ALR Hearings: An Important Step for Texas DWI Defendants

Houston, TX ALR Hearings

Understanding Administrative License Revocation Hearings

While getting a DWI is something you’ll generally want to avoid at all costs, if you do find yourself in a situation where you are being charged with driving while intoxicated, an ALR hearing is a crucial step that may help you fight the charges if you were falsely accused, or if proper protocols during the investigation were not followed. ALR hearings, or Administrative License Revocation hearings, is a process that includes suspended license hearings in which the accused can contest the suspension of a drivers license due to a DWI charge or arrest. This process is separate from the criminal hearing and proceedings for the DWI charge. ALR hearings are for the most part exclusive to Texas.

Benefits of Requesting a Houston ALR Hearing

There are a few benefits of requesting an ALR hearing, though you must request one within 15 days after your arrest, or else your right to an ALR hearing will be waived and your license will be suspended for 40 days from the date of arrest. It is important to note that while you can try to file the request yourself, to ensure the request is submitted within those first 15 days it is highly recommended that you hire an aggressive DWI attorney for ALR hearings to handle the request for you.

The ALR hearing has two main benefits.

First, your license will not be suspended until the Administrative Law Judge hears your case. Once the ALJ makes a ruling on the ALR hearing, either they will determine the DWI was legitimate and proceedings will continue as normal, or due to improper procedure or other circumstances, the license will not be suspended.

The second benefit is that your attorney will be able to ask the involved officers about the arrest on the record, and due to the more informal nature of ALR hearings, the officers likely will offer more information than they would normally in the criminal trial. It is important to note what while some criminal cases for DWI have been dismissed on the basis of the result of the ALR hearings, these are two separate hearings and a favorable ALR hearing does not guarantee the criminal charges will also be dropped.

The DWI (Criminal Case) Can Be Affected

The questioning of the officer under oath at the hearing can provide very useful information for the upcoming criminal proceeding as well. First, the officer’s statement in the ALR hearing can be used in the criminal hearing. If the officer changes his story, or can not remember specific details of the arrest, his statement from the ALR hearing can be used in order to either discount his testimony or refresh his recollection. Second, the testimony allows some insight as to what evidence the prosecution might have against you in the criminal proceedings, and can help your attorney strategize for the criminal hearing. The state is required to provide the evidence they have against you that will benefit them in the criminal prosecution when in the ALR hearing. This also allows your attorney time to perform further investigation regarding the evidence.

Caselaw Review

State of Texas V. Montgomery

For example, in State v. Montgomery (1998), Montgomery was charged with a DWI after being stopped while exiting a nightclub. After further investigation of testimony during the ALR hearing, it was found that the stop was made without any probably cause or suspicion, and a motion was made to suppress all evidence and testimony gained as a result of the stop, as the evidence was gained due to an illegal stop, arrest and detention. The DPS attempted to continue suit for the criminal charges, but as the evidence proving as such was suppressed and no longer valid, the case was made that continued pursuit of the criminal charges in light of this would be denial of due process and subject to double jeopardy, or being brought to trial for a crime in which one was already proven innocent of. The judge agreed with this motion and dismissed the case.

In order for your license to be suspended in an ALR hearing, it must be proven that the DWI stop and arrest was valid according to the preponderance of evidence. The standards for this are generally much lower than for the criminal portion of the DWI proceedings as well. If DPS, the prosecuting agent in ALR hearings, is unable to validate that the DWI stop was done with just cause, or was performed properly, it is possible for your license to not be suspended. If the facts show that the stop was in fact valid, your license can be suspended anywhere between 90 days and 2 years.

While the case of State v. Montgomery ended up dismissing both the DWI suspension as well as the criminal charges, the results of these hearings are separate, and very heavily depend on the facts of the case. You should never assume the ALR case dismissal will result in the dismissal of the criminal proceedings, and always hire a DWI attorney.

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DUI: Driving While High in Austin & Texas Law

Just like when a person operates a vehicle intoxicated by alcohol, driving a car while under the influence of drugs is illegal in all states in the U.S. You can get arrested for a DUI for driving on any drug including marijuana and legal prescription drugs. “According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, in 2016 11.8 million people drove under the influence of illicit drugs.”

A study done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed that “more than 18 percent of fatally injured drivers tested positive for at least one illegal or prescription drug in 2009.” Driving while under the influence of drugs is just as dangerous as driving drunk and is taken just as seriously by the law.

For this reason, law enforcement has ramped up DUI enforcement efforts in Austin, leading to many wrongful arrests. If you or a loved were wrongfully arrested in Austin for a DUI offense, contact The Law Office of Jackson F. Gorski as soon as possible.

