What happens after a DWI arrest?

dwi arrest san antonioBeing arrested for DWI can be a devastating experience.  But the initial DWI arrest is really just the beginning. If ever faced with this situation, here are some things to expect.

The Initial DWI Arrest

Here is where the officer pulls you over.  While the officer may pull you due to probable cause that drinking is involved, it may be due to another reason.  Many times an officer will pull you over because of a traffic violation before they knew that drinking was involved. Once the officer has determined that drinking has been involved, they will generally issue a series of sobriety tests.  If arrested, you will next be taken to jail.


Once in jail, you may be able to be released on bail. When bail is posted, this is saying that you agree to return to your scheduled court date to receive this money back.  Another common way that people who have experienced a DWI arrest is through what is called own recognizance.  This means that no bail is posted, but you do have to agree in writing to appear in court.

First Court Appearance

Also known as an arraignment, the first court appearance happens shortly after the DWI arrest. In this situation, the court appearance would happen in the criminal court. What happens next is that a judge will read you all your charges and ask if you have an attorney or need a court appointed attorney.  While you are allowed to defend yourself after a DWI arrest, a San Marcos criminal lawyer can greatly help reduce your charges.

Next, you will be asked how you plead, with the options being “guilty” or “not guilty.” If you answer “guilty,” you will immediately receive your sentence.  While answering “not guilty” will lead to the scheduling of a preliminary hearing, or future court date.

Preliminary Hearing

During the preliminary hearing, the judge decides if the case needs to go trial. This is determined along with a lawyer for the state. In the State of Texas, this lawyer is also called the prosecutor who calls on witnesses such as the office from the DWI arrest. If you have San Marcos criminal defense lawyer on your side, they can attempt to prove that there is inconclusive evidence to take the case to trial.  More importantly, they will defend your rights to the fullest.  But without a knowledgeable attorney on your side to go to court on your behalf, getting a positive outcome for a DWI arrest may be a hard fought battle alone.

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