Texas Residents Should Do This After a DUI
When’s a driver considered drunk in Texas?
You’re legally intoxicated the moment your blood alcohol concentration or BAC reaches .08% or higher. However, even if you have a low BAC, you can still be charged with a DUI, if alcohol or drugs are impairing your ability to drive.
If you were recently arrested for drunk driving in Texas, you’re probably feeling overwhelmed by all of the legal penalties you’re facing. However, there is hope for fighting your charges and getting your life back, and in this article, we’ll show you how!
Read on to find out what to do after being arrested for drunk driving.
From Arrest to Release
First, an officer has to have probable cause to arrest you for DWI charges. Field sobriety tests, and breathalyzers, are 2 of the most common ways for establishing probable cause.
After arresting you for drunk driving, you’ll go to the police station for booking. Booking is simply a process that the police use to record your information into law enforcement’s database. For instance, they’ll take your mugshot, fingerprints, and check your record for any prior arrests.
After booking’s complete, you’ll be put in a holding cell. You won’t be able to leave the holding cell until you either make bail or go to court.
If there weren’t any fatalities or injuries involved, it’s likely your bail will be relatively low. Once your bail’s paid, you’re free to go as long as you come back for your court appearance.
Find a Lawyer You Can Trust
Next, you’ll want to find a lawyer you can trust to help you fight your DUI. The best lawyers are the ones who specialize in handling your type of case.
Next, you’ll want to set up a free consultation to review the details of your case. During your consultation, you’ll be able to find out exactly what your attorney can do to help you beat the charges.
Finally, if you’re worried about being able to pay for a lawyer, you should look for attorneys that are willing to work with a payment plan. Simply let the attorney know what type of budget you’re working with, and explore the different ways you can pay.
Prepare for Arraignment
The first time you appear in court it’s called an arraignment, and you’ll want your lawyer to come with you. During the arraignment, you’ll have a chance to plead either guilty or not guilty for the DWI charges. No matter what the circumstances are, it’s always a good idea to plead not guilty during your arraignment.
Next, a future court date will be set to continue the discovery phase of your hearing. You can expect to have at least 1-2 more court appearances, and they’ll usually be about a month apart.
Finally, the judge might set conditions for your release. For instance, you might have to have an ignition interlock device put on your car, or agree to random alcohol testing.
Next, on our list of what to do after DUI charges, let’s talk about transportation. When you’re arrested, the police will impound your car.
However, even when your car’s ability to be picked up, it’s not likely that you’ll have driving privileges. The sooner you can start arranging transportation for work, and court dates, the better off you’ll be. If you don’t have friends and family members who can drive you, find out what ride-sharing company has the best rates in your area.
Explore SR-22 Insurance
When you can drive again, you’ll be required to acquire an SR-22. An SR-22 is a legal form that goes on file in Texas to prove you have the right type of insurance coverage. You may also hear an SR-22 referred to as a “Certificate of Financial Responsibility”, or “SR-22 Bond”.
To get an SR-22, the first thing you’ll need to do is call your insurance company. If you already have auto insurance, and your provider allows it, the agent will add the SR-22 to your existing policy. If you don’t have the right liability limits to meet the SR-22 requirements, you may have to increase your coverages.
Next, your insurer will file the SR-22 with the state of Texas. However, keep in mind that not all insurance companies are willing to work with SR-22 holders. You may wind up having to shop for a new insurance company that’s willing to work with high-risk policyholders.
If you don’t have any auto insurance, you’ll need to start fresh by calling insurance companies for quotes. To avoid wasting any time, be sure to tell the insurance agents upfront that you’ll need an SR-22 for your policy. If the insurance provider tells you they don’t work with SR-22’s, ask for a referral to an insurance provider who does.
Can You Get Your Record Expunged?
Lastly, let’s look at how to get rid of a DUI charge if it’s your first offense. In Texas, a DWI conviction can never be sealed or expunged. However, you can have your drunk driving charges expunged if your case is dismissed, or you’re found innocent.
When your case is expunged, all records of your arrest are permanently destroyed. To get your case expunged, you’ll have to find an experienced lawyer who’s not willing to accept a plea deal. Instead, you’ll need to fight the charges completely until you receive a verdict of not guilty.
Put Your DUI Behind You
Dealing with a DUI is overwhelming, but you don’t’ have to go through it alone. Go ahead and reach out to an attorney near you today to set up a free consultation.
During your consultation make sure you ask the attorney all of your legal questions, while also reviewing possible payment plans. The moment you have experienced professional fighting in your corner, you’ll finally be able to feel hopeful about the future again.
Are you ready to learn more legal tips? Then read another one of our articles.