Texas DWI Case Process
In Texas, the entire length of the DWI case process can take anywhere from a couple of months to resolve and possibly up to a couple of years. This time requirement usually is dictated by the county and court where your case has been presented. Usually, counties larger in size usually take a more significant amount of time because most of the courts have very busy and active dockets. Likewise, smaller counties usually have fewer cases to handle, meaning they likely have greater availability to ensure cases result in a very fast and quick resolution to cases.
Regardless, there usually will be at the very minimum a couple of months, before a defendant will have to make the decision on whether to take a plea bargain offer or instead proceed to trial. If an individual does decide to set their case for a trial, it may take anywhere from a couple of weeks, months, and even possibly a few years before an actual trial will occur.
Each DWI case is different in nature and the overall length of the process depends upon a variety of factors, which can include the county where the arrest was made, the law enforcement agency that made the arrest, the specific court in the county where the case is filed, the seriousness of the facts relating to the allegations of the cases (often DWI cases involving accidents take time to investigate), and also whether a chemical test was obtained (blood test cases often need to be sent for analysis to a lab for screening which usually takes longer to process to obtain a result). Regardless, it does not matter whether the case is a 1st-time DWI charge, or a more serious Felony (such as a DWI-3rd or more or a DWI with Child Passenger), the amount of time will vary on a case by case basis. Regardless of this, it is a wise decision to seek the services of an experienced DWI Defense Attorney as soon as potential immediately after an arrest. The sooner your DWI Attorney can begin working and analyzing the facts of your case, usually the most effective defense can be mounted given the facts of the case.
Obviously, the first step to a DWI case in Texas is being arrested. Often individuals charged with a DWI offense are those who may have never been arrested before, and this is the first time they have had to deal with having to navigate through the Texas criminal justice system. The process can be scary, confusing, and frightening for anyone to experience. Aside from this, one should take proactive steps to move forward to try and achieve the best possible outcome. One should employ the legal counsel of an experienced, trained, and skilled Texas DWI Defense attorney as soon as practicable. However, sometimes individuals who may be a bit more frightened at the process and want the relief of knowing they have an attorney for the case can rush the process which can lead to unwise decisions later if you do not adequately go through a process of finding the best legal team for your particular needs. A Texas DWI Defense Attorney should examine from the very outset the circumstances surrounding arrest, to review whether it was it was done in accordance with the law and by following all protocol and requirements.
In order an arrest to be legal and valid, the police officer must have a “reasonable suspicion” to initiate a traffic encounter with a motorist. After the traffic stop is initiated, or after an encounter is made (possibly through the law enforcement “community-caretaking” function), the officer will then need to establish the requisite level of “probable cause” to effectuate a lawful an arrest before charging an individual with a DWI. The officer usually attempts to establish “probable cause” for a DWI arrest to be made through their interpretation of how one does on what is commonly referred to as the “Standardized Field Sobriety Tests” (SFST’s).
Once the investigating officer believes, in their own subjective opinion, that the standard has been met establishing the requisite level of probable cause, they will then usually place the suspect in handcuffs and notify them of the arrest. Sometimes they may ask a few questions either before or after hoping to gather possibly additional pieces of evidence to use against the citizen accused of DWI.
At a certain point, usually, either in the patrol vehicle or once at the police station (most commonly in the Intoxilyzer room), the arresting officer is required to properly read to the arrested individual what is known as the “DIC-24 Statutory Warning”. The Texas Legislature has mandated by statute this warning be read in all DWI cases after an arrest decision has been made. The language of this “DIC” warning is actually a bit confusing with complex legal references to various portions of Texas codes and statutes. As such, for those who have never heard it before it is not uncommon for them to not have a very good idea on what they should do.
In more simplistic terms, the “DIC” warning just generally formally puts an individual on notice of what the possible consequences will be with regards to their driving privileges if they either refuse to give a chemical specimen, or if they voluntarily agree to provide a sample and the resulting blood-alcohol-level (BAC) is above a .08. It basically apprises the arrested individual of the possible punishment which can incur for the for either refusing to give or when they consent and the resulting BAC is deemed above a .08 BAC.
