Anatomy of a Travis County Misdemeanor DWI Prosecution
What happens after a DWI arrest in Travis County?
Administrative License Revocation:
You must request an ALR hearing within 15 days of when you were served with a Notice of Suspension (usually the date of arrest). A failure to schedule your hearing in a timely manner can lead to an automatic suspension of your license. If you requested a hearing in a timely manner, you will be able to continue driving until the hearing. If you lose at the hearing, you can not drive after the hearing. If your license is suspended at the hearing, you may be able to request and secure an occupational license.
If you have been arrested and released for a misdemeanor DWI, you will be given a date to return to court (usually 30 days after your arrest). If you hire an attorney, the attorney can usually make this appearance for you without your presence. During this 30 day period, the case is sent to the County Attorney's office for filing. Ideally, the County Attorney will make a filing decision within this 30 day time frame. In Travis County, even if a case is not filed, your case will have un-filed docket call appearances until the case is filed or officially rejected.
The Announcement is an appearance where the attorney just lets the court know that he or she is representing you. If you do not have counsel, you would appear on your own at this appearance and inform the court at this time. This is where you would request court appointed counsel or request more time to hire an attorney of your choosing.
Your attorney will discuss your case with the Travis County Attorney and attempt to negotiate the best possible resolution. This conference will happen about 8-10 weeks after your 1st Appearance date. You may have multiple Pre-trial Conferences.
The Court may suppress some or all of the evidence against you if your constitutional rights have been violated. Your attorney may file motions to suppress in your case depending upon your specific circumstances. A Suppression Hearing generally occurs anywhere from 6 weeks to 3 months after the Pre-trial Conference.
You may either request a bench trial wherein the court hears the case or a jury trial wherein a jury of your peers hears the case. If the case is a misdemeanor, the trial will heard by a jury of six. If the case is a felony, the trial will be heard by a jury of twelve.
The Court imposes a sentence after a conviction at trial or after a plea bargain is accepted and a plea entered. Sentences may include jail time, numerous fees, fines, community service, alcohol classes and fines.