A preliminary DWI hearing is essentially a trial before the trial. At this hearing, a judge will determine whether the evidence against you is enough to make you stand trial. To make their decision, a judge will use the “probable cause” legal standard to evaluate if the evidence would convince a reasonable jury that you have committed the DWI offense. How fast this process takes depends on the details of your case.
The judge will listen to arguments made by the prosecution and those made by the defendant before making their decision. The prosecution can call upon witness testimony and even introduce physical evidence to help them convince the judge that they have a strong case against you. The defense typically cross examines any witnesses called by the prosecution and will call into question the evidence that has been presented against them.
Many DWI cases never reach the preliminary hearing phase. This is because people who are accused of DWI tend to plead guilty because they think that evidence against them is too strong to defend against. This is especially true when a defendant has submitted to an officer conducted breath or blood test.
At your hearing, you might be given an offer by the prosecution to resolve your case more quickly. However, you should have an experienced attorney review any offers you receive. In fact, you should have an attorney by your side throughout your entire DWI hearing. Although you can go through this process alone, having strong legal representation can improve your chances of successfully fighting against the charges you are being accused of.
Have you or a loved one been arrested for DWI? Need assistance preparing for your DWI hearing? Contact our College Station DWI attorneys to find out how we can help with your case today.