Denton County DWI Arrest Procedures
If you were arrested for DWI in Denton County it is very important for you to request a driver license suspension hearing. This has to do with Administrative License Revocation (ALR), a civil administrative process totally separate and unrelated to the criminal proceedings for a DWI arrest. You must do this within 15 days of your arrest or your license cannot be saved.
Regarding your prosecution for DWI you have a little time. It generally takes Denton County 1-2 months to send you your court date. The date will be within 2-3 weeks of the date of the letter.
You should seek an attorney as soon as possible after your DWI arrest. Many details can vanish quickly and should be investigated and recorded e.g. pictures of a construction zone, slope of testing area, distractions, traffic flow, etc.
You first appearance in Denton County Court will be for "arraignment". At this setting you are to learn exactly what the criminal charges area against you and that you intend to honor your bond and attend court settings when required. YOU MUST ATTEND YOUR FIRST COURT SETTING.
After your first setting you can execute a "Waiver of Appearance" which formally give your attorney the right to appear on your behalf for some court settings. This is limited and you will have to appear in court after your first appearance in some cases.
During this time your attorney should recover the police reports and videotapes of your prosecution and request plea offers by the State. You attorney must communicate any plea offer (good or bad) to you. It is your responsibility and decision whether or not to accept a plea bargain.
You can choose whether to give up or fight your DWI. The only way to fight is set your case for trial. A plea bargain agreement is admitting that you are guilty of the charge of DWI.
If you set your case for trial, you may have two or more "pre-trial dockets" to determine whether you will be selected for trial the following week. Each court is different in how they manage your trials. Your attorney should be able to tell you how it is handled in your court.
In some cases, the District Attorney may offer another way to avoid a DWI conviction by charging you with a different crime (Obstruction of Roadway). This guarantees that you won’t have a DWI conviction. They also afford the opportunity for you to expunge the DWI records and seal the Obstruction to all Internet searchers except for law enforcement.
You should look for an attorney who is familiar with Denton County practices and who has had success at defending DWI cases. There are many "ex-prosecutors" now who may not have defended a DWI case and there is a significant difference.
Good luck with your case.