Once a police officer believes they have evidence of driving while intoxicated (DWI), they will arrest you. What happens next could determine the course of your future for years to come.
Understanding what happens immediately following a DWI arrest in Texas can help you take the right steps if you ever find yourself in this unfortunate situation.
You will likely stay in state custody until a judge can arraign you
The time of day and day of the week when an officer arrests you influence how long you may find yourself in state custody. An arrest on a Friday afternoon or evening might mean that you can’t see a judge until the next week. On the other hand, an arrest in the early hours of the morning on a weekday could result in a same-day arraignment.
During your arraignment, a judge will review the situation and advise you of the charges against you during your arraignment. You will have the opportunity to have your attorney speak on your behalf and to enter a plea. After that, the judge can set certain terms for your release until trial.
What happens while you wait for your trial?
There will usually be several weeks between your arraignment and any court proceedings, if not more time depending on the volume of cases coming into the courts. During that time, you can likely go on with your daily life, although you may have a suspended license depending on what happened during your arrest and arraignment.
Many people continue to work and cooperate with the defense attorney to plan a defense strategy. Reviewing the evidence against you can help you determine the best strategy to use. In some cases, questioning the legality of the traffic stop is a good tactic. Other people find that undermining the accuracy of the test results for obtaining medical documents will play a major role in their defense strategy.
After you go to court
The outcome of your court proceedings determined exactly what happens afterward. Some people facing a first-time DWI avoid incarceration, but there could be other criminal consequences to navigate even if someone pleads to a lesser offense.
Those who successfully defended themselves won’t have to worry about any penalties. After a conviction, some people with a DWI may need to push to get their license back or act to protect their enrollment in college or their professional licensing.
Understanding the steps to take after a DWI arrest can help you properly handle upcoming DWI charges.