This is the worst night of your life. You were out with friends you haven’t seen in years or you were at a work function and everyone was having a great time. On your way home you are stopped by the police. You’re not intoxicated but you misjudged by not calling a cab. You have never been arrested and now you’re thinking how am I going to explain this to my boss, my parents, my spouse, my kids, my friends. What do you do after you are released from jail on your DWI? Personal Bond is an option with a hired attorney. It is important to know what to do after you are released.
An arrest can be traumatic. The legal implications are serious. But you can be proactive and manage this situation. Below are some tips on what to do after you have been released from jail on your DWI in Travis County, Texas.
- BONDING OUT OF JAIL
Travis County Pretrial Services will interview you to see if you are eligible for release on Personal Bond. A Personal Bond is your promise to appear in court at a specified time. Fail to show up and a warrant will issue for your arrest. The interview process can be slow. You must wait for the officer to turn in the paperwork and wait again to be interviewed. There are many defendants waiting to be interviewed. There is one judge who reviews all the arrests that night. If you cannot provide local contacts, employment history, or a stable address you may not get a Personal Bond. Having an attorney can often streamline the process and get your release paperwork into the judge’s hands faster. You have a better chance of release with an attorney because you have demonstrated responsibility and will likely show up for court. After you are released from jail on your DWI you will want to make arrangements to hire an attorney.
Upon being released from jail on your DWI, you will be given a copy of your Personal Bond, the Statutory Warnings, Notice of Suspension and Temporary Driving Permit. Keep these safe and do not lose them.
- GET CLEANED UP. TAKE A MOMENT TO REGROUP.
After the arrest go home, take a shower, and get some sleep. Once you are ready, you will need to work on the next steps for resolving your case.
- GET YOUR CAR OUT OF IMPOUND.
- You need to find your vehicle. It is probably at Southside Towing which has a contract with the City of Austin. Southside Towing is located at 8200 South Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas 78748, Phone: (512) 441-7094. If they do not have your car, you can use autoreturn.com: https://www.autoreturn.com/austin-tx/find-vehicle/ or call 512-287-6033. This website will help you locate your vehicle. You can also call the City of Austin for help at (512) 974-8110.
- A wrecker company is allowed to charge a $150 towing fee, $20 impound fee, and $20 storage fee once your vehicle enters their lot. The total with tax comes to about $193. You may pay by cash or debit/credit card. They will charge a $20 storage fee each additional day the vehicle is held and can charge a $50 administrative fee if they mail out certified notification letters to the registered owner. It is important to remove your vehicle from the impound as soon as possible to avoid costly fees.
- The officer that arrested you probably seized your driver’s license. You cannot get your car back from the tow company unless you bring valid Photo ID and can prove you own the vehicle. Make sure you bring a picture ID and proof of ownership with you before you go to the impound lot. If you do not have an alternate photo ID you will need to bring someone with you who has a photo ID and can fill out an affidavit using the following form: Removal and/or Inspection of a Motor Vehicle at a VSF. For the form, go to: https://www.tdlr.texas.gov/towing/forms/VSF011.pdf. A mobile notary may charge you a fee so think about going to a bank or other source for the notary.
- THE ADMINISTRATIVE LICENSE REVOCATION HEARING
If you refuse or fail the breath test, DPS will attempt to suspend your driver’s license for a period of time set by statute. You have 15 days from the date you receive Notice of Suspension to ask for an Administrative License Revocation (“ALR”) hearing to prevent the suspension of your driver’s license. While DPS allows you to do this by phone, it is best to do so by fax to you have a printed confirmation page showing when the request was made. Your lawyer will do this for you within the 15 day period.
- REPLACE YOUR DRIVER’S LICENSE
Go to your nearest Texas Department of Public Safety office and ask for a replacement driver’s license. There is a minimal charge to do this.
- HIRE AN ATTORNEY
After your release from jail on a DWI, hire an attorney who handles DWI cases. You should feel comfortable knowing your lawyer takes DWI cases to trial and appeals cases to the Texas appellate courts. Look for a lawyer who specializes in criminal law and regularly speaks at seminars. When you visit with a lawyer, bring your Personal Bond form and any other paperwork given to you by the jail. The Personal Bond has your court date and other important conditions for your release. Your attorney will take care of your first court dates so that you don’t need to miss work. Our office will do a thorough interview with you. We will discuss the law and the facts that apply in your case as well as any possible defenses. We will discuss recommendations that will help improve your chances for a more favorable outcome. We will request the ALR Hearing for you. We will treat you with respect and strive to get you the best possible results.