A DWI arrest in Texas results in two legal proceedings: an administrative case against your driver's license and the DWI criminal case against your personal freedom. The administrative proceeding involves your driver's license suspension while the criminal proceeding involves that the DWI charge.
These proceedings can be confusing and intimidating. If you are the type of person who wants to fight the DWI charge because you know you are innocent and think the charge is bogus or because you have serious concerns about what a criminal record will mean for you, your family, and your future -- then it is always in your best interest to retain a DWI lawyer in Houston who not only has the experience and knowledge (as proven by DWI and criminal law Board Certifications) but the determination and the confidence to fight the charges on your behalf. The latter includes fighting for both driving privileges via the administrative process and the DWI offense via the criminal process.
Doug Murphy, one of only two attorneys in the whole State of Texas to be Board Certified in DWI defense and Board Certified in criminal law, is committed to DWI and DUI defense in Harris County and Houston's greater metropolitan area. He represents clients with the intention to win -- because winning matters to you, your family, and your life when it comes to a DWI conviction and the possible collateral consequences that follow the conviction. Contact Doug Murphy today to discuss your case.
But first, feel free to take a moment to review the information in our DWI FAQ Guide -- and be sure to make notes of any additional questions you have before contacting the Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C.
What to know about the administrative proceedings in a nutshell?
When you are arrested for a DWI, your license will be suspended automatically if
- A breath or blood test indicates that your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level was at or above 0.08%; or
- You refused to voluntarily submit to a breath or blood test.
Upon release of your DWI arrest, you will likely be provided with a Notice of Suspension, also referred to as a pink slip or a DIC-24. This notice is also sometimes mailed to you, depending on the circumstances of your case. The notice in effect acts as a temporary license for you to drive for 40 days before license suspension is put into place. You have 15 days, however, to request an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing and fight the suspension. Once the ALR hearing is requested, it will legally stay, or stop, any license suspension, if any, until after the ALR hearing, even if that time period is beyond 40 days.
DWI license suspension time frame is, therefore, not as straightforward as you may think. Once you request the ALR hearing, the pink slip continues to act as your temporary license until the day of your hearing and the administrative judge makes a decision about your license.
In a nutshell, what you should know about this process is:
- You have 15 days to request an ALR hearing.
- You should retain a Board Certified DWI attorney for this hearing.
- With an experienced Board Certified DWI attorney representing you, you benefit from his skills and expertise with the hope of a positive outcome where your driving privileges are protected and your car insurance premiums remain the same (as opposed to dramatically increased due to the license suspension).
- Also, with an experienced Board Certified DWI attorney representing you, the benefits far exceed driving license protection, but will benefit the criminal process: your attorney will use the ALR hearing to begin the investigation into your case. Doug Murphy -- as your DWI Board Certified Houston attorney -- will use the ALR hearing as a means to lock-in the police's testimony and gather important knowledge of what evidence the police may have against you. If used strategically, this process can benefit your criminal proceedings in many ways.
What to know about the criminal proceedings in a nutshell?
Criminal proceedings for a DWI can be complex and time-consuming. That's why a lot of people just want to give up and do their time as fast as they can to get it all over with -- as though by completing whatever sentence is doled out to you, all consequences of your DWI arrest and subsequent conviction will evaporate.
It doesn't work that way. A conviction leads to collateral consequences that can have a far greater impact on the quality of your life than any jail time, probation, or fines could have. So, for many people, fighting the DWI charges is imperative, and that means enduring the criminal process, which includes:
- The arrest
- The arraignment
- Negotiations between your lawyer and the State
- Pre-trial motions and hearings
This can all take months, up to a year or more in some cases. Some things you may want to know specifically about the criminal proceedings include things like:
- For Texas DWIs: Can I choose between a breath or blood test?
- How do you prepare for your Harris County DWI trial?
- What is the DWI grand jury process in Harris County, TX?
- I was arrested in Texas for DWI. What evidence can be used against me?
Who to contact if you have been arrested for a DWI in the greater Houston metropolitan area?
Check out of DWI FAQ guide for more answers to all of your many DWI questions. But remember, all cases are unique and these answers, though specific, still reflect the general process. To get answers related to the specific and unique circumstances of your case, contact the Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. for an initial consultation. At the consultation, Doug Murphy will listen to your case and provide initial thoughts and options. The sooner you contact him, the sooner the legal team at Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C can begin working on both your administrative and criminal cases. Time is of the essence, though, so call now.