How Do I Get Answers to My Texas DWI Questions?
When arrested on a Texas DWI charge, you face immediate, frightening, and consequential questions. This guide answers many of those questions. But your best move is to immediately retain premier DWI Specialist attorney Doug Murphy for your skilled and experienced DWI defense. Doug Murphy can not only answer all your questions but also help you achieve the best possible outcome for your DWI charges. Houston area lawyers voted attorney Murphy the 2021 and 2023 Best Lawyers in America Houston Lawyer of the Year for DWI Defense, as published in US News & World Report. Call (713) 229-8333 or go online now for the best available Texas DWI defense, to get the answers to all your questions.
What Do I Do at the Scene of My Texas DWI Arrest?
The moment of your DWI arrest can matter more than a lot of other things to your successful defense of DWI charges. Above all, comply with the commands of any officers at the scene. Do not attempt to evade your DWI arrest. Whether you committed a DWI crime or not, if you attempt to drive away when police signal you to stop, or if you get out of your vehicle to flee, you may face charges for evading arrest. Evasive driving may also endanger you and others, leading to a felony DWI charge involving serious bodily injury or even death. Pull over promptly when police signal you to do so. Obey their specific commands once you do stop, including if they demand that you get out of the vehicle. Resisting arrest once officers stop you can also lead to safety risks and criminal charges. If you have legitimate safety or health concerns in obeying the police, then tell them so. But expect to obey no matter how they respond.
What Should I Say at the Scene of My Texas DWI Arrest?
The less, the better. You have a constitutional right to remain silent at the time of your Texas DWI arrest, among other important constitutional rights. Exercise your constitutional right. As the officer must tell you before interrogating you while in custody, under your Miranda rights, the police and prosecution will use anything you say against you. Do not volunteer anything about your state of sobriety or intoxication. Do not volunteer anything else or answer any other questions beyond identifying your name and address and producing your driver's license and motor vehicle insurance. Don't let officers trick you into divulging other information that they may then use against you. Don't even answer polite-sounding questions about how you are feeling or if you are on any medications. Your answers may incriminate you unnecessarily. Politely decline to answer while asking to speak with your DWI Specialist attorney.
Should I Try a Field Sobriety Test at the DWI Arrest Scene?
No. The officer may invite you to walk and turn on a line, stand on one leg, or follow a moving object with your eyes while the officer observes your vision, known as the horizontal gaze nystagmus test. Politely but firmly decline the officer's invitation. Field sobriety tests can be notoriously inaccurate, a DWI defendant's real bane. Environmental conditions like wind, rain, heat, and cold, your physiological conditions like fatigue, distraction, distress, obesity, or illness, and the officer's own skill, experience, bias, and subjectivity can all affect field sobriety test results. You don't need to make your DWI defense harder. Declining a field sobriety test won't directly affect your legal rights.
What About My Vehicle at My DWI Arrest Scene?
Don't worry about your vehicle at the scene of your DWI arrest. The officer will not let you drive the vehicle but will instead remove you from your vehicle for transport to the police station. If you have another trustworthy and licensed adult in your vehicle who is willing to drive your vehicle home or to another safe location, then encourage that person to do so if the police permit. The police may alternatively impound your vehicle either as evidence or simply to remove it safely from the roadside. In that case, you may later use FindMyTowedCar.com or call the police tow line, or have family members or friends do so promptly, to locate and retrieve your vehicle. Don't leave your vehicle at the tow yard, where daily fees will accrue, and your vehicle may suffer theft or damage. If you can arrange it with the help of friends or family members, promptly get your vehicle back.
Who Should I Telephone First After My DWI Arrest?
Police may permit you to make a telephone call at the scene of your arrest or, if not, then soon back at the station in the course of your DWI booking. Make a call as soon as the police permit you to do so. Call a family member if you are alone at your DWI arrest, if they will be expecting you, and be concerned over a delay in your appearance. Your transport for booking may take hours or lead to an overnight or longer jail stay. But whether you need to alert family members or someone you know at the scene of your DWI arrest will do so, be sure that your first or second call is to (713) 229-8333 to retain 2023 Houston DWI Lawyer of the Year Doug Murphy to defend your Texas DWI charge. Doug Murphy and his defense team will know what to do to help you. And they'll tell you what to do next. But whomever you call, don't let police overhear you saying anything about your DWI matter. Remember that the police will use anything you say against you.
What Do I Do at My DWI Booking?
The same advice applies at your DWI booking as at the scene of your DWI arrest: don't say or do anything that the police ask other than to provide identifying information. Police will use against you anything you volunteer during transport to the station or at booking, even things you say in small talk with friendly booking administrators. Let the police fingerprint and photograph you. Otherwise, remain silent.
What Do I Do in the Holding Cell After My DWI Booking?
