After being arrested for and charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas, you are likely to be released from the jailhouse on bond or for other reasons without getting a full or clear explanation as to what is going to happen afterward. You can probably expect to be told when your next court day will be, but beyond that information you may not be told much at all. Understandably, this “good luck” attitude often presented to alleged criminal offenders can leave you feeling confused, lost, and even hopeless.
If you want to turn your situation around and successfully fight for your rights and driving privilege after a DWI arrest, you need to know what to expect in the upcoming court dates, hearings, and trials. Our team at Tyler Flood & Associates has prepared a useful list of five things to keep in mind that should help you through the entire process. Of course, if you already know that you need the legal guidance and representation of a trusted Houston DWI attorney, do not hesitate to contact our firm right away.
Here are five things to keep in mind when going to criminal court for a DWI charge:
- You still have the same set of rights: When you go to court for a DWI, you have the same rights as someone accused of committing a crime. You still have the right to legal counsel and the right to not give self-incriminating statements. Although you might feel smaller standing before a judge, you are not by any means.
- You should dress appropriately: Consider the courtroom to be a professional environment, like a high-brow office space. Try to dress nicely and cleanly. You do not need to buy a new suit or dress but shorts and flip-flops are out of the question. In fact, many criminal courts will not even see you if you are dressed too casually and will instead send you away to await a new court date. If your local DWI court does enforce a specific dress code, intentionally failing to meet it a repeated number of times could be seen as being in contempt of court, which is a crime in and of itself.
- Plea deals are not always favorable: You should almost never plea guilty on your first appearance. DWI's are complicated cases and a good attorney needs a good amount of time to conduct a thorough investigation of your case. Remember a plea of guilty to DWI in Texas results in a permanent conviction on your record.
- The state needs to prove a certain set of facts: In order to convict you for driving while intoxicated, the prosecution must convince a jury or a judge of several facts. In short, it has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were the one operating a motor vehicle in a public place within Texas borders, and while your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level made you legally intoxicated, and that your BAC was at that level due to drinking alcohol or taking drugs. If just one of these points can be defeated, the whole argument against you may be unraveled by a skilled DWI defense attorney.
- You can consider appealing a negative outcome: The defense in a DWI case can appeal a verdict or ruling that was not beneficial for the defendant. Appeals are dependent on factual or judicial errors during the trial or hearing that could have altered the outcome. You cannot expect an appeal to be succeed if it is filed simply because you personally did not like the outcome. The prosecution, on the other hand, cannot appeal after losing a case at trial.
Remember: If you are preparing to go to court for a DWI case and do not know where to begin, you do not have to go it alone. Start constructing an effective defense today by calling (713) 497-1223 and talking to a Houston DWI attorney from Tyler Flood & Associates.