This references the legal ramifications of what may occur solely regarding the driver’s license of the arrested individual and their ability later to operate a motor vehicle with each different option. At the end of the reading of the “DIC” warning, the arresting officer should then verbally question whether the individual will either consent or refuse, to the voluntary taking of a chemical specimen. The answer is usually notated in an appropriate box after the arresting officer determines whether the person either refuses or provides their voluntary consent to the question the “DIC” warning poses, and usually they will request for the arrested individual to further provide evidence of their answer with their signature in a place given on the document. Often the individual chooses not to sign the document, in which case it is usually deemed as a refusal. If the individual agrees to provide a voluntary chemical specimen at the police station, the officer will then proceed to have a breath and/or a blood test administered.
Once arrested, at a certain point the individual will be required to go before a magistrate or a judge who will examine the facts and nature of the alleged offense, and will accordingly set a bail bond amount that is high enough but yet reasonable to ensure the presence of the individual in court. The duties and requirements of the arresting officer and magistrate or judge during this phase of the process defined under Section 15.17 of theTexas Code of Criminal Procedure. The bond amount can vary based on a variety of factors, including whether the defendant a prior criminal record, the severity of the facts of the case (whether it is a misdemeanor or a felony offense), whether the individual has ties to the community, whether they are a citizen of this country, etc. In almost all DWI cases, unless very rare circumstances apply (and in almost every misdemeanor DWI arrest), an individual has the right to have a bond amount set within 48 hours from the arrest.
In some counties, a criminal defense attorney can facilitate this process possibly even quicker. In fact, in some circumstances by proceeding via this avenue it can secure a release from confinement fro jail and then bypass the requirement of having to be seen by a magistrate or a judge. For example, some counties in Texas allow for a criminal defense attorney to file for a “Writ of Habeas Corpus”, or an “AttorneyWrit Bond”, which can help effectuate a much faster release. The filing of an attorney writ bond prevents the individual from being required to see a magistrate or a judge before a bail bond amount is set, which obviously can save a large amount of time and usually will allow for the quickest way to be released from jail. When a bond amount is ultimately set, the individual generally will have several factors to select from when securing the release from jail. If you call The Law Offices of Carl David Ceder, PLLC, at 214.702.CARL (2275), our office can help apprise you of what options are available.
CONDITIONS OF THE BOND
There may be certain requirements ordered by the magistrate or the judge when a bail amount is set as a condition of being released on bond. The most common condition of these related to DWI arrests is possibly being required to install an ignition interlock, or a “deep-lung” device, on your vehicle. Ignition interlock devices usually are mandates as a condition of bond to be placed on vehicles for individuals where there is a prior conviction of DWI (no matter how long ago it may have been), and some courts also require it if an accident was involved with the incident, and/or if there is a BAC level of a .15 or greater. In some circumstances, it is within the discretion of the judge assigned to the court where the case is filed as to whether the ignition interlock device will be required as a condition of bond.
TEXAS DWI FILING OF INFORMATION/INDICTMENT
The District Attorney’s Office where the jurisdiction of the offense occurred will at some point take over the handling of the case from the police agency and begin filing the case formally with the court. If the charge is classified as a Misdemeanor the case will be filed by “information” by the District Attorney’s Office, and if it the charge is once deemed to be a felony offense an “indictment” would have to be sought by a finding of a “Grand Jury” convened to preside over the matter.
- The approximate length of time it usually takes for a misdemeanor charge of DWI to be filed and a court date issued varies based on the county, but usually occurs within 30-60 days if it is one where there is no chemical specimen gathered or if it is one involving a breath test, and usually much longer if it is a DWI offense where a blood sample was obtained.
- The approximate length of time it takes for a felony DWI to be presented to the Grand Jury for a possible indictment will undoubtedly be much longer of a process, and it can take several months before an indictment is issued and a court date set (and sometimes even longer if it needs to be sent to a lab for testing and depending on how long they may need to take to analyze the specimen).
There are a variety of court settings that occur in a criminal case, and many counties utilize different names associated with each. Generally speaking, a DWI case will consist of the following: 1) First Appearance; 2) Announcement Settings; 3) Plea Settings; 4) Pre-Trial Settings; 5) Trial Settings (either by Judge or Jury).
First Appearance – The first setting is traditionally referred to as a”First Appearance.” At this setting, usually the Judge, the court coordinator, and the District Attorney will be informed if the defendant will be represented by legal counsel, and if so, which attorney will be handling the matter. In some counties and in court courts, this appearance on behalf of the Defendant can be waived, so long as they have legal counsel which will be present on their behalf. If you have representation, your attorney may discuss the overall aspects of your case with the prosecutor assigned to the matter. In addition, if it is available, an attorney can make a request for all relevant discovery, including possibly copies of any police reports, access to any media available, such as videos of the arrest or 911 calls, possible lab reports if they are already analyzed, and literally virtually any other relevant information that may be in possession of the State.
