Each day, people across the state of Texas are charged with DWI, or driving while intoxicated. Even if it is your first such charge, it’s very serious. It can also be very nerve-wracking. Understanding the Texas DWI process can help to alleviate some of your worry and help you make informed decisions at key points along the way.
You Are Pulled Over, Tested, and Arrested
The first steps along the Texas DUI path are pretty clear. You’re pulled over by a police officer for some reason. The officer may suspect that you are driving under the influence, or they might pull you over for another reason. However, if they have probable cause (slurred speech, visible open container, alcohol on your breath), they will administer a breath test. If you test at 0.8 BAC or higher, you will be arrested. Between the arrest and booking, you will also be required to complete a blood test, which requires a warrant to be issued.
You Are Booked
After the arrest, you will be booked at the local police station. You will go through the entire process, including fingerprinting, having your mugshot taken, recording your information, checking your criminal history, and more. You will then be placed into a holding cell until you go to court and bail is set.
Bail Is Set
You’ll be taken before a judge who will evaluate your case, which includes your BAC, your previous criminal history, and determining your flight risk level. Based on this information, the judge will set bail, which you must pay before you can be released. Alternatively, in lieu of bail, you can remain in jail until your trial.
The next step in the Texas DWI process is the arraignment. This is the time when you will enter your plea (guilty, not guilty, no contest). You may also decide to ask for a plea bargain at this time.
Depending on the severity of the situation and your exact circumstances, the trial itself will be next, so long as the judge deems that there is sufficient evidence to move forward.
If you are found guilty of DWI, sentencing will come next. The judge will hand down a sentence that is commensurate with the severity of the crime, which may include steep fines, jail time, installing an interlock device on your car, suspension or revocation of your license, and more.
Get the Help You Need
Never go through a DWI trial on your own. Call The Blacknall Firm at 214-678-9111 for a free consultation.