How Do You Get Your License Back After a DWI in Texas?

Young woman holding up her license in her car

If you’ve recently gotten a DWI in the Lone Star State, you’re likely wondering how to get your license back after a DWI in Texas. Life doesn’t go on hold because you got a DWI, so you’ll still likely need to drive around as much as ever. To do that without incurring a further penalty, you need your license, which has likely been suspended. 

The process can be frustrating, confusing, inconvenient, and costly. After getting a DWI in Texas, you’ll have to deal with the Texas DPS’ DWI license suspension (which can stay in effect for up to two years), ALR hearings, and license reinstatement — not to mention the costs associated with each of these headaches. 

Texas does allow people facing DWI convictions to reinstate their licenses under certain circumstances, although they don’t make it easy. If you want the process to move forward smoothly and quickly, the best thing to do is to hire an experienced DWI attorney to get you through the process. 

Can you drive after a DWI in Texas?

If you’re fighting license suspension after repeat DWI offenses, you should know that 2nd DWI license suspension in Texas will be longer than a license suspension for a first offense DWI. In general, penalties for a 2nd DWI in Texas will be more severe than those for a first offense, but this is no reason to give up hope. 

If you do not fight, your license will be automatically suspended after getting a DWI, the length of which will be determined by prior offenses, blood alcohol level, and whether you were charged with a felony or misdemeanor DWI.

The good news is that no matter how long the DPS decides to suspend your license, your attorney will be able to fight to reduce the length of your license suspension. 

Is it possible to avoid license suspension after a DWI in Texas?

It is possible to avoid license suspension entirely after a DWI in Texas, depending on the situation. After you receive a Notice of Suspension from the DPS in the mail, you (and hopefully your attorney) will have the opportunity to challenge the suspension of your license at an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing.

During an ALR hearing, it is up to the DPS to prove that you drove a vehicle (in public) with a blood alcohol level over 0.08 or higher, were given an opportunity to consent to a breath test, and were read your rights. Essentially, they are there to illustrate that you were guilty of driving while intoxicated and that there was nothing wrong with the way that the traffic stop or the arrest went down. 

Winning an ALR hearing, and therefore avoiding a license suspension, means introducing doubt to either the evidence or the constitutionality of the traffic stop. Both situations are essentially impossible to do without a top Laredo criminal defense lawyer in your corner. 

If you miss the deadline for your ALR hearing or lose, however, you can still apply for license reinstatement.

What are the requirements to reinstate your license in Texas?

The process for license reinstatement is actually quite simple. 

  1. Court imposed sanctions. You must first meet any court-imposed sanctions stemming from your conviction for DWI. These can include fines that need to be paid, alcohol education classes that need to be attended, community service hours that need to be satisfied, and even jail time.
  2. Petition the Texas DPS. Once your court-imposed sanctions have been satisfied, you’ll need to petition the Texas DPS for license reinstatement. This usually involves a fee of $100-$500 and a good amount of paperwork. 

So, your first and best option is to request and win an ALR hearing — if you can’t do that, you’ll likely be without a license for a couple of months while the DPS processes your paperwork. This is why requesting and winning an ALR hearing is so vital. 

How long does it take to reinstate a license in Texas?

How long is my license suspended after a DWI in Texas? While your license suspension could last for anywhere up to two years, it usually takes the DPS 2-3 months to respond to requests for license reinstatement. Additionally, if you plan on avoiding license suspension entirely, you only have 15 days to request an ALR hearing after the date of your arrest. 

If you want to save your license, you need to hire a lawyer, request a hearing, and begin preparing for your court date, all within those first 15 days. The court moves fast and these cases get complex even faster. If you’re planning on driving within the next few months after getting a DWI, you’ll need a Texas DWI attorney to help you in the process. 

How do you get your license back after a DWI in Texas? You hire an accomplished DWI lawyer.

So, how do you get your license back after a DWI in Texas? If you hire a good DWI attorney, you may never lose it. 

Javier Guzman is the only DWI defense attorney in Laredo who is an ACS-CHAL Forensic Lawyer-Scientist. This means that, in addition to his experience and deep knowledge as a criminal attorney, Javier knows the intricacies of toxicology on a level deep enough to call into question bad police work and bad science.

If you’re looking for lawyers in Laredo TX who know how to win cases, you need to call Javier Guzman. Call Guzman Law Firm at (956) 516-7198 or contact us online to request an ALR hearing or a free case evaluation today. 

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