Q::

I was arrested for DWI, what happens next?

A::

You have only 15 DAYS from your arrest to request a hearing on the potential suspension of your driver’s license. If you do not request a hearing, your license will be automatically suspended 40 days after your arrest.

In a typical case, the arresting police agency will send your arrest report to the local District Attorney’s Office (DA). The DA will then file the formal charge against you in one our County Courts at Law and you will receive a notice to appear. Generally, there is a four to six week time lapse between the time of your arrest and your first court appearance.  The period between the arrest and the filing may be much longer in blood draw cases where lab results are pending.

Q::

How long will it take to resolve the charge against me?

A::

The length of time it takes to resolve a Collin County DWI charge will vary. While many of our cases are DWIs, every DWI is unique. They present similar but wildly different facts and issues of law and every prosecutor takes an individual stance based on the facts and issues they preceive. Similiarly, every client facing a DWI in Collin county is different and has different needs and goals.

We will resolve your case efficiently and effectively based on our analysis of your case and your individualized needs. We can resolve cases in as little as three months or as long as a year.

Q::

I failed or refused to submit to a breath or blood test, is my license automatically suspended?

A::

No, if you request an ALR hearing with the 15 day time period, your license will continue to be valid until the results of the hearing. Your attorney at The Collin County Law Group will personally handle all aspects of the ALR process on your behalf.  At the hearing the State must prove certain facts. If they fail to do so, your license will not be suspended.

Q::

Why should I request an ALR hearing?

A::

The Administrative License Revocation hearing will likely be the only opportunity you have to question the police officer that arrested you under oath prior to trial. If a hearing is set our attorneys will compel the State’s lawyers to turn over all the evidence they intend to use against you at the hearing. This will include all police reports and frequently breath or blood test results. Also, unless strategy suggests otherwise, your attorney will require the presence of the arresting officer at your hearing. The ALR hearing is a tremendous opportunity to test the strength of the State’s case against you and to look for weaknesses in their case.

At the ALR hearing we will be looking for ways to challenge all aspects of the State’s case in an effort to maintain your right to drive. Things  your attorney will be looking for:

  • Did the police stop your vehicle in violation of the law?
  • Did the police properly perform the HGN test according to their training?
  • Did the police properly administer the other Standardized Field Sobriety Tests in accordance with their training and the standards of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration?
  • Do the recorded police observations concerning alleged intoxication rise to the level of probable cause?
  • Was there a valid refusal of a breath or blood test?
  • Did the police comply with the observation period prior to requesting a breath test?
  • Was discovery provided in a timely manner by the State’s lawyers?
  • In blood test cases, is there proof that shows that the blood test was taken in a sanitary place, and by a qualified person?
  • In a Chapter 524 case, is there admissible, sufficient proof of operation?
  • Did the police provide any erroneous or extra statutory advice concerning the consequences of refusing or submitting to a breath test?

If you win your ALR hearing the civil case is dismissed and you WILL RETAIN YOUR RIGHT TO DRIVE.

Q::

What happens if my license is suspended?

A::

If your license is suspended your attorney at The Collin County Law Group will discuss your options. Most of our clients are eligible to petition the court for an Occupational Driver's License (ODL). This type of license is a restricted driver's license that allows you to drive for work, school, doctors appointments and other important daily living functions.

Q::

Why should I hire an attorney who focuses on DWI defense?

A::

Defending DWI cases properly requires intricate knowledge of the applicable law; the science involved in measuring breath or blood alcohol concentrations, and the procedures used by the police to obtain and evaluate evidence in a DWI case. Most attorneys, even those who practice criminal law, do not focus on DWI defense. An experienced DWI attorney may see defenses that may be overlooked by another attorney.

In selecting a DWI attorney, consider the following:

  • Does the attorney have experience and success trying DWI cases?
  • Can the attorney explain in clear terms the basic operation of the breath testing device known as the Intoxilyzer 5000?
  • Does the attorney remain current on DWI focused continuing legal education?
  • What specific strategy does the attorney plan to advance in your ALR hearing?
  • Does the attorney try blood draw cases to a jury?

Q::

I refused to submit to the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests, am I in trouble?

A::

No, you have the right to refuse to submit to any field sobriety test, including the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test, the Walk and Turn test, or the One Legged Stand test. You also do not have to submit to a preliminary breath test. The police officer may still arrest you and take you to jail. At the jail you may also refuse to submit to a breath or blood test; however, the refusal of the breath or blood test may trigger certain consequences for your driver's license.

Q::

I am guilty, do I still need a lawyer?

A::

The short answer is yes. Even a first offense DWI carries a potential punishment range of up to 180 days in the County Jail and a fine. Even if you are sure you are factually “guilty” you should still seriously consider an experienced DWI lawyer who knows the law, the science, and the ins and outs of the court system.

Your attorney will always force the State’s Attorney’s to turn over ALL of the evidence. The evidence should include, at a minimum, all of the police generated documents, the DVD or video of both the roadside and Intoxilyzer room, and witness statements, the Intoxilyzer breath testing slip or a lab report in blood test cases. Only when all of the evidence is available can you make intelligent decision about how to proceed. Even if you feel you were intoxicated, an experienced DWI attorney should be looking at issues such as:

  • How do you look on video?
  • Was the breath or blood evidence obtained lawfully?
  • Was the breath or blood evidence obtained in such a way that it’s validity may be compromised?
  • Was the stop of your car by police lawful?
  • Did the police officer administer the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests correctly?
  • Does the police report contain internal contradictions, or is it contradicted by the video?
  • Will the State be able to locate and secure the attendance of the witnesses at trial?

So, even if you think you are guilty, do yourself a favor and hire an experienced DWI attorney who can analyze your case for weaknesses that may benefit you.

Q::

Can I get deferred adjudication for a DWI case?

A::

Yes! This is a recent change in the law, but someone charged with DWI can get deferred adjudication in certain circumstances.

Q::

When do I need SR-22 Insurance?

A::

Ordinarily, SR-22 insurance is requred after a DWI conviction or when you are getting an ODL due to a license suspension. License suspensions frequently occur after losing an ALR hearing or after a DWI conviction.

You may obtain SR-22 insurance by contacting your own insurance company or another insurance company. We have worked with several companies that provide this type of insurance and we recommend them for their excellent service to our clients.