Following a second-offense DWI charge in San Antonio, your driver’s license could be suspended or subject to serious limitations. The best way to fight back and preserve your driving privileges is to retain an experienced DWI attorney.
License Confiscation After a DWI Arrest
After a DWI arrest, if the accused individual either refuses to provide a breath or blood sample or fails the test, the police officer, a police officer will confiscate the driver’s license. They give the person a notice of suspension and a temporary driver’s permit good for 40 days. The caveat is individuals only have 15 days from the date of the arrest to request a hearing on that driver’s license suspension. If they do not, and the person has a prior alcohol-related suspension, then the driver’s license could be suspended for one year. If they refused the breath or blood test and there was a prior alcohol-related suspension, they lose driving privileges for two years. It is critical to make a hearing request in a timely manner so that these punishments can be contested.
If the person consented to giving blood, then there would not be an automatic suspension because the blood is not tested immediately. If the blood test came back over the legal limit, DPS would send out a very similar letter to the address on the driver’s license giving the individual 20 days to request a hearing. After 45 days, the license would automatically be suspended for one year.
What Happens if a Driver Loses at the Hearing?
If a driver loses at their suspension hearing, the person gets a one-year or a two-year suspension. However, they may still be eligible to get an essential needs license or occupational driver’s license. However, the person cannot have a commercial truck driver’s license (CDL). In Texas, CDL holders simply cannot have a temporary permit for special needs or an occupational driver’s license.
Recently, the legislature created a way for individuals to avoid the hard suspension if they install an ignition interlock or deep-lung device in their vehicles. This is not automatic, and the decision to allow this is ultimately up to the judge. Because requesting alternative arrangements is time-sensitive, it is important to contact an attorney and begin work immediately.
License Suspensions Upon Conviction
If the person is convicted for a DWI second, then their license is suspended for one year regardless of whether or not the person was subject to the administrative suspension. It is statutorily required that a license be suspended for a minimum of one year, but it may last as long as two years.
If that is the case, there is a provision under the law that would allow for an essential needs license and would require proof of the installation of an interlock device. If the defendant is convicted of a DWI second, then it is more difficult to achieve these measures, but a skilled attorney could fight to preserve the accused’s right to drive.
Restoring Driving Privileges After a Dismissal or Acquittal
For a first offense, if a person goes to trial in front of a judge or a jury and is found not guilty, then any administrative license suspension is rescinded. The suspension is cancelled and the individual can get their license back. It will also be removed from their Texas driver’s record so that no law enforcement or insurance official can see it in the future. On a DWI second, however, an individual is facing felony charges. Due to the gravity of the situation, it is critical for defendants to retain experienced legal counsel.
Let a San Antonio Attorney Fight for Your Driving Privileges
Following a second-offense DWI charge in San Antonio, you could face an administrative license suspension, even before you go to trial. While these suspensions can be appealed, it can be difficult to effectively argue your case alone. For strong advocacy and support, reach out to an experienced attorney and schedule a consultation.