DWI Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is My First Court Date My Trial?
No No No. I get this question a lot. The first court date the judge may hear the probable cause in the case if we choose to do so. I am getting some evidence from the State and we will reset for a future date.
When will my ALR happen and do I need to attend?
It depends. If requested timely, ALR hearings usually get a first setting about two months after the request date. It is often continued another 2 months in many instances so may not occur until 5 months after your arrest. In 99% of ALR hearings I do not have the client attend. There are strategic considerations behind this. But you are in no way required to attend.
If I have to get an interlock as a bond condition, do I get credit for this if I go on probation or PTI?
Unfortunately, no. Bond conditions are entirely different and even if you were good and had no violations during your bond period, this has no effect on probation or PTI. However, if you were required to have one on bond with no violations and you were charged with a Class B DWI (Below .15 or Drug DWI) then it will help us get the interlock removed after 6 months (or whatever is half way) when we approach the judge.
Can I drink or do drugs on bond as long as I do not drive?
Absolutely NOT. While on bond you can be tested at any point, completely random. It is a condition of everyone’s bond that no alcohol/drugs will be consumed. If you do violate, the judge will likely revoke your bond and put you in jail. You will have to get a new bond posted and will owe a heck of a lot more money to the bondsman.
May I travel out of the State of out of the Country while on bond?
This is up to pre-trial services and/or the judge only. Out of the State travel is usually doable if not for too long and you have no bond violations. Out of country is almost always a no.
On my court date will you be there right at docket call? What do I do if you are not there?
This is probably one of the first questions I always get. On the average day I will have 3 to 5 cases set and I can't possibly be at 5 places at once. I will always strive to get you out of court as soon as possible but sometimes you may have to wait an hour or two. This is particularly true if I am in trial. I will always give you a heads up if that is the case. All you need to do is answer docket and tell them I am your attorney. They will not call you up and speak to you. If they do tell the Court that you would not like to speak with the judge or prosecutor without your lawyer present.
I am running late to court. Now What?
Most judges consider this to be a Cardinal Sin. Please never be late. If your docket is at 830, plan like it starts at 730. Traffic is horrendous and security lines are always backed up. If you are running late, text me and let me know. You also need to call the court coordinator personally and let them know.
How Long will my case go on for?
In Harris County cases take 4 to 8 months on average. Montgomery and Galveston are similar. All other counties take time. Fort Bend County may take 1 to 3 years depending on our situation. Please keep in mind it takes a long time, and do not feel pressure to plea to “get it over with” because these things stick with you for life. If your case is going to trial expect it will take longer.
Will My Case Go To Trial?
Not every case is meant for trial. This is something that must be evaluated by both you and myself. Sometimes trial provides little to no risk in outcome if it does not go our way. Sometimes, in particular courts, taking it to trial and losing means your punishment may be a lot worse. Some cases are just not good for trial at all, and a plea will be recommended to avoid certain facts coming to light which could cause things to go worse for you.
I Have a Question and It’s Not Business Hours, What Can I Do?
Every client of mine has my personal cell number (346) 206-8609 and may reacch me directly anytime day or night.
Will I Only Deal With You?
If it comes to a legal decision, then you will deal with me. If a situation arises where that is not the case, I will let you know.
Can The Judge Dismiss My Case? Did You File a Motion to Dismiss?
You’ve been watching too much Law & Order. It does not work this way. The Judge will generally know little about your case and we primarily deal with the prosecutor. There is no filing a motion to dismiss. Either the state dismisses, we go to trial, or a deal is taken.
I Have Never Been In Trouble Before. Will My Case Be Dismissed?
It does not work this way. Most DWI Cases involve first time offenders. Being a good person unfortunately has nothing to do with your case. If your case is to be dismissed, it is based on the merit of the case.
Can I Own a Gun While On Bond?
Yes, specifically told so by me.
If I Am Convicted Can I Get This Expunged Later?
No. It also does not “fall off” your record. You could be eligible for a non-disclosure later, but that will depend on a few things. Most importantly you had to be convicted of a Class B (Below .15), have no accident involving another person, and not have any subsequent charges.
What Time Should I Plan to Get to Court?
Plan and account for an hour to an hour and a half before your scheduled time. This way you can have time to account for traffic, parking, and security. Remember that it costs money to park downtown if your case is in Harris County.
Dress Code for Court?
I always prefer a suit and tie or button down and slacks. For females, something professional looking. However, there is a strict rule of no shorts, no midriff, and shirts always tucked in for men. Nothing makes my life easier than when you get called to the bench and you are dressed nicely for court. Judge will always make a comment to me while you are there or shortly after to thank you for dressing appropriately.
Can I Avoid an Interlock if the Court Ordered Me to Have One Pre-trial?
No. It’s a court order. Usually the only way is if you don’t have a vehicle, you sign a document saying you wont drive, and then you get a SCRAM which is about 500 bucks a month, or you get a portable device which is about 150 a month but requires you to blow in it multiple times a day within certain time windows and if you don’t, the court can revoke your bond.