Is My Driver’s License Automatically Suspended After A DWI Arrest?
When you are arrested for a DWI, the police officer will read you a form called the DIC 24 and 25 form which requests that you provide a specimen of your breath or your blood. Whether or not you remember it, you actually consented to give this specimen when you originally got your driver’s license and it said at the time that if you were ever under suspicion of a DWI or were arrested on an alcohol-related offense while you were driving, that you would give such a specimen. The only reason that you would get your driver’s license suspended is if you either refuse to submit a specimen when they request it in response to that form or if when you do submit a specimen an analysis of that specimen comes out above the legal limit of 0.08. If there is an analysis of your blood and if you consent to it and it shows the presence of drugs but not alcohol, it does not matter what the level of the drugs are, the driver’s license will not be suspended. It’s only for having a concentration above a 0.08 alcohol that would get your driver’s license suspended or if you choose to refuse the Breathalyzer or blood specimen when it’s requested by the police officer.
If you are ultimately convicted of DWI, then your driver’s license would be additionally suspended and that would be for a period that you’ve negotiated with the prosecutor. That period is generally between 90 and 180 days. Make sure you discuss your case with our experienced DWI defense lawyers in Austin, Texas. Going back to what I said before, your driver’s license would be suspended for a period of up to 90 days if you fail the Breathalyzer or the blood test and come out above a 0.08. It would be suspended for a period of 180 days or 6 months if you refuse to the taking of a specimen. It’s not automatically suspended if you refuse or fail though. You do have due process rights and you do have the right to have a hearing on whether or not your driver’s license is going to be suspended. However, it’s important in that circumstance that you act quickly because at the end of the paperwork that they are going to read you, that DIC 24 and 25 form, they will tell you that you have only 15 days to submit a request to the Department of Public Safety at the State Office of Administrative Hearings in Austin, TX. Therefore, it is important to have an experienced DWI defense lawyer in Austin, Texas by your side. You can call our office to discuss your case with our DWI defense attorneys in Austin, Texas.
You have to get that request to them in writing or by fax. I recommend by fax because then it’s easy to prove that you actually did send that request. Let’s say you hire an attorney between the arrest and that deadline, preferably a DWI defense attorney. An attorney that’s doing their job will submit a request for the administrative license revocation hearing. At that hearing your attorney will be before an administrative judge and a DPS prosecutor, which is a different prosecutor than the prosecutor who will be prosecuting your DWI. They will be forced to prove, in order to suspend your driver’s license, first that there was probable cause to arrest you for that DWI, and then after that probable cause and after the arrest, the officer requested a specimen of your breath or blood and you either failed that test or you refused the taking of that specimen.
If they can prove those things, and it’s not beyond a reasonable doubt like it is in a criminal case, it’s just by a preponderance of the evidence, which means 50/50, if the scales tip in their favor in terms of their evidence then they’ve proven it and then the judge will suspend your driver’s license. In my experience I would say that 90+ or more percent of driver’s licenses do get suspended at those administrative license revocation hearings, but most of the time, the reason they don’t get suspended or the reason that the Department of Public Safety would dismiss a request to suspend your driver’s license is if your subpoenaed officer does not show up to testify. There are very limited circumstances where we can actually win on merits because the prosecutors have to prove so little: just that there was probable cause to arrest and then that you refused, generally speaking, the taking of the test. The arresting officer will try to gather as much evidence against you as possible, therefore, it is advised to seek legal assistance from a DWI defense lawyer in Austin, Texas.
I do however, believe that it is very important that you request that hearing, not because I believe you are going to win and get your driver’s license not suspended, but because it’s the first opportunity to get that officer on the stand, under oath, testifying about your case and testifying in an unprotected situation, where the prosecutors who are ultimately going to be prosecuting your DWI won’t be there and they won’t have an opportunity to coach the witness beforehand and protect their answers with objections. Oftentimes, the officer will be committed to saying certain things later in the trial because they said something on the stand in the administrative license revocation hearing. When you get a copy of the audio transcript from that hearing, review it, as that is something that I always provide to my clients so that they can see what theories we are trying to develop in the way of getting a DWI ultimately dismissed or reduced.
For more information on Driver’s License Suspension After DWI, a free initial consultation with a DWI defense lawyer is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (512) 478-9898 today. Our DWI defense attorneys in Austin, Texas have handled numerous DWI cases and they will be happy to help you too.
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