Below are the answers to frequently asked questions. As always, please don’t hesitate to call our office (512) 472-1580 and ask to speak with an attorney or staff member if you have a question that you don’t see addressed below.

How do I find out if my friend or loved one is in jail?

If you are trying to get a friend or loved one out of jail in Austin or Travis County, we can assist you in locating that person via an inmate search, then by obtaining a personal bond with the court so that person may be released. We can help save you time and money by handling this procedure for you, instead of having to going through a bail bondsman. Bail bondsmen charge an extra fee, and almost always require collateral and co-signors to obtain a bond on your friend or loved one’s behalf. On top of that, you will still need to obtain an attorney to represent your friend or loved one in the pending criminal case once they are out of jail. The Segura Law Firm will not charge an extra fee for bonding or jail release, nor do we require collateral and co-signors so long as you have contracted with our firm. All jail release fees will apply toward legal representation. Contact the Segura Law Firm’s 24 hour phone number (512) 472-1580 to schedule a free initial consultation, and/or find out more about how we can help you get your friend or loved one out of jail.

How can I contact my friend or loved one who is in jail?

If your friend or loved one is in jail, you can contact them via telephone, mail, email, or by visiting them in person. All forms of communication are subject to the rules posted on the Travis County Sheriff’s website.

You may visit their website by clicking here.

As attorneys, we can almost always contact your friend or loved one in jail, even when you cannot. Travis County inmates may always call their attorney free of charge, for ten minutes per call. Those calls are not recorded. Attorneys may also video conference with inmates.

If you are having trouble contacting your friend or loved one who is in jail, please contact our office immediately at (512) 472-1580 so that we may assist you in communicating with that inmate.

You can also visit the Travis County Sheriff’s website for more information regarding visitation schedules, locations of jail facilities, and more frequently asked questions.

How do I find out if there is an outstanding warrant for my arrest?

You can search online to see if you have an outstanding warrant in Travis County by clicking here.

You can also call our office immediately at (512) 472-1580 and we can search for you and let you know your options.

How can I get my friend or loved one out of jail?

If you have a friend or loved one in custody of the Travis County jail, we understand you want them out as soon as possible. Please call our office immediately at 512.472.1580 for assistance. Our staff is able to obtain your friend or loved one’s jail release as soon as possible. We will go to the Travis County jail immediately to fill out the necessary paperwork on your behalf, obtain a personal recognizance bond (PR bond) or cash deposit bond, and get that person out of jail quickly. We offer more options, and frequently at less expense than a bail bondsman. Once you have contracted with our firm, our attorneys are allowed by law to execute a personal or cash deposit bond on your behalf and obtain your friend or loved one’s pre-trial jail release pursuant to the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, section 17.

In Travis County, a person who has been arrested and is in custody of the Austin Police Department (or other Travis County department that is lawfully authorized to make arrests) is transferred to the central booking office located in the Blackwell-Thurman Criminal Justice Center, 509 West 11th Street, Austin, Texas 78701. The police officer will submit a probable cause affidavit (PC affidavit for short), which basically states why the officer had reason to believe that a crime was committed. The police officer must turn in that PC affidavit within 24 hours of the arrest for a misdemeanor, or 48 hours after the arrest for a felony. Once the magistrate or judge reviews this probable cause affidavit, he or she will determine if there was enough probable cause for the police officer to make the arrest, and if so, set a bail amount. Then the person arrested will meet with the judge or magistrate, usually within 24 hours of the bond being set. We can obtain a copy of this probable cause affidavit as soon as possible and review it prior to meeting with you, in most cases. Also, in most instances we can approach the magistrate or judge on your behalf and waive the magistrate process (which can sometimes take up to several hours, delaying the time your friend or loved one is released from jail).

