Where to Turn When Charged with a DWI/DUI
When indiscretion turns into a DUI arrest, your whole world can get turned upside down. Upstanding citizens can make one mistake and it suddenly turns them into a villain. In the event of a DUI/DWI arrest, there are some tips that can make things go a little smoother and help the case be as drama-free as possible.
Silence Is Golden
The first thing to remember after a DWI/DUI arrest is to say nothing. The police can ask question after question, but the person under investigation has every right to remain silent. All too often people get too chatty with the police which leads to trouble later. Few people suffering from intoxication say anything that helps their case.
Get an Attorney
After being booked into jail, chances are the defendant will be released with a date on which they are to return to court. As soon as the defendant is released, he or she should be sure to call an attorney right away. While some people think they are intelligent enough to represent themselves, the truth is that intelligence has very little to do with DUI defense. The reason a Houston DWI attorney is so important is not that they are smarter than everyone else; it is that they are better trained and more experienced than everyone else when it comes to operating within the American Legal System.
Show Up to Court
When the first court appearance rolls around, those who hired an attorney may not even need to attend. Those who were unable to hire a private attorney must attend this appearance because it is here that the court will appoint council to their case. In general, the first court appearance is set for about 30 days after the initial arrest. In the event that the defendant does not appear or does not send council, the defendant may have a warrant issued for their re-arrest. It is also important to note that in the case of a defendant having posted previous bail, that bail would be lost. Perhaps even more importantly to note–if the defendant had to use the services of a bail bondsman to post previous bail, he or she is now being hunted, not only by police, but also by bounty hunters. The moral of the story is, show up for court or send an attorney! At this first appearance, the defendant may or may not enter his or her plea and find out when he or she is to next appear in court.
Schedule a License Hearing
A special consideration in DUI/DWI cases is license suspension. In Texas, drivers are served with a notice of suspension when they are arrested for a DUI/DWI offense. If the defendant does not file for a hearing within 15 days of the receipt of that notice, the license will automatically be suspended. If, however, the defendant does file for a hearing in the allotted time, he or she is allowed to continue driving up until the date of the hearing.