1.) My _______ has been arrested. I have no idea what to do next and I am very upset. Please help!
An arrest can be an upsetting situation. It is important to get your family member out on bond and set up with an attorney. If the person has little to no criminal history, having an attorney approach a judge with a personal recognizance (“PR”) bond, may be an option. Others may qualify for a PR bond without the need for an attorney. If you are unsure, please call for a free consultation.
2.) How long does it take to process through Central Booking at the jail?
Once somebody is arrested, they are taken to by the police officer to be processed at Central Booking. The officer turns in a Probable Cause "PC" Affidavit which articulates the alleged justification for the arrest. Later, the inmate will see a Judge for magistration where they will be admonished of their rights and conveyed proper warnings. After that, Pretriaacl Services will conduct an interview to see if they qualify for a personal bond on their own recognizance. This process can be lengthy. Magistration alone can take up to 48 hours. Larger counties have 24 hour magistrates on duty, in order to speed up the process. At a minimum, this process may take a few hours, but more than likely will involve an overnight stay.
3.) Is there anything I do to speed up this process?
There are a couple things that can be done to try to speed up the process. An attorney can interview a person in custody directly, personally hand the bond to a judge, and waive magistration on a PC Affidavit (once it is turned in). That can significantly reduce the amount of time the process can take. This is called a "Jail Release.” My office may be contacted 24/7 to work on a jail release (512) 387-0019.
4.) Will my family members find out about my arrest? What about my boss or co-workers?
Arrests are a matter of public record, so if your family or coworkers search for you, they may discover your arrest. However, unless you are under a professional or contractual requirement to disclose, you do not need to share this information. It is best to not openly discuss pending legal matters with family or co-workers. Remember, you are innocent until proven guilty.
5.) What is the difference between a DWI and a DUI in Texas?
DWI stands for Driving While Intoxicated. "Intoxicated" means the loss of normal use of mental or physical faculties due to the introduction of alcohol, drugs or a combination, OR a BAC of .08 or greater.
DUI stands for Driving Under the Influence. DUI in Texas is a class C misdemeanor and only applies to minors, as driving under the influence of any amount of alcohol is unlawful. (*Minors can still be charged with DWI if the amount of alcohol consumed rises to the level of intoxication.)
For a more detailed explanation of Texas DWI law, please see Texas Penal Code §49.04 to review the statutory elements of a DWI, and §49.01(2) to review the definition of “Intoxicated.”
6.) How long should I prepare for my case to take in court?
The average case takes about a year from arrest to completion. However, some cases may be resolved more promptly, depending on the circumstances.
7.) Are you willing to set up a payment plan?
Payment plans are available in most cases.