Have you been charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in Bexar County? Wondering what to do next? There are some important things to know and expect when facing a DWI charge.
Consequences of a DWI
Punishment for misdemeanor DWI cases can be severe, and they can include jail time, fines and a license suspension.
DWI 1st Conviction: 0-180 Days in Jail and/or a fine up to $2,000.
DWI 2nd Conviction: 0-365 Days in Jail and/or a fine up to $4,000.
Up to 2 years of probation is available for DWI convictions, but there can be many cumbersome terms and conditions which you might have to abide by and perform. These might include community service hours, having to install an interlock ignition device on your vehicle, being drug tested regularly, taking various classes and even possible jail time. We have attorneys very familiar with DWI cases and can fight to reduce these conditions or even have the charges dropped.
DWI cases may take some time to work their way through the court system. Shortly after an arrest, the case, police report and all the information about your incident will be forwarded to the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office. The case will then be examined by local prosecutors and a decision to file the case will be made. There are no rigid time requirements on how long this should take, except that it must be done within 2 years from the date of the alleged offense. However, you can expect that the case will be filed much quicker than this, usually within a couple months.
Once a DWI case is filed, your attorneys will receive a letter informing you of your first court appearance. You will likely need to go to court multiple times while your defense team is working on your case. This court process could take months, and if your case ends up needing to go to trial, it could take up to a year or possibly longer depending on the court’s calendar and availability.
What Should I Do Now?
During the time between being released from jail and your first court date, there are a couple of things you should do. The first is to immediately make an appointment with a local criminal defense lawyer for a legal consultation which will inform you of what to expect, what to do next, and will help you begin preparing your defense. Driver’s License suspensions can occur quickly so the sooner you begin the better.
Second, you should make sure that your personal information on file with the Court is correct. When you were released from jail, you gave some basic contact information about yourself, like your address, phone number, etc. If any of this information was wrong or has changed, you must let the Court know. Failure to keep your information accurate and updated could result in missing your court date and having a warrant issued for your arrest.
When you find out when your court date is, make preparations to be there all day. Dress appropriately and be prepared to silence your phones. Going through this process can be intimidating and complicated. The punishment can be severe. Hiring a strong legal team to defend you in court is essential. BCP Criminal Defense Attorneys are experienced and can provide the legal expertise to fight for your rights and defend you successfully. Our team has substantial experience dealing with DWI cases in San Antonio and throughout the Hill Country. We’re proud to have former DWI prosecutors on our staff to provide you with personal, top of the line legal services.