If you are trying to get a friend or loved one out of jail in Austin or Travis County, we can assist you in locating that person via an inmate search, then by obtaining a personal bond with the court so that person may be released. We can help save you time and money by handling this procedure for you, instead of having to going through a bail bondsman. Bail bondsmen charge an extra fee, and almost always require collateral and co-signors to obtain a bond on your friend or loved one’s behalf. On top of that, you will still need to obtain an attorney to represent your friend or loved one in the pending criminal case once they are out of jail. The Segura Law Firm will not charge an extra fee for bonding or jail release, nor do we require collateral and co-signors so long as you have contracted with our firm. All jail release fees will apply toward legal representation. Contact the Segura Law Firm’s 24 hour phone number (512) 472-1580 to schedule a free initial consultation, and/or find out more about how we can help you get your friend or loved one out of jail.

How do I schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney at Segura Law Firm?

Please contact our office at (512) 472-1580 to speak to one of our attorneys and/or arrange for a free in-person consultation at our office in downtown Austin. We are available by phone 24 hours a day for jail release. Our friendly staff is available by phone or in person Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. for criminal defense or expunction matters.

What is a "no refusal weekend" and when does it occur?

No refusal weekends or holidays are really no different than every day in Texas. A police officer is always able to request a warrant to draw your blood regardless of if it in a no refusal weekend or not.

The officer must show to a neutral magistrate (judge) that the officer had reasonable suspicious to detain you, probable cause to arrest you for DWI, and that taking your blood would result in some evidence being gathered. Most officers won’t invest the time in getting a warrant if you refuse the breath and/or blood specimen on a misdemeanor case. However, they always could. Felony DWI is subject to different requirements.

So, when the Austin Police Department publicizes “no refusal weekends” they are really just telling the public that this weekend we are going to take the extra time to request a warrant for every refusal to encourage people to think about taking cabs and using designated drivers on a regular basis, but especially on holidays and during highly attended events that serve alcohol.

All of this is subject to legal scrutiny even after the fact and even if your blood was taken it may not be admissible in court if the officer did follow the law.

I (or my friend or loved one) was arrested for a DWI or DUI. Now what?

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) cases usually start unexpectedly and happen to people who never thought they would be arrested and charged with a crime. It begins with a minor traffic violation and before you know it, you are sitting in the back of a police cruiser in handcuffs.

The truth about DWI is that the accuracy of field sobriety tests are questionable under the best circumstances, and quickly become unreliable when not administered properly or under the correct conditions. Despite the questions surrounding their accuracy, there is incredible pressure on the county and district attorneys to prosecute the cases that utilize these field sobriety tests.

We find that many of our clients are not aware of the consequences involved in a DWI case. DWI cases are serious matters, which can result in thousands of dollars in fees and suspension of your driver’s license, in addition to your criminal case.

The waters surrounding DWI are difficult to navigate, and you need an experienced Austin DWI Lawyer to guide and protect you through this process. Many people don’t realize how little time they have to react in these cases. Did you know you only have 15 days to act if you want to protect your right to drive? Failure to do so results in the automatic suspension of your driver’s license.

It is essential to speak with an experienced Austin DWI Lawyer early in this process. We have over 30 years of combined experience in DWI cases. Our lawyers have the knowledge and familiarity with the process to protect and guide you through this difficult period.

At our office, you will find Austin DWI Lawyers who are certified by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as Standardized Field Sobriety Testing Practitioners just like the officer that arrested you. We have tried many DWI trials and almost always have faced the officer that arrested you. We possess the experience and knowledge to know if the tests were even administered properly, and how they may affect your case.

Whether you gave a breath sample, refused a breathalyzer test, or even if they took your blood to test its blood alcohol content, it is important that you speak with an attorney to understand the next steps in your case, and how best to move forward. We are there for you whether you are looking for a quick resolution or want to fight your arrest all the way through a jury trial. Most importantly, we have the skills and experience to help.

There are many ways an experienced lawyer can help you when you are facing a DWI charge:

Get the charges dismissed
Obtain a not-guilty verdict
Dismiss the DWI and plead to a lesser offense
Keep you out of jail
Save your driver’s license

Our DWI Lawyers are ready to offer a detailed analysis of your situation and present options to assist in your defense. Contact the Segura Law Firm 512.472.1580 to schedule a free initial consultation with an Austin DWI Attorney today.