Announcement Settings – There are usually at least two or more “Announcement” settings, though some courts refer to these with a different type of nomenclature or in different terms. may refer to it in a different manner. The purpose of the announcement settings is to inform the court, generally speaking, what the overall status of the overall is, such as possibly conveying to the court how certain pieces of evidence have not yet been made available, etc. At a certain point, most courts usually want some type of direction regarding what the intention will be as to whether the case will be one that will result in a contested setting, such as a Motion to Suppress Evidence or a trial, or will result likely in some form of a plea bargain agreement. Depending on which court your case was assigned and in which county, your presence may or may not be required. Your attorney should advise you on whether or not your attendance is mandated.
Plea Settings – If you decide to accept a “plea bargain” offer from the Assistant District Attorney who is handling the case, in lieu of proceeding to trial, your case will generally be set for a “Plea” setting. Likely at one of these settings the defendant may enter into a formal plea bargain and will request the Judge accept the terms contained in such an agreement. However, even if a case is set for a “plea” setting in a county (depending upon the court), the case can still be set for trial. Often these settings are done sometimes to possibly gain more time to analyze the facts of the case. If a plea bargain the agreement offered by the District Attorney is entered, you will then make the necessary arrangements to arrange for whatever punishment is assessed. The possible punishment and penalties associated with any particular Dallas-Forth DWI charge depend upon a variety of factors, including whether the defendant has a prior criminal record, what county the offense is, what court it has been assigned to, which Assistant District Attorney has been assigned to prosecute the case, etc.
Pre-Trial Settings – Often a case can be set for a contested setting before actually proceeding to trial. A possible scenario for this in a DWI case in Texas often is a “Motions to Suppress.” A motion to suppress is a contested hearing where a judge effectively hears evidence by both sides, the determination of which is usually based upon whether or not certain pieces of evidence were obtained in a lawful and legal manner. If they were not, the Judge (if they follow the law) would then rule that the certain piece of evidence in question should be excluded and deemed inadmissible at trial. Example of this which could possibly occur would be where certain pieces of information was obtained by police officers in violation of an individual’s constitutional rights, whether there was a valid reason to initiate the detention of a legal traffic stop, whether there was probable cause sufficient for the officer to make an arrest for DWI, possible legal deficiencies in how items such as blood search warrants were obtained, etc.
In addition, often each court has their own local rule as to whether a pre-trial hearing will be heard either before or during a trial. Some courts prefer pre-trial settings to be conducted at some point prior to a trial date so that any preliminary issues will be ruled upon and decided well in advance to expedite the trial process. Other courts, however, only allow for such pre-trial hearings, such as motions to suppress, if the resting disposition will be one that is “dispositive” in nature. In other words, the Judge wants assurance that doing a pre-trial hearing in addition to a trial is something done for a specific reason and is set and argued for some type of legal meritorious reason. If this is not the case, these courts require them these pre-trial issues to “run with trial” – which means any issues that could or may be argued at a prior pre-trial hearing can be brought forth in trial and argued and decided then. Judges in these courts generally believe it is more efficient to hold their pre-trial hearings in this manner, than having them separate in nature believing that certain issues will be argued multiple times being duplicative in nature. Often, courts require “pre-trial” dates that are more perfunctory in nature. In these courts, pre-trial hearings are just generally like an appearance, but usually, attendance of the Defendant is absolutely mandatory. At these settings, usually, the Court will analyze the jury trial docket for the week the case is set and determined which will be heard by a jury, and which will be postponed until a later date. Often these settings may occur as a little as a week before the actual trial date, and sometimes just days before. At this setting, the judge of the court will also advise whether or not the case will be reached on the trial date. Usually, each side is granted one continuance to ensure fairness. Some courts are more stringent on this requirement and some much laxer. Often certain types of cases take precedence over others, as Judges try not to let cases linger longer than they absolutely necessary usually so they can show they maintain and run an efficient docket. Usually, cases are given priority over others also where the Defendant is currently in custody. Cases where the Defendant is incarcerated and confined awaiting trial generally receive preferential treatment in order to get the case resolved so the person is not just lingering in jail longer than necessary. In the event, a certain case is reached and a jury trial will proceed, the attendance of the Defendant is absolutely and positively mandatory and without exception. If on one of the pre-trial dates after the Judge determines which cases will be heard by a jury during a given week, and all other cases will not be reached at that time, all other cases set for trial will then be reset for another trial date for a date at some point in the future.
