Getting arrested for a DWI could not be more intimidating, especially since for so many of you, it is your first run-in with the law. To be read your rights and booked into jail is no laughing matter. And everything that follows the arrest just compounds the pain and embarrassment you may feel. Your emotions are high, so it can be a confusing time. But rest assured, equipped with knowledge of the process will make the process that much easier to handle.
Doug Murphy is a DWI specialist who is Board Certified in DWI defense and criminal defense. These two certifications distinguish him from all other DWI and criminal defense lawyers in Texas because he is only one of two Texas lawyers to hold both simultaneously -- and he has done so for years. Through this DWI guide, he answers some of the most commonly asked questions as well as some of the more specific questions clients have had over the years. So, if you have been arrested for a DWI in Houston or the surrounding metropolitan area, take a deep breath and inform yourself by reviewing this information. If you still have questions or are ready to fight the DWI charges, contact Doug Murphy today.
What to Know After a Texas DWI Arrest
A lot can happen after a DWI arrest, so it's important to understand the general process as well as the nuances. That said, there are two processes:
- An administrative process that decides the fate of your driving privileges; and
- A criminal process that establishes a criminal record if found guilty.
With regard to the criminal process, directly after the arrest, you will be brought in and booked -- sometimes you may be released and other times you may spend the night in jail or await bail. An arraignment will be held to formally tell you the charges you face and you will plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest. If you plead guilty, then you are sentenced. If you plead not guilty, then you start the process for trial. In between the time you plead not guilty and trial, there will be negotiations and motions to the court and hearings to attend.
You should also know what the costs of a DWI -- financial and other -- to fight the charge as well as settle the charge with a guilty plea or plea deal. These costs matter both to what's in your bank as well as your future.
But also, you should know that if it is your first offense DWI in Harris County or elsewhere you may be eligible now for DWI expungement. So, if you are convicted for a first offense, it is a good chance that you can have your record later destroyed or sealed, depending on the circumstances. But you should also know that with Houston's best DWI lawyer, your chances of fighting the charge successfully are good.
What to Do After a Texas DWI Arrest
After a Texas DWI arrest, there are several things you should do:
- Do not speak to the police except provide identifying information, like your name and address.
- At the arraignment, do not plead guilty.
- Request an administrative license revocation (ALR) hearing within 15 days.
- Contact a lawyer immediately -- if you do so in a timely fashion, then he or she may be able to represent you at the arraignment hearing and request an ALR hearing and represent you there, too.
Of the four things to do above, the most important one is contacting a Houston DWI defense lawyer. But you do not want to contact any lawyer, you need to select a DWI attorney in Houston who will be committed to your defense -- the kind of lawyer who does not deal so that he or she can go on to the next paycheck but the kind that prepares each case for trial, knowing that trial is often the best means to the best outcome. You need the best advice for achieving the best outcome of a DWI arrest.
Remember: your defense is not just about avoiding a fine or possible jail time. Your future is at stake. Your reputation is at stake. What you do after a Texas DWI arrest can make all the difference to your life. A simple mistake can be detrimental but for the right lawyer.
So, if you are charged and arrested for a DWI in Houston or Houston's greater metropolitan area, know what to do after the arrest and then do it. Contact Doug Murphy today for more information or to begin your best DWI defense.