Defendants now eligible for Deferred Adjudication in Texas for First DWI Offense
Updated: Dec 6, 2019
This blog is not to be considered legal advice and this update is not guaranteed to be an exhaustive update of all DWI laws.
Effective September 1, 2019, Deferred Adjudication is available for some DWI offenders. In order to request deferred, the Defendant’s Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) must be below .15 percent and it must be their first DWI offense.
In Texas, Deferred Adjudication is similar to probation but with the additional benefit that it can lead to the dismissal of the underlying charge. This is beneficial because in some cases it can help a Defendant to keep a conviction off of his or her criminal record. Similar to probation, the Defendant will be put on probation for a period of time and will have certain conditions which he or she must follow.
The benefit of Deferred Adjudication is that upon successful completion of the conditions of the deferred, the Defendant may be eligible to file a Petition for Non-Disclosure to seal the record.
Prior to September 1, 2019, Deferred Adjudication had not been available for first-time DWI offenders in the State of Texas, but after Texas House Bill 2582 was signed into law this has changed. As stated above, the Defendant must have a BAC below .15 percent and it must be their first offense. Furthermore, there are a number of other factors that may play into whether or not a Defendant is eligible for Deferred Adjudication and what the requirements of their deferred might be. These conditions could include an ignition interlock device, an occupational driver’s license, and/or certain court ordered classes.
A DWI can be tricky to navigate and circumstances can vary from case to case. There are a number of issues to take into consideration. For more information regarding Texas DWI Law, do not hesitate to give me a call at (817) 475-5522.