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Can I Get Off of DWI Probation Early?

Mimi & a client . She cares!

Getting off of DWI Probation early is a very common question. DWI Probation can feel very different from other types of probation with all of the additional conditions. On top of that, the cost of having an interlock device builds up over time causing financial problems. Early release of DWI Probation is a complicated subject. One the one hand, the law specifically states that one cannot end probation early on an offense under sections 49.04 – 49.08 of the Texas Penal code (i.e., the DWI sections) in Texas Code of Criminal Procedure 42A.701(g). On a deferred adjudication probation, however, the law is a bit more ambiguous.

Overall, the deferred adjudication statutes will control over the other probation statutes on a deferred adjudication probation. This means that the judge may end a DWI Deferred probation early if “the best interest of society and the defendant will be served”. Further, a successfully completed deferred probation may not act as grounds to deny/suspend/revoke professional or occupational licenses/certificates (with a few exceptions) if the person is otherwise qualified. In the end, the decision to allow for early release of DWI deferred probation is up to the judge’s discretion. Many judges listen to what probation tells them, though. So, performing perfectly on probation means that probation may give the judge a good report.

More about Mimi Coffey & The Coffey Firm

When people look for a Top DWI Attorney or Best DWI Attorney, they look for experience, certification, and respect in the legal community. Mimi Coffey is a nationally-renowned trial attorney, board-certified in DWI by the NCDD. She has been practicing for over 24 years and is an author of multiple DWI Defense textbooks. She is also a national and state-wide lecturer on the law.

The Coffey Firm handles a wide variety of cases, including Unlawful Carrying Weapon (UCW), Assault (including family violence), and Possession charges. We can also help you try to get a DWI off your record or avoid probation revocation.

Mimi is also listed on several “top criminal lawyer near me” directory listings such as Wise County DWI Lawyers, Tarrant County DWI LawyerDallas County DWI attorney, Collin County DWI attorneys and Parker County DWI attorneys. Mimi is a caring DWI Lawyer in Dallas – Fort Worth. She is also involved in the Texas Tech School of Law foundation and enjoys using the skills she has developed to give back to the community.

COMPASSION, HONESTY, EXPERTISE. PAYMENT PLANS AVAILABLE.

DWI Blood Test: Know the DA’s Strategy

Knowing the DA’s strategy makes winning a DWI Blood Test case much easier. The primary strategy for a Tarrant County DWI Lawyer to recognize is how the DA tries to portray the DWI Blood Test. Many times, the DA will try to claim that the lab that tested the blood is a ‘certified’ lab and therefore you should trust the DWI Blood Test. However, this is NOT the law. Put in other words, the DA tries to equate ‘certification’ with accuracy and reliability. Just because a lab has ‘certification’ does NOT mean that their results are inherently accurate or reliable. Mimi has practiced DWI Defense for 27 years and knows the tricks that the DA tries to play. The Coffey Firm knows that having an expert offer an opinion that the lab results are not accurate or reliable can win a DWI Blood Test case. There are certain standards that labs must follow for method validations to maintain accurate and reliable results. Simply having ‘certification’ does NOT mean that the labs have followed these standards properly. NEVER let the State try to convince you that all DWI Blood Tests are accurate and reliable.

More about Mimi Coffey & The Coffey Firm

When people look for a Top DWI Attorney or Best DWI Attorney, they look for experience, certification, and respect in the legal community. Mimi Coffey is a nationally-renowned trial attorney, board-certified in DWI by the NCDD. She has been practicing for over 24 years and is an author of multiple DWI Defense textbooks. She is also a national and state-wide lecturer on the law.

The Coffey Firm handles a wide variety of cases, including Unlawful Carrying Weapon (UCW), Assault (including family violence), and Possession charges. We can also help you try to get a DWI off your record or avoid probation revocation.

Mimi is also listed on several “top criminal lawyer near me” directory listings such as Wise County DWI Lawyers, Tarrant County DWI LawyerDallas County DWI attorney, Collin County DWI attorneys and Parker County DWI attorneys. Mimi is a caring DWI Lawyer in Dallas – Fort Worth. She is also involved in the Texas Tech School of Law foundation and enjoys using the skills she has developed to give back to the community.

DWI Blood Test: Sanitary Place Requirement

Understanding statutes and case law is crucial to winning a DWI blood test case. One of the most important laws about DWI blood tests tends to go overlooked. That section says that a DWI blood test “must be taken in a sanitary place.” Though this statute is in the Transportation Code, neither it nor the Penal Code define sanitation. However, the Health and Safety Code defines ‘sanitary’ as “a condition of good order and cleanliness that precludes the possibility of disease transmission.” This may seem like common sense, but many prosecutors tend to overlook this requirement. Obvious violations include bugs or dirt in the blood test room, open trash containers and more. However, the statute does not limit the sanitary requirement to egregious violations such as those.

