What happens after a DWI arrest in Texas?

By: LawInfo

(1) Administrative License Revocation: To preserve your right to drive in Texas, you must request a hearing within 15 days of when you were served with a Notice of Suspension (usually the date of arrest). If you timely requested a hearing to contest your license suspension, you will be able to continue driving until the hearing. If you lose at the hearing, you can’t drive after the hearing. If your license is suspended at the hearing, you may be able to secure an occupational license to drive.


(2) 1st Appearance: If you have been arrested and released for a misdemeanor DWI, you will be given a date to return to court (usually 30 days after your arrest). If you hire an attorney, the attorney can usually make this appearance for you, so that you do not have to attend. During this 30 day period, the case is sent to the County Attorney's office for further investigation. The County Attorney then prepares information and files with the County Clerk, and your case is set on the court's docket.

(3) Pre­trial Conference: Your attorney will discuss your case with the County Attorney to discuss the best possible resolution of your case. This conference will happen about 8-10 weeks after your 1st Appearance date.

(4) Suppression Hearing: The Court may suppress some or all of the evidence against you if your constitutional rights have been violated. Your attorney will file motions to suppress. It occurs anywhere 6 weeks to 3 months after the pre­trial conference.

(5) Trial: You may either request a bench trial wherein the court hears the case or a jury trial wherein a jury of your peers hears the case. If the case is a misdemeanor, the trial will be to a jury of six. If the case is a felony, the jury will be to a jury of twelve. Sentencing: The Court imposes a sentence after a conviction at trial or after a plea bargain is accepted and a plea entered. Sentences may include jail time, numerous fees, fines, community service, alcohol education classes and/or treatment.

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