Fort Worth DWI Process
From the moment you are pulled over by law enforcement, and suspected of driving while intoxicated, it may be as quick as a ten-minute process to time of arrest. You will be asked to exit your vehicle and within minutes placed in handcuffs and placed in the back of a police car, and most likely taken to jail. At that point, it may be several hours while they try to obtain a warrant, and also to start a blood test. Booking can take anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour to process you through the system.
Then it is going to easily be another several hours or more before you go in front of the judge who will set the bond. So during that time, there is basically nothing you can do, you just sit in jail and wait your turn. From that time, you are going to have to make arrangements to make bail, post a cash bond, hire a bond’s person or be evaluated by a pre-trial agency.
It can be up to twelve hours or maybe even a day before you may be released from the time this whole incident started.
Determining How to Plea
That is a huge mistake to plead guilty from A DWI just from a financial point of view. A first time DWI can cost a person $20,000 when you add up fines, court costs, probation fees, driver’s license surcharges, and cost for additional and increased insurance costs. The fact that your basic insurance will double in price for ten years, not to mention the fact that you are going to have a DWI conviction on your driving record for the rest of your life. There is no way to get it off your record in the state of Texas. It means that every time you are stopped by the police for the slightest traffic infraction, they will be able to see that you have a history of a DWI on your record. They will try to get close enough to smell your breath, and is there an odor of alcohol in your car, and are your eyes red. They think you have had something to drink, and you will be arrested at this time even if you could pass all those roadside tests. That is because your past history shows that you are a DWI driver.
If an officer thinks you have had anything to drink, you are not going to get the benefit of the doubt. They believe history repeats itself and you are guilty. Another reason is that they may not have legally admissible or sufficient evidence to prove you guilty, or it maybe you did have something to drink, but that does not mean you were intoxicated, it can be a very grey area. We can successfully fight those cases, but you do not know that unless you hire an expert criminal defense attorney with experience in DWI cases. One who can evaluate the case and determine if it is a good case to fight or if the government does not have enough evidence to prove you guilty.
If you can successfully fight the case, you can save a great deal of money. As mentioned previously, the fines are extreme, and the pain of having this on your record the rest of your life is life-altering. If we fight the case hopefully we can keep your name and record clean.
Use of Ignition Interlock Devices
An interlock device is basically like a little breath test machine that is wired into the ignition of your car. It is right below the steering wheel, and you have to blow into this little device every time that you start your car, and periodically while you are actually driving. It may even have a camera to take a picture of the person blowing into the device. They sometimes suspect that somebody other than the person who is supposed to be using the car or the machine actually blows into it. It can be required any time a person is accused of a second time DWI. If they have been previously been convicted for a DWI, then in almost every one of those situations, the judge will require the interlock device as a condition of a bond.
That means even though you are presumed innocent, and have not gone to trial yet, and not found guilty of anything, that interlock device must be placed in your car as a condition of the bond. In other words, if placed in your car you will be able to stay out of jail while your case is pending or goes to trial. As a condition of the bond, the judge requires you to have this interlock device installed which basically assumes that you are guilty. Unfortunately, they can do that, but that can be all the more reason why you should fight your case. Another reason why you might be required to have an interlock device placed in your vehicle is after your arrest, and before you go to trial, is if you are accused of a DWI with an alcohol concentration of 0.15 or greater.
If that is the case, then the judge will usually require an interlock device, again, as a condition of a bond. Then, if you are found guilty of a DWI, and on a first time DWI, and in certain cases over the limit of 0.15 or subsequent DWI convictions, the device must be installed. If the person has a suspension of their license and they get an occupational license which allows them to drive on a limited basis during the suspension period, then the judge can require the interlock as a condition of the occupational license.