A couple of years ago I was charged with a 1st DWI and posted bond (there was no condition of bond for an interlock device) although I was convicted of a 1st DWI 25 years ago, I guess they didn't find the first one. The recent case was set for jury trial and before the trial they found the conviction from 25 years ago and offered a plea bargain to give me the penalities of a 1st DWI in exchange for a guilty plea. Due to the weakness of the most recent case I did not take the offer and they dismissed the original charge and charged me with a 2nd DWI which generated a new warrant for my arrest. Once the warrant was issued I went to a bondsman and paid bail and walked into the jail with my bail bond in hand and turned myself in and was released a couple of hours later. (I was arrested twice ffor the same charge.) When I was released, AGAIN I was not given any conditions of bond to install an interlock device on my vehicle and did not deal with a magistrate or judge.
Over the next several months we went through the arraignment, pre-trial motions, and plea. At the plea when they set the date for the jury trial the court administrator noticed that I was never given a condition of bond to install an interlock device. She wrote on a sticky note and attached it to her business card to get an interlock install and bring back proof to her within 14 days, which I did promptly.
I'm confused on how conditions of bonds are handled, is this a formal document outlining the conditions signed by a judge and myself???
My question is twofold...have I been given a formal condition of bond although I have never received any paperwork stating the conditions? What are the consequenses if I blow an interlock violation for alcohol on breath although I have no condition of bond stating to abstain from alcohol?
DUI / DWI Attorney
The earlier answer is generally correct. However, you seem to present an exception to the basic rule regarding the installation of an interlock IF your ONLY PRIOR DWI was more than 10 years ago. § 521.246 (f). IGNITION INTERLOCK DEVICE REQUIREMENT provides that the interlock shall not be required if the ONLY prior DWI was more than 10 years preceding. Simple logic dictates that, if an interlock can not be ordered for a conviction, then it is not proper to make it a condition of bond. However, I have been forced to argue this several times with judges. One very good judge made me argue it 3 different times before she understood and removed the interlock, so don't expect this to be an easy road. Judges are seldom confronted with this part of the law and, since it does not directly deal with the other law concerning interlock as a condition of bail, tying the different statutes together can be challenging. Please have your attorney call me and I'll walk your attorney through the process, so you can be relieved of this onerous duty.
When a defendant has a prior DWI conviction, Texas law requires interlock as a condition of pretrial bond. Your bondsman and attorney will verify this.
The use of this information shall not create any attorney-client relationship. As noted, you should seek and retain professional counsel in your local county.