You have been arrested, booked, and released on your first DWI. You are tired, scared, and need to figure out what to do next. Take a deep breath. We are here to help. Here are some quick steps to take.
Step 1: Hire the Right DWI Lawyer
This is a crucial first step because the right lawyer can help you navigate the criminal and civil court proceedings (DPS License Suspension). Make sure you trust the lawyer that you hire. They are a lot of lawyers out there, some substantially better than others, so make sure you are asking the right questions at the consultation phase:
- Do you have experience handling DWI charges?
- How much experience do you have in criminal defense?
- What law school did you go to?
- Have you ever been a former prosecutor?
- What kind of results have you obtained handling DWI cases?
- Are you familiar with the Judge and/or prosecutors that are going to be handling my case?
- How much do you charge? The realty is the better lawyers charge more, but some, including our firm, will offer assistance for clients who cannot pay as much or need a payment plan.
Step 2: Protect your License (You have 15 days from arrest to challenge the suspension)
This is time-sensitive if your license is going to be suspended due to the DWI arrest. You have 15 DAYS to file a petition with DPS challenging the license suspension. This is a civil proceeding and is separate from the criminal case you might be facing. An experienced DWI lawyer can handle this step for you.
STEP 3: FOLLOW ANY INITIAL COURT REQUIREMENTS
Depending on the type of arrest, sometimes the Court will require that you obtain an Interlock Device on your vehicle or meet with Pre-Trial Bond officers. Make sure that you comply with these conditions (your DWI lawyer can assist with any questions). Failure to comply can result with your bond being held insufficient (get arrested).
STEP 4: ASSIST YOUR LAWYER (VETERAN?)
Make sure that you provide with any and all information that might be relevant in your defense, including any prior military service. If you are a Military Veteran, then you might be eligible for the Diversion Program, which would result in your DWI getting dismissed.
Here are some information that might assist your lawyer:
- Your Background (Your current employment or school? Are you a veteran? Any criminal history? Are you involved in the community or have made a substantial contribution to the community? Etc.)
- Health or Medical Information (Currently being treated for a serious illness or cancer? Previous injuries on your back, leg, or knees?)
For questions or if you need assistance from experienced DWI Lawyers, Call 817-334-7900.
Attorney Bryan Hoeller is a former Tarrant County and Dallas County prosecutor and is an experienced DWI Lawyer. He has handled thousands of DWI and criminal cases. His firm offers DWI and criminal defense representation throughout Tarrant County, with offices in Fort Worth, Grapevine, and Southlake, Texas.