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How long can someone stay in jail for DWI felony before being endicted?

Granbury, TX |

My friend was arrested last Sept and sent to a county jail because he could not afford the bail. He did not take the breath analyzer so he was given a blood test by force to which he was slapped with another assault charge. He is still in jail for almost 6 months now. He was arraigned last December. My questions are :

1. Can he write his public appointed lawyer to lower his bond?
2. Why until now he hasn't heard from his lawyer or has not asked his side? Are public appointed lawyers limited to getting in touch with their client/defendant?
3. Can he request for a speedy trial?
4. Is it true that The State has 90 days to indict someone on a felony? If this is true then what should he be done?

His mother called up his lawyer but seems uncooperative. Can he change lawyer? Is someone out there able to help my friend? How is the payment scheme?

My friend regret his drinking and driving. While in jail, of course he's sober but he said he is tougher now to resist alcohol.He has learned his lessons. He just needed a second chance.

Attorney Answers 2

  1. If you're friend cannot post bail he would remain in jail until his trial or he enters a plea. Most of the though if he pleads guilty or found guilty the judge may give credit for the time he has served. The public defender cannot lower his bond only a judge can do that and it sounds like he has already had a bond hearing. Your friend is always free to fire his current lawyer and hire a new one. His public defender is not limited to the amount of times he's allowed to see your friend he probably has a lot of other cases. Most private attorneys offer payment plans with a downpayment. Speedy trial motions are tough to win too. I suggest contacting several local attorneys to discuss options for your friend and payment plans.

    Attorney Gregory Spink is licensed in North Carolina, with a focused practice in Mecklenburg and Gaston Counties. Nothing is intended in this post to serve as legal advice. It is my opinion based on studying the law and passing the Bar Exam and should not be construed as legal advice. You should always contact a local attorney, who is familiar with local rules. Each case must be judged on a case by case basis with all evidence being reviewed by a licensed attorney. Nothing in this post should be construed as creating an attorney and client relationship.

  2. Your friend can stay in jail for 90 days without being indicted. If the State of Texas does not indict him within 90 days, he must be released either on a personal bond or by reducing the amount of bail required, if the State is not ready to proceed. Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 17.151.

    1. He can and should write his court appointed lawyer to request personal bond, or reduced bond.

    2. His court appointed lawyer has an obligation to communicate with your friend.

    3. Your friend has a constitutional right to a speedy trial, though it is not always in a client's best interest to request a speedy trial.

    4. Refer to answer in number 1.

    Your friend or his family can always retain a lawyer to substitute in and take over the defense of his case for his court appointed lawyer.

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