Losing your License in Denton, TX
Before assuming the loss of your license, it is important to make a distinction between having your card taken and losing the privilege to drive. When a person is arrested for DWI, the arresting officer will likely take the driver’s license card away from the driver. Many people believe that simply the confiscation of this card means they may not legally drive in Texas. However, this is not the case: the privilege to drive remains even after the card is taken by the officer.
Without the ability to drive, daily life can become increasingly difficult. Work, family responsibilities, and seeing friends are all but impossible when one needs to rely on public transportation.
Two Ways to Lose a Driver’s License
There are two ways this can happen:
The first is through an Administrative License Revocation (ALR). Texas is an implied consent state. This means that when an individual is granted a license, they consent to the taking of a breath test if requested by an officer. That said, an officer cannot force a person to take a breathalyzer test. If an accused person refuses, then the DPS is authorized to suspend the driving privileges for for 180 days (assuming the accused is a first offender).
Refusing to take a breath test and the failure of a breath test authorizes DPS to suspend the driver’s license, but despite what many lawyers believe, suspension is not automatic unless the accused citizen does not contest it. In that case, the suspension becomes effective 40 days after arrest. The driver’s license revocation hearing is a civil proceeding that takes place well before the criminal trial.
At an ALR hearing, the criminal defense attorney can:
- Request the presence of the arresting officer
- Place the officer under oath
- Cross-examine specific details which gave the officer reason to pull the person over for suspicion of DWI.
The second way an accused person can lose their license is less complex. In addition to an ALR, an accused person can lose their license once they are formally convicted of DWI.