TRIAL –I f you decide to plead “Not Guilty” and elect to not accept the plea bargain offer made by the District Attorney’s Office, your case will have no other option than to be resolved at a trial (either where a Judge or a Jury makes the determination during the “guilt-innocence” phase). At a trial, a Judge or a Jury will be tasked with having to decide whether you are “Guilty” or “Not Guilty” based on the evidence heard during the trial process, with the evidence weighed with a burden of proof in a criminal trial of only being legally able to assess guilt if the state proves each and all elements “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt.” If the case is not a “Trial Before the Court” (TBC), which is a trial by judge, the first phase will begin with jury selection, or commonly referred to as voir dire.
Voir Dire is the process used by courts which attempts to ensure the jurors that will hear the evidence will be able to render a true and correct verdict according to the law and evidence presented. During this process, each attorney usually is given an opportunity to speak with the potential jurors (or the jury panel) about their own particular thoughts, believes, and opinions regarding certain relevant issues, most specifically in a trial for a DWI charge if there is anything that may preclude them from being a fair an impartial juror. In a misdemeanor DWI case, the court will bring in about 20-25 people to sit on the jury panel for the voir dire jury selection process, as it is inevitable that some, if not many, will assert viewpoints that are contrary to the law, and thus (usually unbeknownst to them) they are unwittingly striking themselves from being considered as a possible juror for the case. When jury selection is complete, ultimately, six jurors will be seated to preside over the case.
After the jury is sworn in, the next phase of the process is where both sides are provided the opportunity to make opening remarks, or statements, to the jury detailing, more or less, what they can expect the evidence will show as the trial commences. Either attorney at this point may not make any statement that is tantamount to an argument but is only limited to orally conveying to the jury what they expect the evidence will show.
After completion of the opening statements, the State will then begin their presentation of the evidence against the accused, with the intent of doing so by providing sufficient evidence “Beyond A Reasonable Doubt” to try and convince all six jurors to have no reasonable doubt as to the innocence of the accused.
Usually in a Texas DWI trial evidence proffered by the State, at the very least, will generally consist of testimony from the main investigating police officer who made the ultimate decision to arrest. If other officers were present, they may be called also to testify to help confirm and corroborate the testimony presented. If the DWI case is one where a chemical specimen was obtained, then certain experts usually will be called as witnesses to testify.
If the DWI case is one where there is a breath test result, experts for the state typically include the person who operated the breath test machine (known as the “Breath Test Operator”), and also usually the Technical Supervisor who will testify to the maintenance of the specific breath test machine that was used to collect the sample, and who will be the individual who is the only one qualified to establish the proper trial predicate to admit the specific BAC result.
If the DWI case is one where blood was obtained, the State must at the very least call as a witness the police officer who witnessed the blood draw by the nurse, it has the choice, but is not required to call as a witness to testify the nurse, phlebotomist or qualified technician, but it is required to call as a witness the DPS lab analyst who ultimately the blood was delivered and who tested the blood for the result given. Under the confrontation clause of the sixth amendment to the United States Constitution, the specific result of the blood test is not admissible UNLESS the actual analyst (and not another employee or analyst at the lab) who gathered the specific sample and conducted the testing, the blood test result will be not be allowed as evidence in trial.
The state may also call other possible relevant witnesses that they may believe relevant to prove their case and every element of the offense of DWI and the specific elements of the offense as alleged. The state can call as many witnesses as they wish if they are deemed to be relevant according to the rules of evidence and they thusly believe it will help prove their case, including any possible fact witnesses who may have been present and who can testify to information which may be helpful to the jury. such as possible witnesses who witnesses possibly suspicions driving in a vehicle and reported it in for the police to possibly further investigate. In some cases, this may be done because it may be the only way for the state to prove an element such as “operation” of the charge of DWI, as these witnesses sometimes are the only ones who witnessed the defendant actually operating the motor vehicle. Often the state will call witnesses who may have personally observed the Defendant actually operating and driving the vehicle.
