If you’ve been arrested for DWI in San Antonio, one thing you’re probably concerned about is how long your case is going to last. The longer the case lasts, the more times you’ll have to show up to court. That means you’ll have to take off work or find childcare, pay for parking, and sit through what probably feels like a morning that’s been wasted.
If you really want your case to end as quickly as possible, you can probably take an offer at the first setting if you gave a breath test, but that’s not a great idea. If your case involves a blood test, the DA’s office won’t make an offer before receiving the blood results back and they won’t be back for 6-8 weeks at the earliest.
A misdemeanor DWI case usually takes between 4-6 months to resolve if you’re going to make a deal with the DA’s office. If it’s a case that’s going to trial, it frequently lasts closer to a year. On a felony, it’s closer to 6-8 months to work out a deal and a year and a half or more to take to trial. A dismissal can happen at any time during the case. There are some reasons that would lead to a case being resolves sooner or stretching a case out, but most cases can be resolved in this time.
DWI cases are complicated cases. There are two big pieces of evidence that we may not get right away.
The first is the video. The officer made his determination that you were drunk at at least partly because of field sobriety tests that he had you perform. The tests are standardized and require the officer to follow very specific rules if the result is going to be valid. The video will show if the officer gave the tests correctly and will also show if they were scored correctly. For example, one of the tests, the walk and turn, requires that you take heal to toe steps. I’ve heard several officers say that if there is any space between your heal and your toe, they mark it as an indication that you are intoxicated. The manual that officers receive when they go through training actually allows for up to a half inch between your feet before an officer can count off for it.
In Bexar County, we usually get video within the first month, but somestimes it takes longer to get any video. Even if we do get some videos, it’s common for there to be other officers at the scene and we may not have video from them.
The other main piece of evidence is the blood or breath test results. A breath test will have results immediately, but blood tests take longer to receive. Regardless of which test was done, there’s information that we have to request. On a blood test, there are a lot of steps that happen between the time the blood is taken from your arm and someone at the lab coming up with a BAC number. It’s important to review this information to make sure that the lab followed the proper procedures when they were testing your blood.
On a breath test, we want to make sure to look at the records from the breath test machine that was used to make sure that it was being properly maintained and was working like it should.