If you were recently arrested and charged with a DWI in Texas, you need to be aware of two distinct legal proceedings that you will face in the days, weeks and months ahead. Both proceedings could have a major impact on your life. Your finances, your freedom, and your future could all be in jeopardy.
For this reason, you should seek help from an experienced Dallas DWI attorney as early as possible after an arrest. The attorney can take immediate steps to protect your rights and fight for a positive result for you.
Administrative License Revocation Hearing
The first legal proceeding that you should know about is the Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Program hearing. This proceeding will determine whether you retain your driving privileges.
If you fail a breath or blood test, the police officer will immediately take away your Texas driver’s license. The officer will give you a 40-day temporary driving permit. If you take no action within that period of time, your license suspension will begin on the 40th day and could last for anywhere from 90 days to two years.
You can request an administrative hearing and contest the suspension of your license. However, you cannot wait to take this step. You must submit the request for a hearing within 15 days after your DWI arrest. If you miss that deadline, it could be costly. If you do not think you can request the hearing on your own, you should make sure to get in touch with an attorney right away and ask the attorney to help you to get through the process.
Like most people who live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, you probably use your car every day. You may feel completely lost without the ability to drive to work, take your kids to school, go to the store or tackle any number of different tasks. So, you need to take this ALR proceeding seriously.
DWI Criminal Case
With your criminal case, the stakes go beyond losing your driver’s license. If convicted, you could end up paying a significant fine and, ultimately, lose your freedom. The potential consequences will depend on many factors, including whether you have any prior DWI convictions. The range of potential consequences that you face includes:
- First offense (Class B misdemeanor) – License suspension of 90 days to one year, up to a $2,000 fine and 72 hours to six months in jail.
- Second offense (Class A misdemeanor) – License suspension or revocation from 180 days to two years, up to a $4,000 fine and from 30 days to one year in jail.
- Third offense (Third-degree felony) – License revocation up to two years, up to a $10,000 fine and anywhere from two to 10 years in prison.
If charged with a DWI, you have rights that include the right to review any evidence that the prosecution plans to use against you, including chemical test results or footage from a dash-cam or body-cam. It will be important to request and review this evidence as soon as possible as it can determine how you will approach your defense.
When to Call Dallas DWI Lawyer?
You should speak with a lawyer right away. The lawyer can ensure that the prosecution turns overall evidence, analyze it and discuss a solid defense strategy with you. For instance, the lawyer may find grounds for challenging the legality of the stop that led to your DWI arrest and could file a pretrial motion that seeks to get evidence thrown out (possibly leading to a dismissal of your DWI charge). A lawyer may also review the evidence in your case and determine whether it would be in your best interest to challenge the charge in court or pursue a plea agreement that minimizes the impact of a DWI conviction on your life.
The bottom line: If you have been charged with DWI in Texas, you cannot afford to fight it alone. Your job, your license and your entire livelihood rides on the outcome. To learn how a dedicated DWI defense attorney at Kraft & Associates, P.C., can help you to fight your DWI charge, call or reach us online today.