After the state rests their case-in-chief, the Defense will then be allowed to present any evidence it wishes to submit to the jury for consideration. Often the Defense simply chooses to rest and not to present anything if they think this is the best strategy. At this time, the Defense will have the opportunity to call any relevant witnesses to provide relevant evidence for the jury to consider, including certain fact witnesses who may have observed the Defendant consuming alcohol the night in question. The Defendant can opt to testify as a witness on their own behalf, or they can elect to exercise to utilize their 5th AmendmentUnited States Constitutional right to not incriminate themselves by providing testimony at trial. If the Defendant elects to not testify, the jury will be instructed not to hold this against them in deliberations. If the Defendant has chosen to utilize any experts in a field related to DWI Defense, they would also be able to testify during this time, given they are properly qualified in the area of expertise where testimony is sought and can include any area of their expertise relevant to the case. Most traditionally authorities in respective fields of Texas DWI Laws where it may be advantageous for the jury to hear their testimony would include experts in Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST’s), experts with knowledge of the Intoxilyzer 5000 and the Intoxilyzer 5000, and/or possible forensic toxicologists in blood test cases.
After both sides present the evidence in their case-in-chief and after both sides rest and close, the Judge will then read the jury charge to the Jurors which gives instructions on the law they are to consider when evaluating whether the evidence, or lack thereof, presented, was properly proven. The Judge will usually instruct them to consider and remember all evidence presented at the trial, and then analyze and compare it to the instructions on the law given in the jury charge, and then deliberate the weight of the evidence to determine if it was presented and sufficiently proven “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt. Often, if jurors are not given explicit instructions ordering them what to do, how they should go about the deliberation process, and what the appropriate law is given specifically relating to how it relates to the facts of a Texas case. Often, if this instruction is not made clear and stated by the Judge to the Jurors before they begin to deliberate, they sometimes are afraid to do anything, including in some cases (in my experience) NOT even discussing the simple and obvious facts of the case. After all required instructions are given, the jury will then be sent to deliberate and analyze all of the facts and evidence presented, tasked with weighing and comparing all the evidence against the law given in the jury charge to determine if the Defendant is “Guilty” or “Not Guilty.”
POSSIBLE PUNISHMENT PHASE
If the Defendant is found “Guilty” of the DWI charge as alleged, the case will then proceed to the punishment phase. During this process, it is allowed under the Rules of Evidence for the state to introduce additional evidence that may not have been relevant in the original “Guilt-Innocence” phase of the trial. Obviously usually these are possible things that make the Defendant appear in a more negative fashion because usually, the State after a conviction will try to argue in sentencing a more stringent punishment at this point than what was offered before the trial. Information that can be used in a detrimental way can allow for certain things to be considered when an appropriate sentence is to be assessed can include any prior criminal history arrests or convictions the Defendant may have on their record, including and especially a previous conviction for a DWI charge and/or any felony criminal conviction.
In addition, many other factors can generally be considered regardless of which entity assesses punishment and can include the state introducing as evidence for the Judge or Jury to considered as an appropriate punishment. Such circumstances could include possible violations of conditions while on bond, including issues with ignition interlock violations and the Defendant blowing into the device breath that had concentrations of alcohol, being arrested for new criminal charges, or failure to report to any pre-trial supervision officer as directed, etc.
In addition, witnesses can now testify during this portion (either in favor of or against the defendant) if their testimony was not relevant during the guilt-innocence phase of the trial, but they may have knowledge of certain information regarding the defendant, such as prior drinking habits, a routine for violence, and other character traits that would not be looked favorably on and could factor into a harsher sentence imposed. The Defendant can usually elect to have either the Judge or Jury make the sentencing recommendation unless certain elements exist with the charge (such as an affirmative finding of a “deadly weapon” if it is a case of Intoxication Assault or Intoxication Manslaughter). This decision has to be made before the process of jury selection begins.
Most individuals decide to have the judge assess the punishment in a DWI case in Texas, and the theory behind this rationale is it usually is must easier to predict how a judge will assess punishment given the facts of the case. However, it can prove very difficult to predict how juries will treat and react to certain things now first introduced in the punishment phase, and can be a large question mark how they will then assess punishment because often they lack the background and experiencing working in the criminal court system and having the knowledge what is usually appropriate given each particular set of facts, especially and including those for offenses of DWI. As a general rule of thumb, I usually tell my clients I do not like the proposition of having the same jury who just rendered a conviction then being asked to immediately turnaround and decide on a fair and just verdict. While they may be able to put whatever was in their thought process aside when they ultimately decided on guilt, it is completely unknown if they will carry over into the sentencing phase anything that may have rubbed them the wrong way during the main portion of the trial.
