As soon as a person is pulled over on suspicion of driving while intoxicated (DWI), it can begin a very lengthy, complicated, and stressful process. Despite the seeming simplicity of the criminal justice system in television or film portrayals, a DWI case can involve multiple court appearances as well as many important discussions outside the courtroom.
In these cases, it is important for any alleged DWI offender to have legal representation throughout the entire process. As soon as you are facing DWI charges, having a capable criminal defense attorney will give you the best chance at securing the most favorable outcome.
Lawyer for Denton County DWI Process
If you have been arrested for DWI in North Texas, you should contact Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy right away. Since 2002, Richard C. McConathy and Brian A. Bolton have a 91 percent success rate on cases announced ready for trial.
Our firm fights to defend clients all over Lewisville and surrounding areas, including such communities as Little Elm, Denton, and Flower Mound. Let us review your case and begin developing the strongest possible legal defense by calling 940-222-8004 today to set up a free, confidential consultation.
Texas DWI Process Information Center
- What happens when a person is arrested for DWI in Denton County?
- How does an arraignment work for a person facing DWI charges?
- What kinds of pretrial motions get files in Lewisville DWI cases?
- How long would a trial last and what is involved?
- Who decides an alleged offender’s sentence?
- Can a person appeal a guilty verdict?
- Where can I learn more about this subject?
Lewisville Drunk Driving Arrest
Most drunk driving arrests begin with a motorist being stopped for some sort of traffic offense and law enforcement then asking the driver whether he or she has had anything to drink. If the police officer suspects that the person might be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the driver will be asked to submit to a series of field sobriety tests and some sort of chemical test to determine his or her alcohol concentration.
Many drivers are unaware that they are not required to answer these questions and they have the right to refuse to submit to any testing. Even if an alleged offender does exercise his or her rights to not answer questions and refuses to provide a specimen for chemical analysis, he or she could still be charged with DWI.
DWI Arraignment in Texas
At the alleged offender’s first court appearance, he or she will generally be informed of his or her rights by the judge. The court may also enforce certain conditions, such as making the alleged offender install a deep lung device (DLD) or ignition interlock device (IID) in every motor vehicle he or she owns or the automobile he or she uses most often.
The alleged offender will also be asked to enter an initial plea. In most cases, alleged offenders plead not guilty so their attorneys can have time to investigate the facts surrounding their case. Remember that a not guilty plea can always be changed to guilty later on, but the opposite is not true as a guilty plea is final.
Pretrial Motions in Lewisville
Before a DWI case goes to trial, there will often be a hearing or conference in which an alleged offender’s lawyer will attempt to file several motions that may attempt to keep breath test results from being used as evidence, exclude confessions obtained without the alleged offender being informed of his or her Miranda rights, or several other motions.
Some common examples of pretrial motions in DWI cases include, but are not limited to:
- Motion for Blood or Urine Sample to be Split
- Motion for Supplemental Discovery
- Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Probable Cause
- Motion to Exclude Confession
- Motion to Exclude Unreliable Witness Testimony
- Motion to Strike Prior DWI Convictions
- Motion to Suppress Illegally Obtained Evidence
- Motion to View Arresting Officer’s Personnel File
Denton County DWI Trial
If a DWI case goes to trial, this portion of the case may take just a day or two or it could last several weeks. The alleged offender will have the option having his or her case and possible punishment decided by a judge or jury, and the best choice for each of these determinations can depend on the specific court, judge, and facts surrounding the case.
The prosecution bears the burden of proving the alleged offender’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. A skilled attorney can effectively cross-examine police officers involved in the arrest, challenge various forms or evidence, and advise an alleged offender whether it is in his or her best interest to testify on his or her own behalf.
Texas DWI Sentencing
Many DWI cases are settled without going to trial, and the sentences involved in the cases that do go to trial are often the result of a plea bargain agreement. In the event that there is no plea bargain, than any sentencing is decided by either the judge or jury, depending on what the alleged offender opted for at the outset of the trial.
The penalties that are part of the sentence largely depend on the specifics of the case. Most sentences will involve some combination of fines, imprisonment, community service, administrative fees, and treatment or classes.
DWI Appeals in Lewisville
In some cases in which an alleged offender is found guilty, his or her attorney may be able to successfully win an appeal or motion for a new trial. In order for this to happen, there typically needs to be some sort of major, substantive error that occurred during the original trial. Dissatisfaction with the outcome is not enough to justify an appeal.
However, if a judge allowed chemical test evidence that should have been suppressed or the prosecution called inappropriate witnesses, an appeal may be justified. A criminal defense lawyer has a very limited window of time to file an appeal, so it is critical for an alleged offender to have legal representation that can act quickly and appropriately.
North Texas DWI Process Resources
Denton County Sheriff’s Office — You can search bond records and jail records on this website. There is also a press release archive as well as information about the office’s support services, operations bureau, and detention bureau.
127 North Woodrow Lane
Denton, TX 76205-6397
Lewisville Group of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) — This is the website for the Lewisville fellowship of men and women who meet regularly to help each other recover from alcoholism. On this website, you can learn more about AA, see scheduled meetings, or utilize a 24-hour online chat.
419 South Mill Street
Lewisville, TX 75067
Find A Lawyer for Denton County DWI Process
Were you recently charged with DWI in North Texas? Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy represents clients throughout Lewisville as well as many other areas of Denton County, such as The Colony, Grapevine, and Westlake.
Richard C. McConathy and Brian A. Bolton have over 20 years of combined experience with DWI cases. They will provide a complete and thorough evaluation of your case during a free, no obligation consultation when you call 940-222-8004 today.