Driving Under The Influence of Drugs In Texas


In the state of Texas driving under the influence of drugs is treated similarly to charges faced when arrested for driving a vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol. The Texas Penal Code defines intoxicated as “not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of 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.”

In the state of Texas, there is an implied consent for drug and alcohol tests if a police officer suspects you are driving while intoxicated. If you refuse to take a test, your refusal can be used against you and you can still face criminal charges. If an officer believes you are driving while under the influence and the blood or urine test comes up positive, then you will face Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charges.

According to Texas DPS, the white male population is the demographic that is arrested the most for DUI. Of the nearly 90,000 DUI arrests a year that take place in Texas, most of them are alcohol-related. Even with a decreasing drug abuse arrest rate, there are still thousands of people a year charged with driving under the influence of drugs in the state of Texas.

Criminal Penalties For DUI In Texas

The penalties you can face if convicted of driving under the influence of drugs are the exact same as DWI for alcohol charges in the state of Texas. Since there are no intoxication levels with drugs any proof of influence will get you the same penalties as driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or higher will. In Texas, the penalties get worse if you get charged with more than one DUI offense.

For a first DUI offense, you can face 3 to 180 days in jail, up to a $2,000 fine and get your driver’s license suspended for 90 to 365 days. For a second DUI offense, a person can face 30 days to 1 year in jail, up to a $4,000 fine and get their license taken away for 180 days to 2 years. If someone is charged with a third DUI offense they can face a minimum of two years in prison, up to a $10,000 fine and 180 days to 2 years of their driver’s license being suspended.

In addition to fines and jail time, a person convicted of driving under the influence of drugs can be ordered drug/alcohol treatment and/or probation. During probation, the defendant will have to regularly report to a probation officer who will make sure they are completing everything they need to do as ordered by law. In DUI cases, people convicted are often ordered drug tests, treatment and community service.

Potential DUI Defenses And Your Rights

DUI for drugs cases can be hard to win because according to the law if drugs are found in your system while driving you can be considered intoxicated. However, some drugs such as marijuana stay in your system longer than they can intoxicate someone. In some cases, a person will be found not to be intoxicated while driving even though a drug test showed narcotics in their system. In other cases, the drug test may have shown a false positive, meaning that the test said there were drugs in your system when there wasn’t. If you hire a lawyer to represent you, then they will be able to tell you what your best defense can be.

Need A Lawyer In Austin, Texas?

Getting a DUI charge can be a difficult and life-changing process. Having a lawyer to represent you can save you time, money and lots of headaches. During the DUI conviction process there are many hoops to jump through with the court system and the department of motor vehicles. A lawyer will stand by your side and help you through all of the legal hurdles your DUI charge will throw at you.

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Fighting Allegations of Drunk Driving in Houston

Being accused of a DWI offense in Houston and to need a LAWYER is a serious matter to be taken very seriously. In Texas there is a current epidemic of drunk driving and law enforcement has taken notice, and have kept the public on notice, for years. A smart Houston DWI lawyer will be able to inform you of your rights if you’ve been arrested and charged with a DWI offense by the Houston Police Department or the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

If you’re looking for a Houston DWI lawyer visit The Law Offices of Tad Nelson of Associates to learn more about some of the best DWI defense lawyers who are currently accepting new clients in the Houston area.

When a person is arrested for a DWI offense the police have to prove their case in the court of law. Due to the scientific biochemical nature of criminal cases in which Driving While Intoxicated is alleged, its important to be sure that you’re represented by criminal lawyers & attorneys who have honed their craft, and know what they’re doing.

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Consequences of Alcohol Consumption

A number of people don’t understand the consequences and potential health ramifications of using alcohol. In this article that was sharing, we’ve taken the time to point out some of the bad consequences involved with long-term alcohol use and alcohol is.

  • A few of the short-term effects involved with drinking alcohol are slurred speech, drowsiness, a persistence of nausea, and vomiting.
  • There’s a strong possibility that if you are drinking alcohol, and decide to drive, you can be suspected of DWI, stopped by police, and arrested for your crime.
  • Another few short-term effects of alcohol ingestion include an upset stomach, diarrhea, headaches, difficulties breathing, distorted vision, distorted hearing, and impaired judgment.
  • Another consequence of taking alcohol could be not only an arrest for DWI, but you may kill someone by accident as a result of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
  • Blackouts are often reported by people who are either alcoholics, or used alcohol heavily.
  • In some cases, people who have drink too much alcohol become deathly intoxicated resulting in a comatose state on part of the individual.
  • Loss of red blood cells, also referred to as anemia, has also been linked to high alcohol consumption.
  • It has been found that among alcohol users there is a serious decrease and their perception and coordination.
  • There have also been reports of alcohol users randomly going into states of unconsciousness. This can explain why a number of people who use alcohol into falling asleep behind the will and killing entire families on as a result of their responsibility to control their liquor.
  • Memory lapses where the drinker is incapable of recalling recent events have also been reported by alcoholics and people who heavily indulge in alcohol consumption.