EXPUNCTION – CLEARING YOUR RECORD
The Defendant has the automatic right to file for an expunction following a “Not Guilty” verdict (or an “acquittal”}. If the appropriate expunction paperwork is filed within 30 days of the verdict pronounced, the expunction must be granted as a matter of law (which means, in effect, the District Attorney’s Office cannot oppose the motion on any grounds and request a hearing on the merits of the petition filed for the expunction, and a Judge would is then required barred from denying the Order and it should be granted once verified an expunction did result (since expunctions are filed in District Courts, often they have to check and verify the ultimate nature of the proceeding of what the disposition was in the County Court). The expunction process requires filing an appropriate expunction petition and order with the District Clerk’s office in the county where the trial for the charge occurred. It is vitally important for all language contained in the paperwork for the expunction petition and the order list with absolute precision and clarity an assortment of items, including providing for the proper legal grounds for what the expunction is based upon. Once the expunction Order is signed and granted by a Judge, it will be sent to all relevant law enforcement agencies (and all other appropriate entities) mandating the complete removal of all information related to the arrest.
As well, it must list all relevant entities who may have a record of the arrest for the charge and arrest for the DWI Offense. An experienced Texas Expunction Attorney should know the proper mechanisms to include in the paperwork when filed, and how specific and absolutely precise the wording of the contents therein must be. This absolutely must be done so all relevant entities receive a copy of the signed expunction Order. The Order should specifically state how under Texas Law any entity who defies such an order after it has been granted what remedies are available to ensure they are on proper notice. Recently, the Texas legislature made it an actual punishable offense under Section 109.005 the Business and Commerce Code for any entity to retain records pertaining to an expunged offense if they have knowledge of the existence of a signed expunction Order. It is punishable with a fine up to $500 for each instance they are not in compliance, with the additional possibility if the individual prevails in an action brought under this section is also entitled to recover court costs and reasonable attorney’s fees. The key to being able to effectually ensure all of these requirements and are carried out with effectiveness is by utilizing a Texas Expunction Attorney with the resources, experience, and knowledge and who has devoted countless hours studying and perfecting ways to ensure an individual benefits under Texas Law all of what is required so it has its full and intended effect.
Section 109.005 of the Texas Business and Commerce Code – Publication of Certain Criminal Record Information Prohibited; Civil Liability:
(a) A business entity may not publish any criminal record information in the business entity’s possession with respect to which the business entity has knowledge or has received notice that: (1) an order of expunction has been issued under Article 55.02, Code of Criminal Procedure; or (2) an order of nondisclosure of criminal history record information has been issued under Subchapter E-1, Chapter 411, Government Code.
(a-1) Except as provided by Section 109.0045(e), a business entity may not publish any information with respect to which the business entity has knowledge or has received notice that the information is confidential juvenile record information or confidential criminal record information of a child.
(b) A business entity that publishes information in violation of this section is liable to the individual who is the subject of the information in an amount not to exceed $500 for each separate violation and, in the case of a continuing violation, an amount not to exceed $500 for each subsequent day on which the violation occurs.
(c) In an action brought under this section, the court may grant injunctive relief to prevent or restrain a violation of this section.
(d) An individual who prevails in an action brought under this section is also entitled to recover court costs and reasonable attorney’s fees.
Why Would You Need a Texas Criminal Defense Attorney?
The job of criminal defense attorneys is to represent those charged with crimes in court. Crimes can range in severity from a misdemeanor to a felony. Punishment can range from a minor fine or community service to years in prison or even death. Representation during criminal proceedings is critical for those charged with committing a crime. In fact, the U.S. Constitution promises that all citizens charged with a crime will be provided representation. If you have retained the services of a criminal law lawyer or are seeking to retain one, you should know what services your attorney may be able to perform.
Why are Criminal Defense Attorneys Important?
Criminal law is a complex body of both state and federal legislation and can be considered a very specific niche area of the law, even within other criminal offenses charges. Criminal defense attorneys can assist the individual accused on how best to properly navigate the criminal justice process, including with all pretrial and preliminary matters, evaluating the evidence the state has to be used in order to obtain a conviction, and also at trial and other dispositive settings.
Contact Attorney Carl David Ceder – Dallas & Collin County DWI Attorney
Some individuals choose to employ legal counsel as quickly as possible, believing this will somehow help the overall outcome of their case. This can result in a huge mistake, in the long run, should you choose the wrong attorney when in haste just to employ just any attorney, and often nothing could be further from the truth. While one shouldn’t take an overabundance of time when choosing which Texas DWI Attorney you decide to engage in representation with, you should not be in a hurry, especially believing you must make a decision mere days after the arrest has occurred, to make your final decision on proper legal counsel. Carl and his legal team of professionals will help guide and advise you with any possible time-sensitive matters that can easily be done by just doing a few simple things. Contact The Ceder Law Firm and a representative will send you all pertinent details relating to any DWI arrest charge anywhere in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.