What is the difference between a DWI and a DUI?

DUI

A DUI stands for “Driving under the Influence” and applies only to minors (under the age of 21) who are suspected of driving after having consumed alcohol. Texas is a “zero tolerance” state, meaning that minors are not allowed to consume ANY amount of alcohol and operate a motor vehicle. A DUI is not covered under the Texas Penal Code, but rather the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code.
There are two types of DUIs: civil and criminal. The first type of DUI is a civil case (in which a citation was issued, and no arrest was made). In a civil DUI, the Texas Department of Public Safety (“TDPS”) will hold a hearing in which the police officer need only prove that he or she had reason to stop the minor while driving, and had reason to believe the minor had ingested a small amount of alcohol (but was not intoxicated). Once this is proven, TDPS has the discretion to automatically suspend the minor’s driver’s license between 60-120 days.
However, if the police officer believes that the minor ingested more than a small amount of alcohol, and is actually intoxicated, he or she may arrest the minor, take them into Austin Police Department custody, and charge him or her with a criminal DUI. A criminal DUI is charged as a class C misdemeanor, punishable by a minimum fine of $500.00. If the minor is a first-time offender, no jail time will be served.However, if the minor is a repeat offender, he or she could be subject to higher fines, actual jail time, probation, community service, counseling, and/or alcohol assessments. Also, depending on the severity of the offense, a criminal DUI may be paired with a criminal DWI, as described below.

DWI

A DWI stands for “Driving While Intoxicated” is a criminal case in which a person (minor or adult) is suspected of driving a motor vehicle while intoxicated. A person is considered intoxicated if their blood, breath, or urine shows a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or greater at the time they are driving the motor vehicle (or immediately after arrest). Intoxication can occur when a person ingests alcohol, illegal drugs, prescription medications, or a combination thereof. If someone is suspected of operating any kind of motor vehicle, boat, plane, amusement park equipment and/or other water vessel while intoxicated, they may be charged with a DWI. A first time DWI is charged as a class B misdemeanor, which carries a punishment range of at least 3 days in jail and a $2,000 fine, most likely paired with alcohol education classes, counseling, community service, probation, and/or court costs.

A DWI criminal case is also automatically paired with a civil case in which that person’s license may be temporarily suspended by TDPS. If a person submits to a breath or blood test has a BAC at or above a 0.08, TDPS will try and suspend the person’s driver’s license for a minimum 90 days to a maximum 1 year (for first time offenses) or for a minimum of 1 year (for repeat offenders). If a person refuses to provide a breath or blood sample, TDPS will try to suspend that person’s driver’s license for no less than 180 days, but no more than 2 years (unless they are a repeat offender, in which case they will try to suspend that person’s license for no less than 2 years).

The Texas Department of Public Safety will also collect a $1,000 to $3,000 surcharge from any individual convicted of DWI (the amount depends on whether the person refused to provide a specimen, or if they did provide one, what their BAC level was). If this surcharge is not paid, further license suspensions or possible revocation can occur.

What is an ALR (Administrative License Revocation)?

What is an Administrative License Revocation (or “ALR”) and when do I need to request an ALR hearing?

If you have been charged with a DWI, you have 15 days from the date of your arrest to request an ALR hearing. Failure to do so will result in automatic suspension of your driver’s license. If you have been arrested for a DWI, don’t wait until the last minute to protect your right to drive. Call our office at 512.472.1580 and schedule a free consultation so we can get the process started immediately.

Why do I need an attorney to represent me at my ALR hearing?

An administrative license revocation (ALR) is when the Texas Department of Public Safety brings suit against someone who has been charged with a driving-related offense, and after a police officer testifies to the circumstances surrounding the arrest, the judge is likely to suspend or revoke that person’s driver’s license, unless they have a knowledgeable and competent attorney representing their interests and protecting their right to drive. If you are charged with a DWI, did you know you only have 15 days to act if you want to protect your right to drive? Failure to do so results in the automatic suspension of your driver’s license.