Source

10 consequences of drinking alcohol

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Texas Law for DWI Offenders Found Guilty

Houston, Texas is known for its size as sprawling mega-metropolis, friendly people, great restaurants, professional sports teams, and its lesbian mayor. Along with all those fine things about our great city is one other thing, the massive street & road network that runs throughout the city connecting localities like Galveston, League City, Sugar Land, The Woodlands, and Kingwood.

One of the main concerns of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, The Galveston County Sheriff‘s, and the Houston Police Department, is public safety when it comes to dealing with people who are caught illegally driving under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicants in the Houston-Galveston area.

When people commit the criminal offense of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) the lives of innocent people are put at risk making these type of criminal offenses the prime targets of police in the Harris County region. There are stiff criminal penalties if you’re ever found guilty of DUI in Houston, or Galveston (State of Texas).

Criminal Penalties For DWI in Texas

1st DWI Offense

In Texas, the 1st DWI offense is normally charged as a Class B Misdemeanor so long as there isn’t a child in the car, an accident, injury, or death, was caused as a result.

Potential penalties include a county jail sentence of anywhere from 3-180 days, and a fine of up to 2000.00. In the event that a minor is in the vehicle, the criminal act of intoxicated manslaughter occurs, or a person sustains an injury, a felony criminal charge will apply.

DWI With a Minor On Board

If you are ever arrested for suspicion of DUI in Houston or Galveston, and you have a child in the vehicle, you will be charged as a felony regardless of the situation. The potential fine if you are found guilty can be up to 10,000.00 with prison time of anywhere from six months to two years to be administered by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ).

DWI Manslaughter

If you kill someone due to DUI, the punishment will be harsh if you’re found guilty in the court of law in the great state of Texas. Many people who find themselves caught up in the Texas criminal justice system for these type of cases often believe that Galveston, Houston, League City DWI specialist attorney Tad Nelson is an expert on DWI cases, and end up hiring the law firm as a result of “word of mouth” based on them being one of the best DWI law firms in the nation.

The reason – the criminal penalty for a person convicted of DUI Intoxicated Manslaughter can be a massive 10,000.00 (USD) fine, a second degree felony charge, and a gargantuan sentence of up to 20 years in facility operated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

2ND DWI Offense

If you find yourself under arrest a 2nd time for “driving under the influence” in the state of Texas, and end up being convicted in the court of law, the penalties you will be facing are as follows;

  • A monetary fine/penalty may be assessed at an amount not to exceed 4000.00.
  • The jail time associated with a 2 DUI offense in Texas can be anywhere from a 30 days sentence to up to 1 full year in a Texas Department of Criminal Justice run prison facility.
  • Another criminal consequence is the loss of your Texas Drivers License. Suspension of the driving privileges of people convicted of DUI for the second time can range from anywhere from 180 days to two years. A long time to go without the permission to drive in my view. In a city like Houston, if you are barred from driving you have been effectively neutered.

3rd DUI Offense

A person who is convicted for Driving Under the Influence for a 3rd time is in serious trouble. The criminal penalties for a person convicted for a 3rd DWI-DUI offense in the state of Texas can be likened to that of a serial killer. We’ve listen the penalties below.

  • The fines get bigger. On a 3rd Offense DWI, you’re looking at a 10,000.00 fine. A hefty sum of money regardless of why it is needed.
  • State Penitentiary. A 3rd DWI-DUI conviction result in a minimum of 2 years prison time with a potential for a sentence of up to 20 years.
  • Last but not least, your drivers license will be suspended for up to two years. Not that you will need it in prison, but it is the law that your drivers license is suspended if you are ever convicted of a DWI, DUI, or drug possession.

Facing DWI Charges in Houston, Texas

The prospect of going to jail can be a tough one for most of us, and certainly nothing anyone wants to look forward to simply because they had a night of fun. If you do have to deal with a criminal case because you were arrested for DUI, talk with a Galveston or Houston DUI attorney with experience fighting Texas-DUI charges, a relationship with the players in the Houston criminal justice community, and proven strategies for beating DWI charges with a record to prove the value of said stratagem.

Galveston DWI Lawyer | Houston DUI Attorney

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