Some attorneys use this as a ploy of making you feel you need to hire an attorney absolutely immediately and do this in order to pressure individuals into thinking they must hire an attorney quickly and in the fastest manner possible. Some send in an ALR request on their own letterhead, trying to make it seem as if the person is thereby locked into hiring the attorney for the entire DWI case. Carl will make the promise of NEVER doing anything close to this, as he does not view himself or the way he conducts his office like they are in the business high-pressured sales, and actually prefers for people to speak to a couple of attorneys to seek advice as to who they feel most comfortable with overall.
Carl advises this because he is confident in the legal services he and his firm provide compared to some other lawyers in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, but also because he knows how much experience he has accrued over the years of his experience, and the skills and credentials he has compiled through hard work, dedication, and commitment to his craft. Carl David Ceder is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, which less than 1% of attorneys in Texas have achieved overall (even less among those who have deliberately chosen to represent individuals and not be employed as prosecutors. Carl has also earned the American Chemical Society-Chemistry and the Law (ACS-CHAL) “Forensic-Lawyer” Scientist Designation. This designation is sponsored by ACS-CHAL and is approved for lawyers through Axion Analytical Labs in Chicago, IL. The ACS-CHAL Forensic Lawyer-Scientist Designation to lawyers who have met the rigorous criteria and have demonstrated their knowledge of forensic science. The ACS-CHAL designation of Forensic-Lawyer Scientist is the highest form of scientific recognition available to lawyers. Attorney Carl David Ceder has been recognized by the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Association (TCDLA) with the distinguished “DWI Trial Lawyer” Award, which recognizes those who exhibit a high standard to the practice of DWI Defense and who exhibit a strong devotion to developing the skill while showing an exceptionally standard of legal excellence.
Carl is well aware that many lawyers and law firms employ the same tactics as many people who work in sales. They make you feel in a rush and in a haste in employing legal counsel, and take advantage of how frightened and scared people are by making them feel they are going to miss something unless they hire a lawyer immediately. As stated above, clients have to my office and have indicated an ALR request was faxed to DPS, but on another attorney or law firm’s own letterhead, and so they believe (and possible are led to believe) that they must now employ their legal service. Carl will make the promise of NEVER doing anything close to this, as he does not view himself or the way he conducts his office like they are in the business high-pressured sales, and actually prefers for people to speak to a couple of attorneys to seek advice as to who they feel most comfortable with overall.
This is an important decision, do not rush it. Just like anything else in life that is a major purchase or decision, people usually spend time weighing the pros and cons analyzing the benefits related to each choice before making a final decision. The same is true when hiring any criminal defense attorney, especially one that will handle any charge of DWI. DWI Defense is a complex area of the law and is very much a niche practice – even within the practice of criminal defense. Not many attorneys in Texas have the ability to achieve success and have the requisite knowledge of how to do all that is necessary and required to achieve to the best and most effective possible outcome based on the facts of any particular case. They are not able to do this, simply put, because they have not devoted the proper the time and resources necessary to adequately and effectively contest charges of DWI.
A Texas DWI Defense Attorney
Texas DWI Defense Attorney Carl David Ceder can also help convince a court to drop charges against you based on insufficient evidence or improper procedure for police protocol. For example, in many instances, a police officer must have probable cause to make a proper and legally valid arrest. Probable cause can be defined as “a compelling reason to believe that you may have committed a crime.” A Texas Board Certified Texas DWI Defense Attorney has proven to have a nuanced understanding of probable cause as it is defined under the Law, and may be present certain challenges to the police officers explanation in court. If the attorney can effectively argue that the arresting police officer may not have had probable cause to investigate the alleged crime scene and/or make an arrest, charges against you very likely would be dismissed, dropped, or reduced without the necessity of a trial.
In addition, you may have been detained and confined after being arrested for a criminal offense pending trial of the offense. If the bail amount is too high, you may not be able to post the amount so you can be released on bond during the criminal process. However, if you can find a way to come up with an amount sufficient to post the proper amount of bail you can be released, avoiding possible lengthy confinement. If the bond amount is indeed too high and may be considered excessive, a Texas DWI Defense Attorney can attempt to persuade the Judge of the court to reduce your bail by filing a “Bond Reduction.”
