Kaufman DWI- The Process
You are arrested for DWI
In Kaufman County DPS is involved in most DWI arrests. DPS officers initiate many DWI stops on I-20. DPS troopers are also frequently called by local police to administer field sobriety testing. It is a rare DWI case in Kaufman that does not involve a DPS trooper.
You take some field sobriety tests, blow or not blow, and then a police officer subjectively and unilaterally decides you are intoxicated. You spend all night in Kaufman’s really nice jail. Bail is set in the morning between 7-9AM. In Kaufman bail is usually between $1,000 and $3,000 for a DWI first offense.
ALR Hearing– If you hire a DWI defense lawyer within 15 days of arrest they will challenge the suspension of your license. These challenges are heard at an ALR hearing. ALR stands for Administrative License Revocation. ALR hearings are very hard to “win”. The rules make a State victory almost automatic. However, winning at the ALR hearing does not prevent the State from filing a criminal charge against you for DWI.
Occupational Driver’s License- If we lose at the ALR hearing your license will be suspended between 90 days and 2 years. You are allowed to apply for an Occupational License to drive to work and to perform essential household duties.
Indictment/Information- The criminal case against you begins with either an indictment or information. In Kaufman County this takes between 3-6 months, sometimes longer.
Misdemeanor DWI cases begin when the State files an information. An information is merely a piece of paper signed by the prosecutor stating that you committed DWI on a certain date. Once that is filed you will be assigned a first court appearance.
If your case is a felony DWI (DWI 3rd or more, DWI w/child passenger) you will be indicted by a grand jury.
1st Appearance/Announcement- After your case is filed you will be notified by mail (usually) of your first appearance in court. You MUST keep in contact with your bail bonds company during this time. Your bail bondsmen or the court should notify you of your first court date.
DWI Pre Trial Hearings Most DWI cases could use a pre trial hearing. DWI is such a technical, scientific, and procedure intensive crime. A suppression motion, motion in limine, or discovery motion is always in order.
Trial-All criminal cases end one of three ways- a plea bargain, a trial, or a dismissal. Sometimes a DWI case will be refiled as “Obstructing a Highway” as part of a plea deal. Almost every case set for trial in Kaufman County Courts are DWIs. No misdemeanor case carries more cost upon conviction.
To ensure the best results for your Kaufman County DWI here are some guidelines.
1. You do not have to take field sobriety tests. These tests can not detect if you are sober. The false positive rate is astronomical.
2. Don’t give a breath sample unless you are 100% sure that the machine works, and you are below the legal limit. Why would you voluntarily give the State their favorite piece of DWI evidence?
Failing to give a sample will result in a longer license suspension, so the decision is not without risk. We had a breath machine break in 2007. Many defendants plead guilty without knowing their breath machine was faulty. Don’t assume your machine works, or that you can challenge this later. The
If you are not intoxicated and the machine malfunctions and scores you at .16, don’t expect the cops to let you go. Belief in the Intoxilyzer 5000 is dogmatic among law enforcement.
Finally, even if the machine is accurate a breath score opens the door for the voodoo science of retrograde extrapolation.
3. Hire a DWI defense lawyer as soon as possible. The ALR hearing is of critical importance. Do not give up your opportunity to defend your right to drive.