Whether it’s your first time getting booked in jail or not, finding yourself in this situation after a DUI or DWI arrest in Texas is never a welcome experience. The state typically takes a strong stance against impaired driving and being arrested on suspicion of DWI results in severe consequences that could last your entire lifetime if convicted.
If you or someone close to you has been arrested for DWI in Texas, contact an experienced Austin DWI defense attorney at Stephen T Bowling as soon as you can. Our attorneys are committed to helping you build a strong defense for your DWI charge. This piece focuses on what to expect when a facing DWI arrest:
Booked in Jail, Process Steps After an Arrest
The following are the eight procedures related to the booking process after an arrest:
Step 1: Recording vital information
The first step in a booking process involves an officer at the jail taking personal details, including your name, address, and other contact information. Additionally, the nature of your alleged crime and any accompanying statement is also captured in the system. Nowadays, this process typically takes a shorter time due to the convenience that technology offers.
Step 2: Taking a mugshot
A mug shot refers to an official photograph taken as part of the arrest booking process. The snapshots serve as a record of a person’s physical appearance and may indicate their height, the date of arrest, and other critical information related to their offense. They also offer a faster way to differentiate offenders when several arrested persons share similar names.
Step 3: Taking of fingerprints
The booking officials will also take the accused person’s fingerprints as part of the booking process. Fingerprints are typically unique to each person, and this information helps investigators connect the accused person to the evidence left at the scene of the crime.
Step 4: Confiscation of clothing and other personal items
After an arrest, you are expected to give up all clothing and personal items for safe custody. You will be issued with a unique jail uniform that you will wear during your time in custody. Keep in mind some belongings that are considered as evidence, including illicit drugs, will remain in possession of the police even after you post bail.
Step 5: A full body search is conducted
Part of the booking process may involve submitting to a full body search, also known as a strip search. This process consists of removing all clothing for the officers to check for dangerous objects or other contraband hidden in parts of your body.
Step 6: Check for warrants
The officials will also conduct a thorough search on police databases to check if you have any additional charges or outstanding warrants. These warrants can range from unpaid parking tickets to other severe offenses in other jurisdictions. Police typically maximize your arrest to try and solve other crimes by running a match on their databases. Keep in mind if you have pending warrants, you will not be released even after posting bail.
Step 7: Health check
The arresting team will also subject you to a general health screening to ensure you don’t need immediate care. The screening also guarantees you are not a threat to officers and other suspects in custody. These health checks may include X-rays to detect tuberculosis, swaps to detect COVID-19, and blood tests to detect sexually transmitted diseases like HIV/AIDS, among many others.
Step 8: Incarceration
Finally, you will be placed in a holding cell or another secure facility as you await bail posting or trial. Before you are incarcerated, the booking officers will try to elicit information relevant to the incarceration conditions. Officials may ask about former gang affiliations, present gang affiliations, and other outside links in a bid to reduce the risks of violence and injuries while in jail. Depending on the responses you provide, you may be put in protective custody.
What Are My Rights After I Am Arrested for DWI in Texas?
During the entire booking process, you have a right to ask for an attorney. You also have a right not to answer questions about the allegations against you. Additionally, an officer doesn’t have the legal power to threaten or force you to admit guilt or promise to help you in court. Your best option at this stage is to contact an experienced criminal attorney and ask them to guide you before making any statements or answering any questions.
How Long Do I Stay in Jail for DWI in Texas?
The jail sentence for DWI in Texas can last anywhere from three days to 99 years, depending on the circumstances of your arrest. These factors include your criminal history, the BAC level at the time of arrest, and the aggravating circumstances that could apply. However, the standard potential sentences for DWI conviction (BAC range of between 0.08 to 0.149) include:
- 1st DWI Offense: Three days to six months in jail
- 2nd DWI Offense: 30 days to one year in jail
- 3rd Offense: Two to 10 years in prison
A DWI arrest with a BAC of 0.15 or above can attract years or decades longer in jail, depending on your prior offenses.
Seek Legal Help Today
If you or a loved one is facing arrest or has been already booked in jail, hire an experienced DWI attorney to help deal with the legal aspect of your arrests. The skilled DWI legal team at Stephen T Bowling is always ready to help you understand the charges against them and the available options to regain their freedom. Get in touch with us today to book an initial non-obligatory consultation and learn more about how we can help you fight your charges.