Arrested for DWI? What Happens Next
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Getting arrested for DWI can leave you confused, unsure of what will happen next. Having prior knowledge of what should happen after your arrest can help you be more at ease as you navigate the process. This piece details what happens after a DWI arrest and why it is not advisable to represent yourself in court.
If you have been arrested…
Your FREEDOM is potentially at stake. A conviction can have a huge impact on your job, relationships, and your future. You need to act fast.
Texas DWI Facts At a Glance
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, Austin records an average of between 5,000 to 6,000 DWI arrests per year. In Texas, if a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe a motorist is intoxicated, they can stop the vehicle to determine if that is the case.
Whether it is your first, second or third arrest, a DWI conviction in Texas comes with severe consequences that could last an entire lifetime. As such, it isn’t advisable to represent yourself, as this ultimately results in more costs and reduced chances of avoiding harsh penalties and fines. If you or a loved one is arrested for a DWI on Texas roads, contact our experienced DWI and criminal offenses attorneys. Our highly experienced lawyers have helped hundreds of clients and can help you win your case too.
What Is a DWI arrest?
DWI stands for driving while intoxicated under the influence of alcohol or drugs with a blood level (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. If you operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated, you are breaking the law and could face possible DWI arrest and charges. The following is a summary of the legal consequences of a DWI conviction:
- Fines of up to $2,000
- A jail term of up to 180 days upon conviction
- Loss of driver’s license for up to two years
- Fines of up to $4000
- One month to a year jail term upon conviction
- Loss of driver’s license for up to two years
Apart from these fines, you will also pay a state fine of $3,000, $4,500, or $6,000 assessed upon sentencing.
DWI with a child passenger
- A child endangerment charge if you were drunk driving with a child under 15
- Additional fines of up to $10000
- A jail term lasting a maximum of two years
- Loss of driver’s license for another 180 days
However, a DWI arrest and charges don’t automatically mean one is guilty. If you are facing DWI arrest in Texas, it is advisable to get excellent legal representation to help you fight the charges.
DWI in Texas: The Actual Arrest Procedure
Step 1: Being pulled over and the arrest
The DWI arrest starts with a police officer pulling you over. The officer will ask you questions about what you had for a drink and possibly administer a series of field sobriety tests. If you fail the tests, the officer can arrest you for suspicion of DWI. If this happens, the following things will follow:
- You will be taken into custody and driven to the local jail.
- The arresting officer will read you a statutory warning and request that you provide a blood or breath sample. Although you can refuse these requests, the officer can seek a warrant to collect the sample
- You will go through a booking procedure where your fingerprints and photos are taken. You will be held in custody before, during, and for some time after your sample collection.
- Your car will be searched, towed, and stored in a local impounding yard. Keep in mind that you will meet the towing and storage fees.
Step 2: Transfer to the local jail
Once you are transferred to the local jail, you will be processed and put into the system. The processing procedure involves collecting personal information such as name, address, date of birth, social number, and more. The jail will seize and inventory your personal belongings. However, you will get them back once you are released.
Step 3: Posting bail
Bail is a specific monetary amount set by the court for an arrested person to pay before being released from jail. Bail amount assures the court that the accused will honor subsequent court appearances. You can post bail as a cash bond with the sheriff or court. However, if you cannot afford the bail, you can secure surety through a bond dealer.
Step 4: Hiring a DWI attorney
Legal proceedings after a DWI arrest are often complicated and disturbing. It is advisable that you hire a DWI attorney soon after an arrest to represent you and deal with the legal aspects of your case. An experienced DWI attorney can help increase your chances of successfully fighting the DWI charges.
List of Possible Consequences of a DWI Arrest Isn’t Handled Right
Apart from fines and penalties, DWI conviction in Texas comes with other consequences that could impact your future life. These include:
- Driver’s license requirements: A DWI conviction almost always results in a driver’s license revocation for up to two years for your initial DWI conviction. Lack of a driver’s license adversely impacts your schedule and affects both your social and professional life.
- Employment: DWI conviction appears on your background check for several years, and this could hamper your efforts to secure employment in the future.Your current job can also be affected by a DWI arrest and conviction. Court dates, jail time, and hours doing community work can put your current job at risk. Some jobs could also be closed to persons convicted of DWI, for example, driving a school bus or delivery van.
- High insurance rates: Your insurance company can also cancel your insurance policy or drastically increase the rates. Ideally, your insurance rates may double or triple for several years to come after a DWI conviction.
- Housing: Landlords typically conduct criminal background checks before letting tenants in. A DWI conviction could impede you from living in a nice neighborhood.
- Scholarship programs: Most schools don’t accept students with DUI/DWI convictions on their records. If you are convicted of a DWI, your scholarship may be revoked or denied.
Our Experienced DWI Attorneys Can Help
It’s normal to feel anxious after a DWI arrest, as a conviction may impact your future life, including finances, education, employment, family, and licensing requirements. However, these charges are still beatable, as we have helped hundreds of clients regain their driving privileges. If you or a loved one is arrested for a DWI offense, our attorneys at Stephen T Bowling are ready to mount a solid defense against the DWI charges. Contact us today to discuss the circumstances of your case and the available options.
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