If you have been arrested for DWI in Harris County, Texas you are probably feeling tremendous stress, fear, and embarrassment. It is likely you just want the situation to go away, and with good reason as it is mentally traumatic to be labeled a criminal and to have to face a prosecutor and judge who will decide your fate.
Unfortunately, there are people who can not handle the stress of a drunk driving charge and decide to flee the situation and not appear for court, hoping they can avoid any jail time or other penalties. The judicial system has established penalties specifically for these types of situations, and you may be well advised to know what you may face if you run.
Missing Court Dates
Hiring a lawyer with the experience of helping people lessen their penalties and fines should always be the first and most logical step for any one arrested for DWI. People need as much help as they can get in a situation like this and an experienced attorney is money well spent.
Regardless, your attorney will not be able to handle everything without you being present for court dates. If you were arrested for DWI, then you must be present for every single court proceeding, whether you have a lawyer or not unless your attorney gets the court to waive your appearance which is not done with regularity in Harris County, Texas.
If you do not appear for your court date, the judge hearing your case will revoke your bond and issue a warrant for your arrest. It does not matter why you missed court. The good news is that it may be possible to have your case reinstated with or without costs. You may also make a non arrest bond in order to avoid being picked up by local law enforcement. However, the best course of action is to comply with the court's requests and appear in court as instructed.
The Consequences of Failing To Appear Becoming a Fugitive
Most Courts are very serious about punishing DWI offenders. For this reason, missing one or more court dates carry strong consequences to drive home the point that this is no small matter and must be taken seriously. A person can be found in contempt of court and receive a large fine. Alternatively, a high bail may be set, which you cannot afford. In this case, you would stay in jail for as long as it takes your charges to be disposed. Finally, if you are arrested outside of the state that has issued the warrant, then you may face extradition. Extradition can be a very long process that will again leave you incarcerated for an extended period of time until you have been transferred to the warrant issuing state and had a hearing in that state to have that warrant lifted.
The bottom line is that anyone who has been arrested for a DWI should immediately seek out a professional drunk driving attorney. The court system and the ensuing penalties can be overwhelming to a person unfamiliar with the law. Getting a qualified attorney on your side and following their instructions throughout your entire DWI process will put you in the best possible position to reduce your penalties and make sure that you are in compliance with all of the court's requests.
If you need the help of an attorney please call me at (713) 242-1779.