Chances are, you will only spend a few hours in jail after an arrest for driving while intoxicated (DWI). However, how long you stay in jail after a DWI arrest in Texas depends on several different factors.
(This differs from your jail time for a DWI conviction.)
Factors That Determine Your Jail Stay
Following a drunk driving arrest in Texas, police officers will take you to the local station or jail for processing. Then, you will likely go into holding at the local facility until your initial hearing. They could transfer you to the county jail if:
- It takes longer than a few hours for your initial court appearance
- The judge decides not to release you on bail
- You cannot bond out of jail immediately
Your Arrest, Testing, and Waiting on Your Initial Court Appearance
While you may have already completed field sobriety testing and roadside breath testing, officers will likely ask you to submit a sample of your breath or blood for official testing. If you agree, this will take place after you arrive at the local facility.
A trained technician should complete this testing. If you refuse to submit to sample, the police may ask a magistrate for a search warrant and force you to allow them to draw blood for testing.
Once the police process your arrest, search you, and collect the samples they need, they will place you in a holding cell or another area at the local jail to wait on your initial court appearance.
What to Expect During Your Initial Court Appearance
The law guarantees you an initial court appearance before a magistrate within 48 hours of your arrest. Often, this happens much sooner. You will likely appear before the judge in a courtroom at the local jail or perhaps through a closed-circuit connection on a television or computer screen.
During this initial court appearance, the judge will:
- Tell you about your rights; and
- Review the probable cause for your stop and arrest; and
- Explain the charges you face; and
- Set bail in your case
In some cases, the judge may find there was no probable cause for your stop or arrest, and you may get to go home without facing charges. In most cases, however, the judge will agree there was probable cause to stop and arrest you. When this happens, the judge will then set your bail.
In general, most people who face their first DWI offense and have no aggravating circumstances or additional charges get bail. Many counties have a “schedule” they use for setting bail for offenders based on the offense and other factors. In some cases, bail may be significant. This could include:
- If you caused an accident; or
- If you have three or more previous offenses; or
- If you already bonded out for another offense; or
- If you are on probation for another offense
How Loved Ones Can Help Following a DWI Arrest in Texas
In many cases, the police will allow you to call a friend or family member before they take you in. Alternatively, you should be able to contact someone from the police station or jail. If you are a loved one who receives this call, you can take action to get your loved one out of jail sooner.
First, call a Texas DWI defense attorney. We can walk you through the process of posting bail. In addition, we can be there for your loved one during their initial court appearance, reducing their stress and ensuring they do not have to go through this alone.
As soon as the judge sets bail for your loved one, you can be at the jail ready to pay it or work with a bondsman to make the bail. Once you pay to bond your loved one out of jail, they will release them, and you can take them home.
Talk to a Texas DWI Defense Attorney About Your Arrest Today
In general, you should only have to spend a few hours in custody following a Texas DWI arrest. If there is no bail offered, or if your family cannot make bail, you may spend longer behind bars.
If the police arrested you or a loved one on suspicion of DWI in Texas, reach out to the team from Eddington Worley today by calling 855-600-6695. We can help you get your loved one out of jail as soon as possible and build a strong defense in their case.