You Got Arrested For DWI in Texas. What Happens Next?

More than half of Texans 21 and older regularly drink alcohol, and the state contains nearly 18 million licensed drivers. It’s not surprising, then, that driving while intoxicated (DWI) is one of the most common crimes in Texas. That doesn’t make a DWI arrest any less frightening for defendants and their families. 

If you or someone close to you is fresh off a DWI arrest, you probably have dozens of questions. Below, we’ll cover some of the most frequently asked DWI questions so you have an idea of what to expect. 

Am I Allowed to Drive After a DWI Arrest?

Maybe. If you refuse field sobriety or chemical tests or perform a BAC test that measures .08 BAC or more in your system, the arresting officer will suspend your license. You will receive a temporary license that allows you to drive for a limited period of time before your administrative license suspension takes effect. Within 15 days of your arrest, however, you may request an Administrative License Revocation hearing before the Texas Department of Public Safety. This is a separate process from your criminal case. 

If your lawyer is successful at the ALR hearing, you will receive a hardship license. This gives you the legal authority to drive to work, school, and other essential destinations. Remember, though: you must act quickly to take advantage of the ALR hearing. 

Will I Have to Install an Interlock Device on My Car?

Again, the answer is maybe. Defendants who bond out after multiple DWI arrests are usually required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) as a bond condition. An IID might also be a condition of probation for those convicted of multiple DWIs. First-time offenders who were arrested with a BAC of at least .15 might also have to install an IID. Regardless, IID installation is usually a condition of a DWI conviction and not an arrest

Will a DWI Conviction Stay On My Record Forever?

Generally, yes, However, first-time offenders are often eligible for deferred adjudication. Deferred adjudication allows first-time offenders with no aggravating factors to plead guilty and complete probation. Upon completion, these offenders are usually able to get the conviction from appearing on certain public records. 

If I’m Convicted, Will I Go to Jail?

Unfortunately, there is a good chance you will go to county jail for a DWI conviction in Texas—even for a first-time offense. Generally, those convicted of DWI in Texas must spend at least 72 hours in jail (with a maximum sentence of 180 days). You might have your driver’s license suspended for at least 90 days (and up to one year). 

With quality legal representation, though, you could spend minimal time in jail and receive only community service—if not deferred adjudication, a favorable plea deal, or a not guilty verdict. However, you must act quickly to have a good chance at a favorable outcome. The Law Office of Kevin B. Ross represents Texans who need a good defense and an attorney who truly cares. Contact our team today to discuss your options

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Law Office of Kevin B. Ross, P.C.

Texas criminal defense attorneys Kevin B. Ross and Kristen Beckman bring a team approach to the Law Office of Kevin B. Ross, P.C., a Dallas criminal defense law firm that provides PROFESSIONAL, PERSONAL, and PROVEN representation to people in Texas who are accused of state and federal criminal offenses. We believe everyone deserves the strongest and most effective defense possible. The firm represents clients across Texas who are charged with crimes ranging from federal white-collar crimes to state drug charges, DWIs to murder, and everything in between.

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