Our attorneys can file a request for an ALR hearing immediately upon meeting with you, and handle this process for you as quickly and efficiently as possible. If you have been arrested for a DWI, don’t wait until the last minute to protect your right to drive. Call our office at 512.472.1580 so we can get the process started immediately. We will keep on top of your case and file the necessary subpoenas and discovery to help fight an impending suspension or revocation. We can also represent you in the ALR hearing, which gives you a better chance of maintaining your right to drive than if you represent yourself, in most cases. However, if you missed the deadline for an ALR hearing, or if Texas Department of Public Safety has already suspended or revoked your license, we can still help you drive legally by obtaining an Occupational Driver’s License. To learn more, call our office at 512.472.1580 to find out how we can help you obtain an ODL.

How can I still legally drive to work and/or school if my license is suspended?

An occupational driver’s license (or “ODL”) can be obtained through the Texas Department of Public Safety. An ODL is a special restricted license that you can obtain if your license has been suspended or revoked for certain criminal offenses.

An ODL authorizes you to operate a non-commercial motor vehicle in connection with your job, your school, or in the performance of essential household duties (i.e. grocery shopping, taking children to doctor’s appointments). You may drive for up to 12 hours per day so long as you obtain SR-22 drivers insurance and the Judge has reviewed and approved your hours ahead of time. Our attorneys are knowledgeable in this process and can help walk you through the steps necessary to obtain an ODL and get you back on the road legally, so that you may go about your regular course of business, for relatively minimal cost.

If you are unable to pay the costs associated with an ODL, we can also assist you in requesting a reduction of fees based on your proven income, or work out a payment plan to assist you in paying these costs. If your license has been suspended or revoked due to a criminal arrest, please contact the Segura Law Firm (512) 472-1580 to schedule a free initial consultation, and find out more about how we can help you obtain an ODL.

I (or my friend or loved one) was arrested for assault. Now what?

a mistake that is too easy to make

Assault occurs when someone perceives a threat of imminent personal danger. What many people are surprised to find out is that it is not necessary for the alleged victim to have sustained physical harm. Merely the threat of such harm is enough to constitute assault under the law.

“Simple assault” ranges from class C to class A offenses and has a variety of colors and flavors. The biggest concern for most people is that assault at any level of offense if often considered a crime of moral turpitude, which is way of saying it reflect something about your character. Many employers examine assault charges very carefully and some choose not to hirer people with assault on their records believing they may be violent.

Additionally, these charges can easily escalate to a felony depending on who the alleged victim is or how the assault occurred. Only a knowledgeable attorney can help you understand the complexities of this law.

It is essential to speak with a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer in order to fully understand your rights and responsibilities in this matter.

There are many ways an experienced lawyer can help you when you are facing a Assault charge:

Get the charges dismissed
Obtain a not-guilty verdict
Dismiss the Assault and plead to a lesser offense
Keep you out of jail

Our defense attorneys are ready to offer a detailed analysis of your situation and present options to assist in your defense. Contact the Segura Law Firm (512) 472-1580 to schedule a free initial consultation.

I (or my friend or loved one) was arrested for theft. Now what?

where bookkeeping mistakes can be crimes

There are many ways to commit theft, but Texas uses just one definition. Texas theft charges are brought against people accused of unlawfully appropriating property with the intent to deprive the owner of that property. This can include acts like shoplifting, acquiring property by threat, swindling, writing bad checks, embezzlement, and receiving or hiding stolen property.

Theft charges range from a class C misdemeanor to felonies offenses, and have a variety of manners and means. The biggest concern for most people is that theft at any level of offense is often considered a crime of moral turpitude. That is a fancy way of saying it reflects something about your character or what kind of person you are. Many employers examine theft charges very carefully, and some choose not to hire people with thefts on their records believing they are likely to harm their business or steal from them.

