Temple CDL DWI Attorney
Someone with a commercial driver’s license (CDL) can legally drive commercial motor vehicles like big rigs and 18-wheelers. Because these are large vehicles, they can cause massive damage when they collide with smaller vehicles on the road. Unsurprisingly, CDL holders are held to a very high standard of safety.
Both Texas and the federal government put public safety first, and to that end they have it much easier to convict a CDL holder of driving while intoxicated. Specifically, if your blood alcohol concentration was 0.04% while driving a commercial vehicle, you have committed DWI. This blood alcohol concentration threshold is half of what applies to other drivers.
Administrative Suspension of Your License & CDL
The state can and will take your driver’s license and CDL if you are arrested for DWI, even if this is your first offense. The officer will issue a temporary driver’s license which is only good for 40 days. Once this temporary license expires, your license is automatically suspended for 180 days and your CDL is suspended for a year.
These suspensions happen automatically, regardless of whether you are convicted. This might seem completely unfair. But driving is a privilege in Texas, not a right, and one condition of having a license is your agreement to abide by these administrative rules.
Fortunately, you can request an administrative hearing to contest the suspension. The deadline depends on whether you took a chemical test:
- If you refused, you have 15 days from the date of the offense to request a hearing.
- If you took a chemical test, you have 20 days.
It is best to speak with a Texas CDL DWI attorney to prepare for this hearing properly. The state agency has the burden of proving your arrest or stop was legal and that you were intoxicated while in control of the vehicle in public. If you lose, then your CDL will be suspended. It’s sometimes possible to cast doubt on the officer’s testimony, which will allow you to keep your license and CDL—at least until the criminal part of your case.
Criminal Penalties for a DWI Conviction
A first-time offender is probably looking at a Class B misdemeanor offense, which requires a mandatory three days in jail. Maximum penalties include up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine.
Repeat offenders face even harsher penalties and could possibly be prosecuted as a felon. Many felons end up in prison for several years and lose critical civil rights, such as the right to vote or serve on a jury.
Getting Your CDL Back after a Conviction
One DWI conviction does not completely bar a person from getting their CDL back. However, multiple convictions probably will. Further, some employers might not hire someone with even one conviction for driving while intoxicated. For these reasons, we encourage our clients to do everything possible to fight the charges so they can maintain your livelihood.
Contact Our Temple DWI for CDL Holders Attorney Today
You work hard. Don’t let one mistake behind the wheel cost you your freedom or career. Call The Law Office of Katie L. Gomez, PLLC today for a free and confidential consultation.