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  • Writer's pictureJustin Sparks

How Long Can a DUI Case Stay Open?

Something that happens with not only DUI cases but also other misdemeanors is that prosecutors take time to file charges against the suspect. Drivers with DUI charges need to know if the prosecution is filing a case against them or not.

Nonetheless, prosecutors can take some time to make a case. There are no limitations on how much time they can take when talking about violent crimes or felonies, but things are not like that with misdemeanors.

Therefore, drivers can walk away free of any DUI charges if the time to file a case against them expires. That applies even if the prosecution had a reasonable suspicion of what happened. However, how much time can they take to file a case against someone with a DUI or DWI charge?

People can know the answer to that question by reading this article. Nonetheless, if the prosecution files a DUI or DWI case with sufficient evidence against someone, that person can ask the Sparks Law Firm for a free initial consultation of their case.

Why Do Prosecutors Take Time to File a DUI or DWI Case?

Why Do Prosecutors Take Time to File a DUI or DWI Case?

If prosecutors could, they would file a DUI or DWI case against drivers as soon as possible, but some things can keep them from doing it. One of them is not having enough evidence to win the case to the criminal defense, so they wait until detectives have collected enough for them to win the case.

Prosecutors also take time to file a DWI case because they often prioritize violent crimes over non-violent ones. Thus, if they need to take care of a homicide, robbery, or sexual assault incident, they are more likely to do it before getting evidence for a DUI or DWI case.

Apart from that, prosecutors need to wait for the blood sample they took from the suspect to go through the prosecution's lab before filing a case against anyone. Blood samples are key evidence to any DWI case in the country, so prosecutors can't do anything without them.

Texas has several small counties. Many of those small counties don't have a direct filing system, and that slows things down a lot. Small counties can take up to a year to file a DWI case against someone.

Things get more complex when getting a DWI charge after a car accident. If the accident caused any damage to the other person's car or injured them, they may file a lawsuit against the driver that caused the accident. Therefore, forensic labs need to analyze more pieces of evidence.

Class C misdemeanors don't come with jail time, so drivers with a DUI or DWI charge can wait until the prosecution files a case against them with no problem. They can also hire a criminal defense lawyer and prepare for the trial.

Regardless of whether the prosecution files a case against someone or not, that person still has a DWI arrest on their criminal record, which is something bad by itself. If they have a conviction, they are going to have that stain on their criminal record forever. A lawyer can help you determine how long a DUI stays on your background check.

How Long Can Prosecutors Take to File a DUI Case?

The deadline or limitations prosecutors have to file a case against someone is called a statute of limitations. That being said, the statute of limitations of a Class C misdemeanor, which includes DUI cases, is two years. Thus, people can forget about the state filing a case against them after two years of waiting.

It's not common to see that happening, and some people consider it luck, but everyone must be prepared with a decent criminal defense lawyer to face an upcoming trial in the best way possible. As it was mentioned before, DUI and DWI charges stay on the driver's criminal record even if the state doesn't file a case against them.

Universities, banks, and employers can see if someone has anything on their arrest record. People don't like hiring or giving loans to people who drive under the influence of substances, so having DUI charges on one's arrest record is difficult for people.

Therefore, legal experts recommend people ask their criminal defense lawyer to help them get rid of their Texas DWI charges as soon as the statute of limitations of the case expires. Anyone in Fort Worth, TX looking to hire a Texas DWI lawyer can rely on the Sparks Law Firm.

Can People Get a DUI or DWI Conviction After the Statute of Limitations Expires?

The short answer is that not for that case. Once the statute of limitations for that one case expires, no one can make a case against the driver on it, so they are free to go with no problem. However, they can still get a case against them if they get another DUI charge in the future.

It's not the same case, but they are still criminal charges for DUI, so they appear next to the others in the driver's criminal history. Additionally, the court is less likely to allow people expunging new misdemeanor charges if they have another charge for the same crime in their record.

The two-year statute of limitations is the same for all Class C misdemeanors, so people getting new DUI charges in the future know the prosecutor has another two years to file a case against them.

Regardless of what happens with the conviction, legal experts recommend drivers accused of DUI tell all the details of the accident to their attorneys. The attorney-client relationship prevents one's lawyer to say anything the suspect tells them to another person, so defendants have nothing to worry about.

What Can a DWI Lawyer Do to Help Drivers Going Through a DUI Case?

DWI lawyers are essential for people going through criminal cases, and that includes DUI cases. Firstly, lawyers can tell the defendant everything they need to know about the legal process they are about to overcome. After that, lawyers can handle all the paperwork that comes with it.

A decent attorney can prevent their client from getting a conviction if they have enough evidence for the case, and even if the defendant already has charges in their criminal history, not having a conviction eases the process a lot and can help the defendant in the long run.

If the prosecution files a case against the defendant within the time given by the statute of limitations, the case can go to trial. Criminal and civil trials can be tedious for someone who doesn't know a lot about them, which makes them an overwhelming experience for both parties.

However, some of those cases can end with a plea bargain in criminal cases or with a settlement when talking about a civil trial. The problem with plea bargains and settlements is that the other party may try to get to an agreement that is not that beneficial for the defendant.

Other parties often do that when they think the defendant doesn't have enough evidence to build a strong case or if they see they haven't hired a proper lawyer. However, high-quality DWI attorneys know what's best for their clients, so they are not going to let them take a bad deal.

Can People Get DUI Charges Out of Their Criminal Record?

Can People Get DUI Charges Out of Their Criminal Record?

Regardless of what happens on the trial or if the statute of limitations of the case expires, the driver with DUI charges still has them on their criminal record. Fortunately, they can get rid of those charges by sealing them or expunging them. When someone seals a case, only state authorities can check it, and when they expunge it, the charges disappear from records.

Nonetheless, not all cases qualify for expungements, so the person looking forward to expunging or sealing their case needs to first send a petition to the court to see if they approve it or not.

The good thing is DUI charges often qualify for sealing, which is helpful by itself. Severe felonies, such as sexual assault, homicide, or robberies never qualify for neither sealing nor expungement, but no one should have any problem sealing a misdemeanor.

There are some things people need to consider before asking a court to seal their case. One of them is that people who plead guilty for their cases can't ask for a case sealing or expungement. The reason for that is that no one can remove something they are convicted of from their criminal history.

Fortunately, people can ask for a case sealing if the statute of limitations expires. The Sparks Law Firm can offer drivers with DUI charges a free consultation for a case sealing! Clients will also need their help if they're concerned about avoiding jail time for 3rd DUI offense.


Learning about how laws work and what happens when someone commits a crime is complex. However, things get easier if the person learning has a DWI lawyer in Fort Worth by their side.

The lawyer helping the defendant needs to be a decent lawyer, though. The Sparks Law Firm has years of experience in the field and offers a free consultation for its clients' cases. Having a DUI on one's record is something that jeopardizes that person's professional and personal life, so it's essential to do something about the matter.


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