Only a knowledgeable attorney can help you understand the complexities of this law. It is important to speak with a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer in order to fully understand your rights and responsibilities when you are charged with theft or think you may be charged with theft.

There are many ways an experienced lawyer can help you when you are facing a Theft charge:

Keep you from being indicted
Get the charges dismissed
Obtain a not–guilty verdict
Dismiss the theft and plead to a lesser offense
Work with the State to dismiss with restitution
Keep you out of jail

We have handled many theft cases, ranging from charges for writing a small bad check to embezzling large amounts of money. We are prepared to help you.

Please come in and meet with our experienced attorneys to learn more about your case. Our defense attorneys are ready to offer a detailed analysis of your situation and present options to assist in your defense. Contact the Segura Law Firm via our contact form or call 512.472.1580 to schedule a free initial consultation.

I (or my friend or loved one) was arrested for Possession of Marijuana. Now what?

Some people think marijuana charges are not that serious or silly. After all, you only got a ticket, right? A ticket means it’s not serious, doesn’t it? You’ve been tricked. Texas law allows those “arrested” for having marijuana to be given tickets if the police departments chooses to. But, being charged with possession of marijuana-even in a ticket-is still serious.

Most people who are arrested or ticketed for marijuana have a small amount, just for their own use, which should be charged as a Class B or A Misdemeanor. The important thing to remember is you can be punished for up to one year in jail for a Class A Misdemeanor.

Many of our younger clients are charged with Possession of Marijuana (POM), and it is for these clients that the consequences can be the greatest. Drug charges have a way of following you for far longer than people expect them to. So, whether you are established in a career and looking to protect your hard work or you are just beginning your journey in life, it is important to take these charges seriously.

Our office is experienced at dealing with these cases-as well as those unexpected consequences that can come up from marijuana or other drug cases. Depending on the amount of marijuana you are charged with having and the disposition of the case, POM cases can affect everything from federal financial aid, to your immigration status, to the jobs you can hold now or in the future.

Please come in and meet with our experienced attorneys to learn more about your case. Our defense attorneys are ready to offer a detailed analysis of your situation and present options to assist in your defense. Contact the Segura Law Firm (512) 472-1580 to schedule a free initial consultation.

I (or my friend or loved one) is facing a serious felony. Now what?

when the right attorney matters most

It is surprisingly easy to be charged with a felony. Many felonies are mistakes that have bad consequences. We have defended clients charged with intoxication manslaughter, murder, and assault with a deadly weapon. In some cases, the person charged never meant to hurt anyone–or even to break the law–but they made mistakes or had to use force to defend themselves or their loved–ones. Others are charged with felonies that range from white collar crimes, like embezzlement for example, to a felony which alleges violence.

It is important to understand that how well a serious case turns out can depend on having the right attorney involved early on in the case. Our office has successfully resolved cases before our client is ever indicted, and has had felony charges that were already indicted dismissed. By being involved early in a case, the attorneys can best represent you and guide your case towards the best potential outcome from the beginning.

We strongly suggest that you visit with our attorneys immediately if you think you may have committed a crime or will be charged with one. We have the experience and knowledge to guide you and protect you.

Our defense attorneys are ready to offer a detailed analysis of your situation and present options to assist in your defense. Contact the Segura Law Firm (512) 472-1580 to schedule a free initial consultation.

I (or my friend or loved one) is facing a probation revocation. Now what?

Facing a revocation?

Probation revocations are some the scariest and fastest moving criminal cases out there. In these cases, having an experienced lawyer on your side who knows the courts, the judges, and the probation officers is essential. In probation violation cases, you do not have a right to a jury trial and the prosecution only needs to prove the violation by a preponderance of the evidence (as opposed to the higher “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard normally used in criminal trials).

These cases must be taken very seriously. If your probation officer has told you that you will need to see the judge, then you may have a serious problem. If your probation is revoked you may be sentenced to jail or prison, and/or your amount of time on probation can be extended, or there may be other serious consequences.

