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Texas drunk driving - First steps after drunk driving arrest

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Image via Wikipedia"]Texas State Capitol during the Summer of 2005[/caption] This blog will address not only the criminal penalties you need to fight, through an administrative license hearing, but also criminal penalties you will need to try to avoid.

First Steps after Texas DWI arrest

  If you have been arrested for DWI in Texas and you refuse to take the chemical test or you take the test and your blood alcohol concentration is above the legal limit of 0.08% you will have your license suspended. Drivers will receive a 180 day suspension for a first DWI chemical test refusal and 90 days for a test which is above the legal limit. Most drivers do not realize these penalties are imposed by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles regardless of whether or not you are eventually convicted of DWI.
  • Talk to a DWI lawyer
Due to the administrative DWI penalties you may be facing it is imperative to talk to a DWI lawyer as soon as possible. Drivers may challenge the administrative license suspension within 15 days after the DWI arrest. The request must be in writing. Failure to make the request will eliminate your chances of stopping the administrative penalties. Many drivers request a DWI lawyer immediately so the DWI lawyer can not only request the administrative hearing and present their challenges at the hearing but also so they can review the evidence the state has against them. This can be done in the discovery phase of the administrative hearing. After reviewing the DWI evidence the DWI lawyer can help you determine if it would be better to contemplate a plea bargain (if possible) or if the state’s case is weak, whether or not you have a strong chance of beating the charges.
  • Request an administrative license review with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles
As mentioned above, the request for the administrative hearing must be done within 15 days. If you do not hire a DWI lawyer you will have to make this request yourself. Keep in mind, you will be allowed to use the temporary driving permit that the law enforcement officer has issued for you until the 41st day after your DWI arrest. If you failed to request the hearing, than your license is suspended at the end of this period.
  • Attend the arraignment.
Texas drivers will have to appear in court to plead not guilty, guilty or no contest. If you plead not guilty the Texas court will schedule a court date for you to plead your Texas drunk driving case. If you do not have a DWI by this point it is recommended that you plead not guilty, allowing yourself a chance to contact a DWI lawyer and discuss your Texas DWI case.
  • Attend the DUI trial.
Most DWI trials should be scheduled within 45 days of your DUI arrest. The time frame may be shorter if you are in police custody. States laws may vary and under some conditions your DWI lawyer may request to extend your DWI court date. Due to the complexity of state laws and the severe DWI penalties imposed if you are convicted of a Texas DWI, it is important to contact a DWI attorney in Texas as soon as you are arrested for a Texas DUI.
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