You have been arrested for a DWI in Texas. You are asked for a breath sample. You take the breath test, or you refuse. You make bail and get out of the pokie. What next?
In Texas, you have 15 days after arrest to request an ALR hearing. You MUST request this hearing. It is not an option. Call a lawyer or request the hearing on your own then hire an attorney for the hearing.
What is an ALR hearing and why are they so important?
An ALR hearing is where a defendant challenges his driver’s license suspension. The State has to prove that you refused, or failed, a valid request for a breath test.
The standard of proof at ALR hearings is very low. The State does not have to prove you are guilty of DWI beyond a reasonable doubt. Only that an officer had probable cause to stop you (traffic violation usually) and a reasonable suspicion to ask for a breath test (you smelled like alcohol, admitted to drinking, bloodshot eyes, slurred speech). These hearings are very hard for the defendant to win. So why have them? Preperation for the future criminal charge.
With an ALR hearing your attorney has the chance to cross examine the officer on all the details of the stop and arrest. These answers can and will be used against the officer in a future trial or pre trial hearing.
Getting to cross examine the officer early gives you the best chance to beat the DWI later. I have gotten great answers from officers including contradictions with the police report, many I don’t remembers, and even officer admitting that my client was not inoxicated.
Armed with that information your attorney will be in a much stronger position to plea a case or try the case. It always helps.
What happens if you win at the ALR hearing. You get your license back and that’s it. The State can, and usually will still file a DWI charge.