One of the main ways this sanitary place requirement arises is when the DWI blood test occurs in a jail. On top of general sanitation requirements per the Health and Safety Code, jails also have administrative requirements regarding sanitation through the Texas Commission on Jail Standards. For one, the Administrative Code requires that each jail “have and implement” a sanitation plan approved by the commission. This plan requires, among other things, a “regular daily schedule” of sanitation work and inspections. Further, upon “completion of a comprehensive inspection” the commission issues a certificate of compliance for jails meeting “minimum jail standards.” Documentation showing a jail has this certificate and sanitation plan is critical to winning DWI blood test cases.

More about Mimi Coffey & The Coffey Firm

When people look for a Top DWI Attorney or Best DWI Attorney, they look for experience, certification, and respect in the legal community. Mimi Coffey is a nationally-renowned trial attorney, board-certified in DWI by the NCDD. She has been practicing for over 24 years and is an author of multiple DWI Defense textbooks. She is also a national and state-wide lecturer on the law.

The Coffey Firm handles a wide variety of cases, including Unlawful Carrying Weapon (UCW), Assault (including family violence), and Possession charges. We can also help you try to get a DWI off your record or avoid probation revocation.

Mimi is also listed on several “top criminal lawyer near me” directory listings such as Wise County DWI Lawyers, Tarrant County DWI LawyerDallas County DWI attorney, Collin County DWI attorneys and Parker County DWI attorneys. Mimi is a caring DWI Lawyer in Dallas – Fort Worth. She is also involved in the Texas Tech School of Law foundation and enjoys using the skills she has developed to give back to the community.

DWI Blood Test: You Have a Right to Re-Test

Texas DWI Blood Test Lawyer

Gas Chromatograph- the type of machine used for DWI blood tests

Did you know that you have the right to re-test a DWI Blood Test?

Re-test of the Blood Taken By Officers

There are two primary ways to get a re-test. The first, and most common, is to ask the court to re-test one of the DWI Blood Test vials that officers obtained the night of arrest. When officers get a DWI Blood Test, they obtain two vials. The popular saying is “one for them, one for us”. The ‘them’ is the State, and the ‘us’ is the DWI Defense Lawyer. The initial DWI Blood Test tests the State’s vial. Our DWI Defense Lawyers, after reviewing other evidence, can ask the court to test ‘our’ vial.

Our DWI Defense Lawyers will typically recommend a re-test if your BAC is close to a specific margin (e.g., close to .08 or .15). There are still risks to this re-test though. While there are plenty of situations where the re-test will show a lower BAC level, there is the risk that the re-test may show a higher BAC. However, our DWI Defense Lawyers can still challenge a higher BAC based on typical DWI Blood Test issues (such as fermentation).

Requesting Your Own Blood Test

The other way to get a “re-test” is to request your own blood test at the time of arrest. This does not prevent officers from obtaining their two vials, as mentioned above, but it does allow for a person you trust to do a DWI Blood Test. Texas Transportation Code 724.019 allows a person “who submits to [a breath, blood or urine test] at the request or order of a peace officer” to have a qualified individual take an additional DWI Blood Test. This request must happen no later than 2 hours after arrest. Also, the law says police “shall” allow you a reasonable opportunity to contact that person. However, police are not required to transport you to your selected individual for testing, and the failure or inability to obtain the additional DWI Blood Test does not affect the admissibility of the breath or blood taken at the request of the officers.

The other issue is that, based on the language, this only applies if you “submit” to the breath or blood test. If police obtain a warrant based on a refusal, than this exceptions may not apply. Our DWI Defense Lawyers will always argue that you have the right to your own DWI Blood Test, but please be aware that the State may argue otherwise if you “refused” to give breath or blood.

More about Mimi Coffey & The Coffey Firm

When people look for a Top DWI Attorney or Best DWI Attorney, they look for experience, certification, and respect in the legal community. Mimi Coffey is a nationally-renowned trial attorney, board-certified in DWI by the NCDD. She has been practicing for over 24 years and is an author of multiple DWI Defense textbooks. She is also a national and state-wide lecturer on the law.

The Coffey Firm handles a wide variety of cases, including Unlawful Carrying Weapon (UCW), Assault (including family violence), and Possession charges. We can also help you try to get a DWI off your record or avoid probation revocation.

Mimi is also listed on several “top criminal lawyer near me” directory listings such as Wise County DWI Lawyers, Tarrant County DWI LawyerDallas County DWI attorney, Collin County DWI attorneys and Parker County DWI attorneys. Mimi is a caring DWI Lawyer in Dallas – Fort Worth. She is also involved in the Texas Tech School of Law foundation and enjoys using the skills she has developed to give back to the community.