Depending on the severity of your DWI charges, police may release you after booking when you post bail, or you may have to remain in a holding cell at the police station for up to seventy-two hours while the police arrange for your arraignment on more-serious felony charges like intoxication assault or DWI with a child passenger. Court arraignments, even by video, generally occur during regular weekday business hours when the courts are open. The same advice applies while in the holding cell as at the scene of your DWI arrest and booking: remain silent. Police may use against you the accounts of others with whom you spoke in the holding cell. If you haven't already done so, ask the holding cell officers to call Board Certified DWI Specialist Doug Murphy at (713) 229-8333 to retain him for your defense.
What Do I Do About Bail After My DWI Arrest?
Texas DWI defendants must generally post bail before their release to ensure that they will return to court to answer the charges. Bail, though, may be on personal recognizance, meaning at no monetary cost. But bail may alternatively require you to post money that you will forfeit if you don't return to court. Or you may need to pay a bail bond company a fee to post a larger bail that you cannot afford. The company will then find you and compel your return to court if you do not appear voluntarily. Your retained DWI Specialist can help you address any bail issues with the court. But in any case, post the bail necessary for your prompt release from jail. You're doing no one any good languishing in jail. You're also not able to help as effectively with your DWI defense.
What Should I Do After Getting Out of Jail for My DWI Arrest?
Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 17.15 authorizes authorities to set conditions with which you must comply after your release from jail following your DWI arrest. Comply with those conditions. Violating those conditions can seriously complicate your DWI defense. Common conditions include abstinence from alcohol or drugs, submitting to alcohol and drug testing, and staying out of bars and clubs. Don't land yourself right back in jail because you violated the conditions of your release. Ask your retained DWI Specialist attorney Doug Murphy for help if you cannot meet the conditions of your release.
What Do I Do at My Arraignment on DWI Charges?
Arraignment is your first court appearance after your DWI arrest. Depending on the severity of your DWI charges, you might have faced arraignment before your release, or you may receive a written notice to appear for arraignment days or even weeks later. Appear at your arraignment. If you skip out on your arraignment, you may face an arrest warrant and other serious consequences. At the arraignment, rely on your right to remain silent other than to identify yourself, enter a not-guilty plea, and answer the judge's procedural questions, such as whether you understand the charges and your rights. Do not plead guilty at your arraignment. Your retained DWI Specialist attorney may attend your arraignment to advise and assist you.
How Do I Choose a DWI Defense Attorney?
If you have not already retained a DWI Specialist attorney for your defense, the court at arraignment will give you the opportunity and advice to do so. Do not proceed unrepresented. And do not retain an unqualified attorney who is unfamiliar with the special issues and procedures surrounding DWI charges. Instead, retain a Board Certified DWI Specialist. Board certification ensures that your attorney knows DWI law and procedures. Your best move is to retain premier Board Certified DWI Specialist attorney Doug Murphy. Attorney Murphy is one of only two Texas attorneys Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and in DWI Defense by the ABA-recognized National College for DUI Defense. Call (713) 229-8333 or go online for the best available DWI defense.
What Do I Do About My Driver's License After My DWI Arrest?
The officer who arrests you at the scene of your DWI arrest will confiscate your driver's license. That confiscation means your regular driver's license is now suspended. But the officer should hand you a temporary license good for forty days. The notice of suspension should also tell you that you have fifteen days to request an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing. You and your retained DWI Specialist attorney should promptly request that ALR hearing. That request can extend your temporary license while you await ALR hearing results.
What Do I Do at My ALR Hearing?
Rely on your retained DWI Specialist attorney to advocate at your ALR hearing that you should retain your driving privileges. ALR hearings can require effective presentations assuring officials that you are not a driving risk, despite your DWI arrest. Your DWI Specialist may have to present evidence that you did not commit the charged DWI crime and other evidence mitigating any potential risks. DWI Specialist Attorney Doug Murphy offers skilled and experienced representation at your ALR hearing. Rely on skilled ALR hearing representation.
What Do I Do If I Lose My Driving Privileges?
Do not drive without a valid license. Doing so can undermine your DWI defense and delay or prevent the restoration of your driver's license. Doing so may also result in your arrest and incarceration for violating bond conditions. You could also lose opportunities to beat or reduce your DWI charge. Instead, for necessary transportation, get help from family members, friends, and public and private services.
What Do I Do While My DWI Charges Are Pending?
Do your best to live your normal life while awaiting the resolution of your DWI charges. Of course, DWI charges can distract and discourage you. But distraction and discouragement help no one. It certainly doesn't help your DWI defense. Living your best life can show the court, prosecutors, family members, and employers that your DWI charge doesn't define you and that you can get past it safely, securely, and productively.
What Should I Avoid While My DWI Charges Are Pending?
By all means, avoid any subsequent DWI charge, domestic violence arrest, substance abuse relapse, or other criminal, dangerous, or unhealthy behavior reflecting more-serious problems behind your DWI arrest.