If you feel you are likely to be ultimately convicted of the criminal offense of DWI, you may want to try to enter into a plea bargain agreement with the prosecution. A plea bargain is a negotiated agreement for a punishment that is acceptable to all parties involves, in some scenarios, can result in the reduction of a charge to a possible lesser offense. In order to achieve the best outcome for your criminal case it is imperative that you have an effective, skilled, and professional Texas DWI Attorney to best represent you during plea negotiations to best increase your chances and odds of receiving the best possible income, including a possible a reduced sentence, or alternate punishments specific to differing counties..
Texas DWI Attorney Services – Trial Lawyer
Texas DWI Attorneys can also assist you during the criminal portion of a trial, whether it is during the “guilt-innocense” phase or in sentencing. A skilled and trained Texas DWI Attorney can analyze all possible aspects of your case, including identifying any strengths and weaknesses related to the specific facts. In addition, it is a wise practice for both you and your attorney to collaborate together to help develop the best defense strategy available.
Your Texas DWI Attorney can also discuss the pros and cons associated with various options of your case, including entering into a plea bargain agreement or instead opting to proceed with a trial. A Board Certified Texas Criminal Defense Attorney can also help you understand the steps and procedure inherent with the entire criminal process, including all steps necessary to helping you put yourself in the best chance for a successful outcome. A skilled attorney experienced with conducting a variety of jury trials can effectively conduct the process known as voir dire (or jury selection), provide an effective opening statement so the jury possibly may perceive the entire case when presented as evidence by the State in the manner you outlined, and skillful, yet effective and smooth cross-examination of all relevant witnesses called by the State to testify. In the event a trial does result in the outcome you desire, a Board Certified Texas Criminal Defense Attorney can also assist with explaining the proper procedures with the appeals and what will happen during the appellate process. If you have further questions about what a criminal defense attorney can do for you, schedule a consultation with one. It is the job of criminal defense attorneys to represent those charged with crimes in court. Crimes can range in severity from a misdemeanor to a felony. Punishment can range from a minor fine or community service to years in prison or even death.
Regardless of the circumstance related to your DWI arrest, The Law Offices of Carl David Ceder, PLLC, can help explain the entire case process wherever your charge is filed. Carl has successfully defended DWI cases all over the State of Texas, with a strong track record of success. Carl has personally conducted DWI jury trials in over 10 different counties in the State of Texas. Carl and his staff will help protect your criminal record and your license to drive. Please call 214.702.CARL (2275) or 460.2000.DWI(394) to obtain further information or visit our other websites at:
Contact The Ceder Law Firm Dallas-Fort Worth Criminal Law FirmcToday
Contact Attorney Carl David Cedetoday for assistance at 214.702.CARL(2275) or at 469.2000.DWI(394) to speak with highly trained and experienced Texas DWI Defense Attorney dedicated to defending against every type of DWI charge, regardless of how it may be classified as. Attorney Carl David Ceder is a knowledgeable Texas DWI lawyer who will contest the allegations against you in a professional manner, and your case will be handled by a highly experienced and trained DWI Defense attorney. Call The Law Offices of Carl David Ceder to speak with a highly trained, skilled, and knowledgeable Texas DWI Defense Attorney.
We serve clients throughout Texas including in all of the following areas of Collin County including Allen, Frisco, McKinney, Murphy, Plano, Princeton, Anna, Blue Ridge, Celina, Dallas, Fairview, Farmersville, Frisco, McKinney, Melissa, Murphy, Nevada, Prosper, Richardson, Royse City, Sachse, Van Alstyne, and Wylie; all of the following areas of Dallas County including Carrollton, Dallas, Garland, and Irving, all of the following areas of Denton County including Argyle, Aubrey, Carrollton, Celina, Coppell, Dallas, Denton, Flower Mound, Frisco, Grapevine, Hebron, Highland Village, Justin, Lewisville, Little Elm, Northlake, Pilot Point, Prosper, Roanoke; all of the following areas of Tarrant County including Arlington, Azle, Bedford, Colleyville, Crowley, Euless, Flower Mound, Fort Worth, Grapevine, Grand Prairie, Haltom City, Hurst, Keller, Southlake, Trophy Club, Westlake, and including all of the following areas of Rockwall County including Dallas, Fate, Heath, Rockwall, Rowlett, Royse City, and Wylie. We offer all potential clients free initial consultations and are available to discuss your case 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact us today for assistance at 214.702.CARL(2275) or at 469.2000.DWI(394).