond the standard DWI penalties in light of aggravating factors. Your sentence could hinge on the numerous facts and circumstances of your case. Thus, always speak with an experienced Dallas-Fort Worth DWI defense attorney when facing DWI charges.

 

 

If you’ve been arrested for a DWI in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email clients@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

DWI vs. DUI in Texas: Different Offense, Different Punishment

DWI vs. DUI in Texas: Different Offense, Different Punishment

Not the Same Offense

 

Every state handles drunk-driving cases differently. Many use the terms DWI and DUI interchangeably. But Texas distinguishes between the two. DWI and DUI are separate yet similar offenses. Thus, if you have been arrested for drunk driving, it’s essential you educate yourself on these two offenses so you can know what you’re up against.

 

Texas DUI

 

DUI is the less serious of the two offenses. It applies to minors who drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This means a minor can be charged with a DUI for having any detectable amount of alcohol in his or her blood. The minor’s BAC level (blood alcohol concentration) can be well below the State threshold of .08% that applies to DWI cases. This is Texas’s zero tolerance law, which applies to minors.

 

DUIs are charged under the Texas Traffic Code, as opposed to the Texas Penal Code. But don’t let the code designation fool you; a DUI comes with harsher penalties than a simple traffic violation. DUI is a Class C Misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $500, a license suspension of up to one year, alcohol education classes, and potentially community service and an order to install an ignition interlock device in your car.

 

Texas DWI

 

DWIs fall under the purview of the Texas Penal Code and are treated more seriously than DUIs. You can face DWI charges if you drive while intoxicated. This  is statutorily defined as not having the use of your normal mental or physical faculties due to the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body; or with a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of .08% or higher.

 

The penalties for DWI are more serious than those for DUI. For example, a first-time DWI offender can face a fine of up to $2,000, 72 hours to 180 days in jail, and a license suspension of up to one year. This is in addition to an annual fee (surcharge) of $1,000 for three years to maintain your driver’s license. These are just the court-imposed penalties. You may face other consequences such as increased insurance requirements and even the loss of your job.

 

Educate Yourself

 

Facing DUI or DWI charges can be stressful. The thought of losing your license for up to a year can leave you feeling panicked. Luckily, these are just the potential penalties the court can impose. In reality, you need to speak with an experienced Dallas-Fort Worth DWI/DUI defense attorney to get a better understanding of the consequences you face. The facts and circumstances of your case can impact the penalties the court can impose significantly. An attorney can inform you of these and help you formulate a plan of action to fight your charges or minimize the impact of a conviction.

 

 

If you’re facing DWI or DUI charges in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email clients@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.