What Are the Steps After a DWI Arrest?

If you are arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) under Texas law, what steps do you need to take (or avoid) after the arrest in order to stand the best chance of beating the charges you are facing or avoiding many of the serious repercussions associated with a DWI conviction? And what should you expect to happen following the arrest? Our Houston DWI defense attorneys can discuss the steps in a DWI case with you today.

Think Carefully About Whether to Refuse a Breathalyzer or Other Chemical Test

After you have been arrested for a DWI in Texas, it is critical to understand that you have given implied consent to have your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) assessed with a chemical test. Although you can refuse a breathalyzer test, doing so can result in an automatic 180-day driver’s license suspension and, potentially, additional penalties depending upon your previous record.

Hire a Texas DWI Defense Lawyer

The next step that you need to take, as soon as possible, is to hire a Texas DWI defense attorney. The sooner you begin working with an experienced defense lawyer, the sooner you can begin working on a strategy to beat the DWI charges you are facing. Your DWI defense lawyer can also provide you with detailed information about what you should expect from your case moving forward.

Request an Administrative License Revocation Hearing

As soon as possible, you should also request an administrative license revocation hearing. Texas requires a person to request this type of hearing within 15 days from the date that you receive a notice of your driver’s license suspension, which usually coincides with your DWI arrest. By requesting a hearing, you can continue to drive until your hearing and ultimately may be able to keep your license if you prevail at the hearing.

First Appearance for the DWI Case

The “first appearance” is the first time you will appear in court after your arrest. At a first appearance, you will provide the court with basic information such as the name of your attorney, and another court date will be set for your case. You should ensure that you have a lawyer on your side. While you can still hire a DWI defense lawyer after your first appearance, it is helpful to be developing your defense strategy with an experienced attorney before this stage.

DWI Prosecution and Your Defense

Next, you should anticipate that the prosecution of your DWI case will move forward. The prosecutor will need to prove that you violated Texas DWI laws by driving while intoxicated. To convict you, the prosecutor will need to show that you had an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher, or that you did not have “the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body.”

A strong defense strategy will be essential to show that you were not intoxicated according to the Texas Penal Code. Your defense strategy should be tailored to the specific facts of your case. Depending upon the circumstances of your case, a plea bargain may be a possibility if beating the charges seems unlikely. 

Contact a DWI Defense Lawyer in Texas

Are you facing DWI charges? Our experienced Texas DWI defense attorneys can help. Contact The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates to learn more.