DWI Court Appearances

The Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex is a hotbed for drunk driving arrests. In 2018, about [NUMBER] people were arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI). If you’ve been arrested for DWI, you’re far from alone.

A conviction for DWI carries penalties that can carry far beyond your trial and sentencing. Your license will be suspended, you’ll have to pay a substantial fine, and you could even spend time in jail. If you’re a repeat offender, the penalties increase in severity. It’s a good idea to consult with an experienced DWI defense attorney about your case.

DFW Defense Attorney Discusses DWI Court Appearances

If you’re new to the legal system, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the hoops you have to jump through. The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy has handled thousands of cases since 2002 in DFW, including Collin, Denton, Dallas, and Tarrant County courts. We’re right at home in North Texas courts. Our experienced attorneys will keep you apprised of your options to help you make informed decisions every step of the way.

We offer a free consultation to evaluate your case. Contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today to get started on your defense.


Overview of DWI Court Appearances in Dallas-Fort Worth


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What Happens After a DWI Arrest?

Immediately following your DWI arrest, you’ll be taken to jail for booking and processing. Within 48 hours of your arrest, you should be brought before a magistrate judge to have your bond set. You will be released from jail once your bail bond has been paid.

Next, you’ll want to request an administrative license revocation hearing (ALR) within 15 days of your arrest. Requesting this hearing will allow you to continue driving until the date of the hearing. Your license will remain suspended if you do not prevail at the hearing, but you may still qualify to apply for an occupational license. With this license, you would be able to drive to work, school-related functions, and to perform routine household chores.

After that, you’ll need to be ready to attend several different hearings. We will briefly review what to expect at these hearings below.


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First Appearance for DWI

As the name suggests, this will be your first appearance in court following your arrest. This hearing is generally set to occur within about 60 days of your arrest.

This hearing will be your attorney’s first chance to talk to the prosecution and begin gathering evidence, such as video from the dash cam or any relevant police reports. You need to appear at this hearing, but your lawyer will be doing most of the work for you.


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Announcement Settings

When you return to court, you will be attending the announcement settings. The purpose of this hearing is for the defendant to announce whether they are ready to enter a plea or set the case for trial.

Different courts have different attendance requirements for these settings. Your attorney can advise you if you need to appear at the announcement settings.


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Plea Setting

If, after consulting with your attorney, you decide to take a plea deal, you will plead guilty and accept the terms of the district attorney’s agreement at the plea setting.

Before agreeing to a plea deal, your attorney will review all of your evidence to make sure there are no holes in the prosecution’s case. The goal is to dismiss your charges and avoid having to plead guilty or take the case to trial. But if dismissal is not possible, accepting a plea deal may be your next best option.


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Trial

If you refuse the district attorney’s plea agreement, you will plead not guilty. Your case will then be set for trial.

Taking a case to trial can be an expensive undertaking, but if you’re found guilty you may be handed down a lighter sentence than the district attorney offered you through the plea bargain agreement.

Deciding whether you wish to take the case to trial is a difficult choice to make. A qualified defense attorney will help you break down your choice to help you decide. In the end, though, you will be the one with the final say over whether to go to trial.


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Additional Resources

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) | Texas DOT – The Texas Department of Transportation is a state government agency responsible for overseeing all aspects of transportation in Texas. Visit this website to view a summary of Texas DWI laws and the penalties associated with violating them.

How does Texas’ justice system work? | Dallas Morning News – The Dallas Morning News has covered news in Dallas and the surrounding metroplex since 1885. Visit this link to read an article that offers a general overview of what to expect between your arrest and trial dates.


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Defense Lawyer for DWI Court Appearances in Dallas-Fort Worth

The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy has defended thousands of criminal cases since it was established in 2002. Attorney Richard McConathy has dedicated much of his practice to representing clients charged with driving while intoxicated.

Defending yourself against criminal charges is difficult and risky. An attorney with years of experience in the Denton, Dallas, Collin, and Tarrant County court systems knows how to navigate the hidden political layer that’s unique to each county. Don’t gamble when your future is on the line. You need an attorney you can trust to fight for the best possible outcome.

Contact the experienced DWI attorneys at the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today to schedule a free consultation.


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