How Long do I have to Contest My Drivers License Suspension in Texas?

Stephen H.: Hello. I’m Stephen Hamilton, board certified in criminal law, and today’s DWI video tip deals with the time limits to request a hearing if you’ve been arrested for a DWI and you want to contest your driver’s license suspension. Every case in Texas, when a client is arrested for a DWI, involves an issue of the driver’s license. As of today, March the 25th, 2011, we have 15 days and only 15 days from the day you are arrested to request a hearing on your driver’s license if you either gave a breath sample and you were above the legal limit or you refuse to give a sample. 15 days. Now if that 15th day falls on a weekend, a Saturday or a Sunday or a holiday, then it does roll to the next business day. Holidays in Texas sometimes are a little weird, so don’t rely on the 15th days after Martin Luther King Day. You need to call me so we can look at the timing of it and I can tell you exactly what it is.

Stephen H.: Like anything, the law changes. So when the next legislature session meets, they may change these time limits so you can’t rely on this video. Right now, as of today, March the 25th, 2011, we have 15 days if it’s a refusal or a breath test case.

Stephen H.: Now what if it’s a blood test case? The timeframe is different because the state, the Department of Public Safety, will not have your blood test result at the time that you are arrested. And so a lot of times what I see is, quite frankly, officers make this mistake. They confiscate your driver’s license and they’re really not supposed to do that under the law if you consent to a blood test. If they did, call me immediately because we’ve got to try to get that hard driver’s license back for you by contacting the police department itself. If we’re looking at a timeframe on a blood test case, then once the results are known and the blood is sent to the Department of Public Safety lab, they will test the blood and then the Department of Public Safety will send you a letter saying you have 20 days from the date on this letter to request your driver’s license hearing.

Stephen H.: They’re only going to send that letter to the address that was on your driver’s license. So if you’ve moved, contact me immediately. We’ve got to request the hearing even if we do it twice to put the Department of Public Safety on notice. These deadlines are hard deadlines, so if you come in the day after your driver’s license 15 days expires, we cannot contest your driver’s license and you will be subject to an automatic suspension. That’s it for today’s video tip. My number is 806-794-0394. This is what I do. Call me. We can request a hearing today. We can talk about the hearing, and I can tell you if there’s any changes in the law as far as how fast we’ve got to request those hearings.

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