There are many different types of probation. It is essential that you see an attorney as soon as you believe you may have a problem. If you wait until you know you have a problem, it may be too late resolve you case with the best possible way. You need a lawyer who will fight for you, work to eliminate or reduce the charges against you, and search for ways to lessen the punishment for violating your probation. Our office has a track record of working with probation to solve these matters quickly and with the best outcome possible. Even if you think it is too late for someone to help you, there may still be something an experienced attorney can do to improve your situation that may not be an option for you acting on your own.

Early release from probation

Did you know it is possible to be released from probation early? Our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to help you petition the court for early release.

And, did you know that when being discharged from probation it is possible to present your own order to the court? The language in our order is far more thorough than the standard order. You have worked hard for that order. Have it say what you need it to.

Our defense attorneys are ready to offer a detailed analysis of your situation and present options to assist in your defense. Contact the Segura Law Firm (512) 472-1580 to schedule a free initial consultation.

How do I expunge or clear up my past criminal record?

a clean record is something you deserve

The criminal case against you was dismissed. Or you were acquitted, or found not guilty. Or the court gave you a deferred disposition, and told you the case was over or they “dropped” the charges. So, there shouldn’t be anything left on your record, right? Wrong. We are sorry to tell you that is just not the case.

There may not be a conviction on your record, the fact that you were arrested for a crime or charged with a crime is still on there. In most cases, that record is available for the whole world to see. This could include employers, colleges and grad schools, state and federal agencies, or anyone running a background check. For many, the fact that you were even arrested may be enough to exclude you from opportunities like jobs or even a place to live.

That just isn’t fair. But, the law lets you do something about it. If you want your record to truly be clean, then you need to have the charges or arrest expunged. When a court orders an expunction, all records of your arrest are destroyed and, except in a few rare circumstances, you can legally say you were never arrested.

Our office has helped hundreds of people expunge their records. If you would like to know if there is any way to expunge your records, contact our attorneys to find out.

Please come in and meet with our experienced attorneys to learn more about your case. Contact the Segura Law Firm by phone (512) 472-1580 to schedule a free initial consultation.

What is the SHORT Program, and am I eligible for it?

a chance to change

If you are charged in Travis County with a felony drug case, there is often an opportunity to stay out of district court, and to have the case dismissed, if you qualify for and complete the Travis County Drug Diversion / S.H.O.R.T. program. S.H.O.R.T. stands for System of Healthy Options for Release and Transition.

Many clients will receive a referral to the SHORT program if they were released from jail through Travis County Pretrial Services. Bradley E. Hargis is currently one of only 2 criminal defense attorneys who practice in the SHORT program in Travis County.

We strongly suggest you visit with an attorney in our office before attending this evaluation. Our attorneys understand the ends and outs of the program. We can advise you on what you will experience in this interview and during this program.

The SHORT program is an amazing opportunity in Travis County, but it comes at a price. The SHORT program is intensive. We often tell prospective clients that the one year they will spend completing the SHORT program is much tougher than one year of felony probation. Of course, the reward is this:

(1) the SHORT program is, well shorter. For felony drug offenses in Texas, the minimum probation is two years, and many folks get somewhere between five and ten years of probation for felony drug offenses. As the SHORT program last one year, you can put this case behind you much faster.

(2) felony probation will stay on your record, even if you complete it successfully. If it s deferred probation, you may be eligible for a motion for non-disclosure, but never an expunction. If you successfully complete SHORT, you can apply for an expunction, which completely wipes the arrest off of your record.

Even if you have already been denied by SHORT, all hope may not be lost. Our attorneys have a reputation of knowledge and respect with the SHORT program and we can help clients approach the SHORT program again. The best bet is to speak with us before your SHORT interview, but if that has already happened, we may still be able to help you.

Our defense attorneys are ready to offer a detailed analysis of your situation and present options to assist in your defense. Contact the Segura Law Firm (512) 472-1580 to schedule a free initial consultation.

Don’t see the answer to your question?

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Your Question (required)

captcha
Please Enter Captcha

(512) 472-1580
(512) 472-6556