What is going to happen when you get arrested for DWI
If you were arrested for DWI in Collin County, this will provide information on how DWI cases proceed through the court system.
First, if you were arrested in Frisco, Plano, Allen, etc and were released from that jail and DID NOT GO to the County Jail, you will need to appear at the Collin County Jail within ten (10) days of your release. You are there because the County Jail needs more information about your arrest. You will be photographed, fingerprinted, asked for personal information about your home address and employment so that the Court can notify you of proceedings when they start.
You may also have been ordered to appear in court the Monday following next of your arrest. This is an appearance where you will appear before a judge who will ask your permission to look at your criminal record. If you allow the court to look at your record, they are looking for prior DWI cases. Texas law requires that anyone charged with a DWI 2nd or more is required to have a deep lung device installed on their car while your case is pending in court.
Collin County can take 30-60 days to formally file criminal charges against you. You will receive a letter from the Court notifying you to appear in court for your case. The appearance date will be approximately 14-21 days from the date of your letter.
Although you won't go to court for a month or so, this is the perfect time to look for a lawyer. Many people rely on referrals from friend or family, but you can also ask court bailiffs and reporters and clerks who the best DWI lawyers in Collin County. These people see all the players and know the outcome of their cases. I believe my qualifications make me a good choice for defending your case.
Your first court appearance is for several things: 1) Are you going to show up for court or jump your bail, 2) have you hired an attorney 3) Do you want to represent yourself or 4) Are you applying for a court appointed attorney. If you apply for a court appointed attorney you will fill out financial information about your situation and the judge will decide whether or not you qualify to receive a court appointed attorney. If you qualify for a court appointed attorney you will be given their name and the attorney should contact you within three days.
If you have hired an attorney, your attorney will appear with you at this setting to signup as your Attorney of Record and begin the investigation process. You will be asked to initial the court file verifying your attendance at the court setting.
Collin County has six County Judges. Each one has a different procedure and rules. Two of the judges require you to personally appear at all settings of your case (generally once a month (8:30-9:30). At these appearances you will again merely initial the court file to verify your attendance. The other courts will not require your appearance for the first few months.
Each court allows two settings for investigation and by the third setting they again want you to be in court. The Court wants to know whether you will dispose of your case by a jury trial or plea of guilty.
By this time your attorney should have retrieved all police reports and videotapes of your arrest. He should meet with you to review and discuss this discovery and advise you on your alternatives.
Your next appearance may be to gain a little more time so that the investigation is complete and you and your attorney have had time to review it. At this setting you may be allowed one more reset or if you have decided to give up or fight, you can inform the court and set up a time for final disposition. If you choose to plead guilty, your case can be concluded at this setting.
If you set your case for trial, your first trial date will be 2-3 months later. You must appear at all trial settings of your case. On trial date you should understand that the Court has set 5-10 other cases for trial on the same day. This is to allow for people that change their minds or plea bargain offers have settled the case. Also this allows for trial where a witness cannot be present or other complications with the case. Please realize that you case may be set for trial 2-4 times and you will have to appear to determine if your case is selected. Of course your attorney must prepare for your trial on all of the Trial Dates.
Some courts in Collin County set cases for pretrial before the trial date. You must appear at all pretrial settings. At this setting the Court will determine which cases will proceed to trial the following week. If selected, your case may start on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday depending on the court's schedule. You may also not be selected and ordered to appear at a future pretrial and trial date. Your attorney must prepare for trial at all pretrial/trial settings. Realize that your case may be set 2-3 times before you ever proceed to trial. It is hard to be patient during this waiting period.
If you are convicted of DWI 1st, either by plea of guilty or lost your trial, you will most likely be placed on probation from 12-24 months. This may not be the case if you have a prior criminal record or DWI conviction.
You will be asked to fill out a personal information sheet listing address, references, work, etc. Next you will wait at the collections department to determine if you are going to pay all fines and courts immediately or need to set up a payment program.
Next you will proceed to the probation department for orientation. They will review the conditions of your probation and provide resources for successful completion of your program.
I have defended criminal cases in Collin County for the past 25 years. I am familiar with the procedures, clerks, coordinators, prosecutors and judges. I believe my expertise will prove invaluable to you in your case.
Many other counties offer to reduce DWI cases to lesser charges. It is important for you to know the Collin County does not offer reductions on DWI cases. This means the only way to keep your record clean is to go to trial and win. After you win, you may file a suit for the expunction or destruction of all records relating to your stop, incarceration and prosecution of this case as if it never happened.