Texas DWI Process Explained
Our DWI defense lawyers describe what you can expect if you’ve been charged
Getting arrested for DWI can be a disorienting and overwhelming experience – especially if it is your first contact with this side of the law. Understanding what happens once you’ve been charged with DWI in Texas can help you protect your rights and avoid common mistakes that could hurt your case.
If you were arrested in Central Texas for DWI, don’t face the charges alone. Get decades of legal experience on your side. Botsford & Roark has a long track record of DWI success in Travis County, Bell County, Williamson County, Hays County, and throughout Central Texas. Our approach protects your rights, freedom, and reputation. Contact us for a confidential complimentary case evaluation to learn more about how we can help.
The DWI process in Texas
- Charged and arrested. When arrested for DWI in Texas, the officer will usually read you your Miranda rights, inform you of the charges, and transport you to a nearby detention center. During this phase, it’s critical to remember your right to remain silent and avoid self-incrimination.
- Intoxication testing and booking. Once at the detention center, you may be subjected to blood or breath testing. Following this, you’ll go through the booking process, where the authorities will collect your personal information, conduct a search, and seize any personal belongings.
- Contact an attorney. After a DWI arrest, one of your first calls should be to an attorney who has a focus on DWI cases.
- Arraignment. This is a quick court appearance that usually takes place the day after your arrest. You will hear the full charges against you, enter a plea, and a judge will set bail. If you hire us, an attorney will be by your side, fighting for your rights in court and throughout the process.
- Bail and jail release. In general, once you have been arraigned, there are three options available to get out of jail:
- Personal recognizance. Essentially, a PR bond is a contract stating that you promise to appear at all court dates without having to pay bail upfront. This option is not available to everyone. Judges grant PR bonds based on various factors, including the defendant’s criminal history, ties to the community, and the nature of the offense.
- Cash bond. A cash bond requires you to pay the full bail amount in cash, which will be returned (less court fees) provided that you appear at all required court proceedings.
- Bail bondsman. If neither of the first two options is feasible, a bail bondsman can be a viable alternative. For a fee, usually a percentage of the total bail amount, a bail bondsman will put up the money to guarantee you will appear for future court proceedings.
- Court proceedings and legal representation. Following release, it’s crucial to prepare for the upcoming court proceedings. Having an experienced DWI attorney can greatly impact the outcome of your case. The Austin DWI defense lawyers at Botsford & Roark can guide you through the legal maze, ensure your rights are protected, and advocate for the best possible outcome.
- Pre-trial and plea negotiations. These are critical stages where your legal representative can discuss your case with the prosecutor, review evidence, and negotiate potential plea bargains. In some scenarios, a well-negotiated plea can lead to reduced charges or even dismissal of the case.
- If your case proceeds to trial, we will present arguments, cross-examine witnesses, and challenge evidence to create reasonable doubt.
- Determination. If you are found innocent or acquitted, the case is closed. If you are convicted, the judge will likely schedule another court date to determine your sentence based on various factors including the severity of the offense, prior convictions, and any aggravating or mitigating circumstances. Our Austin criminal defense attorneys know what it takes to effectively negotiate for a lesser sentence or, if necessary, file an appeal.
Why choose Botsford & Roark for DWI defense
With the help of a DWI law firm such as Botsford & Roark, you may avoid conviction based on small technical details that only experienced lawyers will know about. Having an experienced attorney on your side may also provide opportunities for defense that may otherwise go unnoticed. If you have been charged with DWI in Austin or another Central Texas community, contact us for a complimentary case evaluation to learn more about how the law applies to your specific situation and your legal options for a strong defense.