Should I Just Accept Deferred Adjudication?
Do not accept the prosecution's offers of deferred adjudication without first consulting your retained DWI Specialist attorney. While it may sound attractive, deferred adjudication is not right for everyone. It can have hidden costs, burdens, and effects that you might better avoid. Deferred adjudication can also set some individuals up for failure rather than for success. And deferred adjudication makes little or no sense when you did not commit the charged DWI crime or you otherwise have a lawful and effective DWI defense.
Should I Accept a DWI Plea Bargain?
Do not accept a DWI plea offer without first retaining and consulting a skilled and experienced DWI Specialist. Once again, you might be able to beat the DWI charge because of the police violation of your constitutional right or another valid defense. The prosecution may have serious problems proving valid breath and blood test results because of laboratory errors or the police's failure to calibrate testing equipment or provide you with mandated test warnings. The prosecution may have other problems with field sobriety tests and other unreliable evidence. Let your retained DWI Specialist prepare your best defense case for trial. Then listen to your retained DWI Specialist's advice on any plea bargain.
With Whom Can I Share My DWI Arrest?
In most cases, it is better to discuss your DWI charge with no one other than your DWI Specialist attorney. Things you share with others may well be admissible as evidence against you in your DWI case. Especially avoid communicating about your DWI on social media or in other similar forums, even if others bring it up. The criminal court is your judge, not the court of public opinion. You may be able to win in criminal court, if you don't spoil your defense with admissions in the court of public opinion.
What Do I Tell My Employer About My DWI Charge?
Generally, unless you must disclose your DWI charge, the less you tell your employer, the better. If your job requires commercial driving, a security clearance, or a professional license, you may have to disclose your DWI arrest to your employer and any licensing body. But the rules and reasons for disclosing to different employers and licensing bodies can be complex. And a DWI arrest and charge doesn't mean the same thing as a DWI conviction. You may not need to disclose a DWI charge, even though you'd more likely have to disclose a later DWI conviction. Consult your retained DWI Specialist on whether, when, how, and to whom to disclose a DWI arrest and charge.
Should I Take My DWI Defense to Trial?
Your retained DWI Specialist should generally be preparing your DWI defense as if your case will go to trial. That's how skilled and experienced DWI Specialists ensure your best outcome, whether you go to trial, the court dismisses your DWI charge before trial, or you accept a plea offer. Trial preparation not only teaches you and your DWI Specialist about your defense, but it also shows the prosecution that you take your defense seriously. And trial preparation challenges the prosecution to also prepare, when they may prefer to abandon, dismiss, or plead out your case. Listen to your DWI Specialist on whether to proceed to trial. You may have pros and cons to taking your DWI defense to trial. But ensure that you retain a DWI Specialist who is ready, willing, and able to take your case to trial. Premier DWI Specialist Attorney Doug Murphy prepares DWI defense cases for trial.
Should I Be Worried About My DWI Trial?
Don't worry about your DWI trial. Instead, prepare for your DWI trial. Ensure that you have done everything that your DWI Specialist has advised or recommended. Learn about DWI trial procedures so that you can follow the proceeding and help your DWI Specialist if and when asked. Cases sometimes resolve on the courthouse steps. Your DWI charge may not go to trial. But you should prepare for it to do so, for your peace of mind and best defense, just like your DWI Specialist will be preparing. Then, if your case does resolve, the terms will likely be the best for you.
What Do I Do After Beating a DWI Charge?
Of course, you would have every reason to be very glad for beating a DWI charge. Beating your DWI charge may have saved your child custody, job, driver's license, professional license, career, reputation, and relationships. Those wins give you every good reason to celebrate. But individuals who beat a DWI charge should probably also be taking stock of what led them into the charge in the first place. The worst thing might be to beat one DWI charge only to suffer another DWI charge for not having learned the first charge's lessons. So, take stock after winning. Fix what you need to fix. Avoid what you need to avoid. And then go forward living your best life to its fullest. But you may have one more thing to do, addressed in the next question.
Do I Need an Expunction After Beating My DWI Charge?
You may benefit from seeking an expunction of your DWI arrest and charges records after you beat the DWI charge. Arrest and charge records may remain available to the public even if you beat the DWI charge. Arrest and charge records don't generally automatically disappear unless the court orders their expunction at your request. Whether and when you qualify for the expunction of arrest records can depend on several circumstances. Consult your retained DWI Specialist attorney.
Premier Texas DWI Specialist Available
Premier Board Certified DWI Specialist Attorney Doug Murphy is available for your DWI defense. Attorney Murphy is one of only two Texas attorneys Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and in DWI Defense by the ABA-recognized National College for DUI Defense. Houston area lawyers voted attorney Murphy the 2021 and 2023 Best Lawyers in America Houston Lawyer of the Year for DWI Defense. Call (713) 229-8333 or go online now for the best available DWI defense.