Navigating the Texas criminal court can be overwhelming and stressful. That’s where your DWI attorney can really step in to help. Once you’ve hired your legal counsel and he or she has filed for you in court, you will be arraigned.
At your arraignment hearing, the judge will tell you the official charges being brought against you and ask you to plead guilty or not guilty. Keep in mind that if your Driving While Intoxicated charge is a misdemeanor, you will be arraigned in county court. If your charge is a felony, you will be arraigned in district court.
When you hire a criminal defense attorney, you will not have to worry about talking a lot at your hearing. Usually, alleged offenders plead “not guilty” to the offense so that the attorney can build a case and work out a deal with the state prosecutor.
After you are arraigned, your attorney will attend a series of pre-trial hearings and they will demand that the state prosecutors share evidence with your attorney that supports the state’s case. This is law in Texas, as state criminal law does not allow for surprise evidence to be admitted during a trial. Therefore, the state prosecutor must give your attorney records such as copies of police reports, a list of witnesses the state plans to call up during your trial, copies of any blood and/or breath tests and some physical evidence records.
Once your attorney sees the breadth and depth of the evidence the state plans to bring against you, he or she can begin working out a deal with the prosecution or your attorney may decide the best option for your is to let the case go to trial because your attorney believes you have a good shot at getting your Driving While Intoxicated offense overturned.
During this time period, as your attorney is weighing the options and building your case, there are several precautions you’ll want to take as follows:
First, make sure you are being honest with your attorney. You may be ashamed or embarrassed by your arrest and charge. However, your attorney is there to help you navigate a messy and complicated process. What you need to do is be as honest as possible with your attorney. He or she is bound by law to keep your information confidential. So be as straightforward as you can. Your attorney may begin the process with you by asking for a full written account of what happened during your stop and arrest. We’ll want as many details as possible and the names of as many witnesses as possible. We’ll also want you to recount everything you said to the police that you can remember, as this could be an important part of your defense. The more we know, the more we can help.
Second, now is the time to be on your best behavior. If you’ve been charged with a Driving While Intoxicated offense, then you’ve lost your license. So do not get back on the road and drive. Do not spend time in a car or any other place with someone who is using substances. The more you put yourself in high-threat situations, the more you could put yourself in the pathway of getting arrested again. Do what is right and good for you. It’s time to follow the law and be the very best citizen you can.
Finally, do not talk to any investigators or other witnesses about your case. Talk to your attorney only. If someone has a question about your case, point that person to your attorney. You’ve hired us to be your defense and spokesperson. If you are talking – even casually – with someone about your case, then those words could come back to bite you in the court of law. Your casual remarks could be taken as a confession of guilt. You never know who is recording your conversations, so do yourself a favor and keep mum about your case with everyone except your defense attorney.