Can I Get a Deferred Adjudication for a DWI in Texas?

YES - Texas Law now allows for a Deferred Adjudication Community Supervision (Probation) for certain First Time DWI Offenses. Deferred Adjudication means the defendant will enter a guilty plea, but the judge does not find the defendant guilty and instead "defers" the finding of guilt. If the probation is successfully completed, the case is dismissed, and the defendant is not considered to have been guilty.

But (and there is always a "but"), this option is only available if certain criteria are met and there are certain restrictions applicable when placed on Deferred Adjudication Probation for DWI.

A DWI defendant will not qualify for a deferred adjudication if:

  • There was a child passenger (State Jail Felony);
  • Flying While Intoxicated charge (Class B misdemeanor);
  • Assembling or operating an amusement ride while intoxicated (Class B misdemeanor);
  • Intoxication assault (3rd degree felony);
  • Intoxication manslaughter (2nd degree felony);
  • DWI with blood alcohol content of .15 or more (Class A Misdemeanor);
  • At the time of arrest the driver had a commercial driver's license or commercial learner's permit.

A defendant granted deferred adjudication for a first-time DWI charge must also have an ignition interlock device installed on the vehicle that they own or drive regularly. The vehicle won't start if alcohol is detected on the driver's breath.

Also, if the person later has another DWI arrest and charge, the original charge is resurrected, and the new charge becomes a second offense with enhanced penalties.

Deferred adjudication for other criminal charges doesn't necessarily involve reinstatement of the charge. For DWI, however, it does. After another offense, the first charge is then considered a prior conviction and the later charge is considered a repeat offense.

Also, when a person is "finally convicted" of DWI, the new law holds that they shall pay a fine of $3,000 for a first conviction, $4,500 for a second conviction and $6,000 for all DWI convictions over a BAC of 0.15. So, the fines have substantially increased for DWI, even though the DPS surcharges were removed and Deferred Adjudication was instituted as an option for certain DWI offenses.

Bottom line – hire an experienced and reputable attorney to help you with your case. If we can help, call, email or message us anytime.