Dallas County DWI Attorney Explains Your Options If You Are Asked To Take A Chemical Test

You have the right to refuse to take a chemical test after police arrested you for driving while intoxicated (“DWI”). The refusal comes with consequences, including mandatory license loss of at least 180 days. You can appeal the decision law enforcement made to suspend your license. You must file a notice of appeal within fifteen days of the date you receive notice that the Department of Transportation suspended your license. You will have a hearing to determine whether the arresting officer followed the correct procedure after you file the notice of appeal. Dallas County DWI attorney Jack Pettit has the experience and the track record of success you need to get your license back.

You have a right to a fair and impartial hearing to determine whether your license should be reinstated after an arrest for DWI. You must file your notice of appeal timely, and it must be in writing. According to Texas law, the Department of Transportation must receive your appeal in their offices in Austin no later than the 15th day after you received notice that your license was suspended.  The law allows you to file a hearing request by facsimile. Filing a request for a hearing timely “stays” your license suspension. The Department of Transportation will provide you with documentation that will allow you to drive if the arresting officer took your license immediately upon arrest.

An administrative law judge presides over the hearing.  Texas law limits the issues that the administrative law judge can decide. The issues are:

  1. Did the officer have reasonable suspicion to stop you while driving or probable cause to arrest you?
  2. Did the officer have probable cause to believe that you were operating a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated?
  3. Did the arresting officer request that you give either a breath or blood specimen after he arrested you?
  4. Did you refuse to give the specimen as requested by the arresting officer?

The administrative law judge does not find you guilty or not guilty like a judge or jury would in a criminal trial. The administrative law judge simply answers those four questions.  The administrative law judge takes evidence offered by the Department of Transportation by offering a police report or the arresting officer’s testimony. You have a right to be represented by an attorney, and that attorney can cross-examine any witnesses who testify against you. You have the right to present evidence in your defense as well. The administrative law judge reviews the evidence and rules on it. If the administrative law judge rules that any one of the four questions is “no,” then your license will be reinstated. If the judge answers “yes” to all four, then the decision to suspend your license if final.

Winning the suspension hearing does not mean you automatically win in criminal court. A license suspension hearing is a “civil” proceeding. That means the decision an administrative law judge makes on your license suspension has no bearing upon what occurs in criminal court. The state can continue with the prosecution of your DWI charges even if the administrative law judge finds the officer did not have probable cause to stop or arrest you. A criminal court judge could see things differently. However, an acquittal on the criminal charge will result in the immediate return of your license if it remains suspended. Even if the period of suspension has run, the Department must expunge any record of your license suspension from its records if you the judge or jury finds you not guilty of DWI.

Do Not Try To Take On This Challenge Alone

Dallas County DWI attorney Jack Pettit has the experience and determination and vigorously defends his clients. Trying to get your license back is filled with potential pitfalls. Let knowledgeable and successful DWI attorney Jack Pettit do the fighting for you.  Call Dallas County DWI attorney Jack Pettit today at 214-521-4567 to schedule a consultation.

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