DWI Deferred Adjudication in Texas

With the passage of House Bill 3582, the Texas Legislature has made Deferred Adjudication a possibility for first-time DWI offenders. Recipients of Deferred Adjudication are able to avoid incarceration and a final conviction. Once Community Supervision is successfully completed, the DWI charge is dismissed by the court. In many cases, the criminal charge and arrest records may later be sealed through an Order of Nondisclosure.

  • What does deferred adjudication mean in Texas? Deferred adjudication is a special form of Community Supervision that allows an individual to avoid the risk of incarceration and a final conviction. Learn more.
  • First DWI in Texas dismissed? There are multiple ways to obtain a DWI dismissal in Texas. One of the best routes for first-time offenders is to complete a Pre-Trial Diversion (PTD) program. Unfortunately, the Bexar County District Attorney in San Antonio refuses admission to first-time DWI offenders.

    Deferred Adjudication is another option, available in limited situations, that results in a dismissal. While not as powerful as an outright dismissal, it can be the best option in certain cases. Learn more.

How to get Deferred Adjudication for DWI

Eligible individuals can only receive Deferred Adjudication through application. There are a number of qualifying factors. Deferred Adjudication is only available for a DWI first-offense, if the incident did not involve an accident, and if the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was below  0.15. Commercially licensed drivers are barred from receiving Deferred Adjudication for any moving offense, including DWI. 

  • Is Deferred Adjudication considered a conviction in Texas? No. Upon successful completion of a Deferred Adjudication probation, the criminal charge is dismissed, and the case is closed. There is no final conviction.
  • How long does Deferred Adjudication stay on record in Texas? Forever. Even though the charge has been dismissed, the record of the incident remains, and is not eligible for expunction. In some cases, the incident may be sealed through an Order of Nondisclosure.

    While a successful DWI Deferred Adjudication does not result in a conviction, it can still be used for enhancement purposes in subsequent prosecutions.

Requirements for DWI Deferred Adjudication

Community Supervision is a requirement of Deferred Adjudication. The term is negotiable, and ultimately up to the judge. There is no minimum term. The maximum is 12 months. Though discretionary, Community Supervision typically requires completion of classes, participation in drug and alcohol screenings, and community service. Drug testing, reporting, and the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) are also mandatory. 

  • How long do I need interlock in Texas? The term of the IID is determined by the judge. It can be extended due to a number of circumstances. Early removal, while legally possible, is highly unlikely, and happens very rarely.
  • Can you get a DUI for failing interlock? No. A failed test cannot form the basis for a new criminal charge. However, a failed IID test will result in a violation report sent to the judge. This can have serious consequences.

What Happens if you Violate DWI Deferred Adjudication?

Probation violations are very serious and can have devastating consequences. Defendants on Deferred Adjudication probation are, by law, subject to the full range of punishment upon revocation. This means that a judge can apply the maximum punishment for the simplest violation.

  • What is a motion to revoke probation? A Motion to Revoke Probation (MTR) is filed by the State when a defendant violates any term or condition of probation. These are most commonly filed after a failed drug test, a high blow on an IID, or a failure to report to probation. An MTR can result in a final conviction, jail time, and life-long consequences.
  • Does a deferred adjudication stay on your record? Yes. A Deferred Adjudication stays on the record. In many cases it can be sealed after dismissal. However, if Deferred Adjudication is lost through an MTR resulting in a final Adjudication of Guilt, then the disposition is recorded as a final criminal conviction.

Can you Expunge DWI First Offense?

Yes. Any DWI charge may be expunged if the charge was dismissed without court-ordered Community Supervision. Additionally, if an acquittal is won at trial the charge is eligible for an expedited expunction with discounted filing fees.

However, DWI charges are not eligible for expunction after successful completion of a Deferred Adjudication probation. A first-time DWI charge may be sealed through an Order of Nondisclosure if the defendant has no criminal history aside from Class C citations. Learn more. 

  • Difference between deferred disposition and deferred adjudication Deferred Disposition is only available for Class C Misdemeanors. A Deferred Disposition does not result in Community Supervision, and thus does not prevent an individual for later seeking an Expunction.
  • How do I remove a deferred adjudication from my record? It’s impossible to remove the record of an offense where Deferred Adjudication was granted. It is, however, possible to seal the record in certain circumstances. Learn more.

Trey Porter Named Best Criminal Defense Lawyer in San Antonio

Mr. Porter has been voted by his peers as one of San Antonio’s Best Lawyers every year since 2015, with specific recognition in the fields of Criminal Defense and DWI Defense. Mr. Porter is also recognized by the National Trial Lawyers Association as a Top 40 Under 40 Criminal Defense Lawyer, and holds a 10.0 Superb rating from AVVO, where attorneys are rated based on skillful litigation, client satisfaction, peer endorsements, and positive results. Learn more.

DWI Deferred Adjudication in Texas

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    CHARGES DISMISSED

    DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED .15

    Driving facts involved failing to maintain a single lane and speeding. Client refused breath test and forced law enforcement to obtain search warrant for blood. Blood test result was not used after challenge from Defense, and State waived and abandoned charge.

    CHARGES DISMISSED

    DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE

    Client was a college student, worried about the collateral consequences of an alcohol offense. After negotiation and review of the traffic stop, the case was dismissed. Client received no criminal conviction. The charge was later expunged and deleted from client’s record.

    CHARGES DISMISSED

    DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED .15+

    Client was involved in minor accident. Client was at fault in accident. A young executive, client was concerned that a criminal conviction for DWI would result in termination. After review of the traffic stop, it was clear the officer lacked probable cause for arrest. State eventually dismissed DWI charge. Client received no criminal conviction.

    CHARGES DISMISSED

    DWI 2nd

    Client, a military veteran, was facing up to one year in jail. State could not prove intoxication by alcohol, and was prepared to proceed on loss of use by marijuana. After challenging the State to prove that marijuana was ingested at or near time of driving, and that marijuana impaired client’s driving, the State dismissed the case on the day of trial.

    CHARGES DISMISSED

    DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE

    Driving facts involved a false claim by police that taillight was out. After challenging the reasonable suspicion for the traffic stop, the State was forced to dismiss the case when video did not match police report. Client has since expunged arrest, and has no criminal record.

    CHARGES DISMISSED

    DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE

    Client is a public school teacher and faced immediate termination upon conviction. The facts of the case were bad. State was unwilling to budge in negotiation, and matter was set for trial – the last shot at avoiding a conviction and preserving client’s livelihood. State was forced to dismiss on day of trial. Client has no criminal record, and has since expunged the DWI arrest.

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