In Texas, a DWI is considered a misdemeanor. When you arrested, you will be given a date to return to court. This date will usually be 30 days after your arrest.
The first appearance in court is referred to as an arraignment. The accused will be formally made aware of what the charges are. The district attorney will have filed a complaint with the court and this will given to the accused. Around this time further details relating to the case will be made known. These might include police reports, witness statements and lab reports.
Many people will enter a guilty plea at this stage in proceedings as they feel this will make the judge happy and therefore he will be more lenient with regards to the case. This is usually not the case. The help of an experienced lawyer can be invaluable in this type of situation. If you do plead guilty you may be sentenced immediately.
If a guilty plea is not entered, after the first appearance, then the case will get ready for trial. Before trial there is usually a pre-trial conference. At this conference, the Dallas DWI lawyer will discuss with the District Attorney if there is a plea deal that can be made. If a plea deal, in your best possible interest, cannot be made there may be a suppression hearing. This hearing is before trial and is where the attorney can make evidence not be admissible at trial if the collection of evidence has violated your constitutional rights. For example, evidence may not be admissible if there was no probable cause or reasonable suspicion when the officer pulled you over on the night of the arrest.
After the hearings, a trial will occur. The trial can be either a bench trial or a jury trial. During trial, the Dallas DWI attorney will try to make holes in the Prosecutors defense and show that there is reasonable doubt as to your charge of driving under the influence. The Dallas DWI attorney has knowledge and expertise to show a judge or jury there is reasonable doubt and you should be found guilty.
After the sentence is brought down, a final sentencing hearing will occur. The sentencing will outline the punishment if found guilty of the DWI. The sentencing will outline both monetary penalties and any jail or probation time required.
If a plea deal is made before trial, a sentencing hearing will also occur. At this time,the judge will determine if the plea bargain is acceptable and if there are any other conditions imposed. These conditions can be fines, probation, and/or education cases and community service.
In addition to the criminal DWI charges above, in Texas something known as an Administrative Suspension law is in operation. When the notice of suspension has been made you cannot challenge a license suspension unless you request a hearing within fifteen days of when the suspension has been issued. The time of arrest is usually when this happens. The DWI lawyer should make the hearing appointment if you have one. Some of the language and terms used at these hearings can be quite technical so an experienced DWI lawyer can be of vital importance here.
Why Do I need a Dallas DWI Attorney? Can’t I save money and fight this conviction myself?
As always you can fight a DWI conviction yourself, but is it really worth the risk? Dallas DWI attorney has experience and expertise in this matter. While we cannot guarantee we can get you a not guilty verdict in your case, we can give you a guarantee that you have a better chance of winning or getting a favorable plea deal or sentence with an attorney. We have experience negotiating with prosecutors and appealing to the judge and jury in explaining your case. Experience that can only be gained by working years on DWI cases.
Click here to see information on our Dallas DWI legal firm.
By Shannon Edwards