Many people are unaware that when they are charged with a DUI in Texas, they actually create two cases—a criminal and a civil one. The civil case relates to the suspension of your license, which is automatic if you refuse a chemical test. Your recourse at this point is to request an ALR hearing, for which it is important that you hire a Sugar Land criminal defense lawyer.
Texas' Implied Consent Law
Texas' Implied Consent law (Texas Transportation Code Section 724) provides that by being licensed to drive in the state, you automatically consent to a chemical test if an officer stops you on suspicion of DUI. To avoid suspension of your license, you must file for an ALR hearing. While the purpose of this hearing is to determine the status of your driving privileges, the burden of proof is on the state.
Your Sugar Land criminal defense attorney can use this hearing to support your defense by arguing two of the issues that must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence:
- The officer had reasonable suspicion for stopping you.
- The officer had probable cause to believe you were intoxicated.
The distinction between these two issues is that one refers to the officer's justification for stopping you, while the other refers to whether the officer had reason to believe you were intoxicated once the stop was made. If your attorney can successfully show that the state fails to prove that the officer had reasonable suspicion, this can be used to help your criminal case.
For Legal Assistance
A DUI conviction carries serious consequences. If you are facing charges for driving under the influence, Sugar Land criminal defense attorney John Venza may be able to help. Call to arrange a consultation today at 281-971-5660.