If you’ve been arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas, you might be surprised to learn that your concealed handgun license (CHL) is at risk of being revoked. It is important to know what to expect and how you can avoid losing your CHL.
The Law on CHL’s and DWI’s in Texas
Under Texas Government Code Section 411.187(a)(1), a CHL is subject to suspension if you have been charged with:
- Class A misdemeanor
- Class B misdemeanor
- Disorderly Conduct
A misdemeanor DWI charge will cause your CHL to be suspended until the disposition of the charges. If the charges or dismissed, or you are acquitted, your CHL will be restored. However, if you are ultimately convicted of the DWI or receive deferred adjudication, your CHL will be revoked for five years.
It is important to note that a DWI arrest triggers suspension of your license; it does not matter that you have not been convicted. Once DPS is notified about your arrest, they will issue a letter regarding your CHL suspension. The letter will indicate that you must surrender your license to the Department within 10 days of receiving the letter, unless you request a hearing.
Renewing Your CHL with a Pending DWI
In order to renew a handgun license, under Government Code Section 411.185(e), you must meet all the eligibility requirements in Section 411.172. Thus, if your license expires while your DWI case is pending, you will not be eligible to renew the license and any renewal application submitted will be denied. Furthermore, if your renewal is subsequently denied, the renewal fee is nonrefundable and will not be returned to you. Requesting a Hearing
If you’ve received notice from DPS that your CHL is suspended while your DWI case is pending, then you can either forfeit your CHL, or request a hearing. You must request a hearing no later than thirty days after you receive the notice.
If you opt for a hearing, remember that DPS’ burden of proof is much lower than if you were to go to a jury trial. Thus, the likelihood of your license being suspended by an administrative judge is high. Speak with your attorney about whether you should request a hearing on your CHL suspension.
A Conviction and Your CHL
Although your CHL will be suspended during the pendency of your DWI case, you must be convicted in order to have your license revoked. If you beat the charges, or your case is dismissed, then your suspension will be lifted.
Keep in mind that even if you plead to deferred adjudication, your CHL will still be revoked. For first time offenders, the revocation period is 5 years. Thereafter, you are eligible to obtain your CHL. However, if you’ve been convicted of a DWI twice within a single ten-year period, you are not eligible to receive a concealed carry permit.
Even with a suspended or revoked CHL, you are still able to possess firearms in your house. The suspension does not limit your right to own firearms.
Guns and alcohol do not mix. Be responsible with your CHL and do not drink and drive. However, if you’ve made a mistake and winded up in a bad situation where your CHL is suspended, contact our office today to discuss your options.