Lesser Included Charges

What are Lesser Included Charges?

Lesser Included Charges are charges that are related to your current charge, but of a typically lower range of punishment. An example might be manslaughter as a lesser included offense of murder. Manslaughter has a different required mental state (reckless) than murder (intentional or knowing), but a same end result (death). Another example would be assault by contact as a lesser included of assault involving bodily injury. Both charges are ‘assault’ charges and both involve some form of contact. But, they have different ranges of punishment (Class C for ‘contact’ and class A for ‘injury’ (generally)) because of the different degree of contact involved.

This is not always true, though. For example, the typical lesser charge for a DWI is Obstruction of Highway/Passageway. Other than being ‘driving’ offenses, these two charges do not seem to be very similar. Common sense would say that the lesser included charge for a DWI would be a DUI or a Public Intoxication. However, the statute for both DUI (Texas Transp. Code 106.041(g)) and Public Intoxication (Texas Penal Code 49.02(d)) both explicitly state that those offenses are “not a lesser included offense” of DWI. This is despite each of these offenses having nearly identical elements with only slight differences (e.g., Public Intoxication doesn’t require driving or operation).

More about Mimi Coffey & The Coffey Firm

When people look for a Top DWI Attorney or Best DWI Attorney, they look for experience, certification, and respect in the legal community. Mimi Coffey is a nationally-renowned trial attorney, board-certified in DWI by the NCDD. She has been practicing for over 24 years and is an author of multiple DWI Defense textbooks. She is also a national and state-wide lecturer on the law.

The Coffey Firm handles a wide variety of cases, including Unlawful Carrying Weapon (UCW), Assault (including family violence), and Possession charges. We can also help you try to get a DWI off your record or avoid probation revocation.

Mimi is also listed on several “top criminal lawyer near me” directory listings such as Wise County DWI Lawyers, Tarrant County DWI LawyerDallas County DWI attorney, Collin County DWI attorneys and Parker County DWI attorneys. Mimi is a caring DWI Lawyer in Dallas – Fort Worth. She also involves herself in the Texas Tech School of Law foundation and enjoys using her skills to give back to the community.

Repeat and Habitual Offenders

Repeat and Habitual Offenders face greater punishment, including the possibility of 25 to 99 years of prison!

Repeat and Habitual Offenders are enhancement paragraphs that the State may add to an indictment like a deadly weapon enhancement. Both enhancements deal with those who have one or more felony convictions on their records. A Repeat offender is, simply, a person who has one prior felony conviction. Conversely to how “attempt” lowers a charge by one degree, a “Repeat” raises punishment by a degree (in general). This means the following:

  1. A 3rd Degree Felony conviction becomes punishable as a 2nd Degree Felony
  2. A 2nd Degree Felony conviction becomes punishable as a 1st Degree Felony
  3. A 1st Degree Felony convictions becomes punishable as a pseudo-Capital Felony
    1. This means possibility of life, or 15 to 99 years in prison. This does not mean the State can seek a death penalty.

A Habitual Offender enhancement, on other hand, means that a person has two or more felony convictions on their record. The Habitual Offender enhancement makes the punishment range of a crime life, or between 25 to 99 years in prison regardless of the degree of the actual crime. The caveat, though, is that the two convictions must be completely separate. This means that the second conviction must come after the first has become final. As a rough illustration, this means there must be two separate prison sentences (or “pen trips”). In other words, multiple felony convictions from the same incident cannot be used for the Habitual Offender Enhancement.

It is also important to note that state jail felonies cannot be used for a Repeat or Habitual Offender enhancement. The exception is for an enhanced State Jail Felony (essentially a third degree felony) which occurs, as one example, when a deadly weapon is used or exhibited during the offense.

Having a Criminal Defense Lawyer that will fight for you is very important, even more so if you may be facing a Repeat or Habitual Offenders enhancement.

More about Mimi Coffey & The Coffey Firm

When people look for a Top DWI Attorney or Best DWI Attorney, they look for experience, certification, and respect in the legal community. Mimi Coffey is a nationally-renowned trial attorney, board-certified in DWI by the NCDD. She has been practicing for over 24 years and is an author of multiple DWI Defense textbooks. She is also a national and state-wide lecturer on the law.

The Coffey Firm handles a wide variety of cases, including Unlawful Carrying Weapon (UCW), Assault (including family violence), and Possession charges. We can also help you try to get a DWI off your record or avoid probation revocation.

Mimi is also listed on several “top criminal lawyer near me” directory listings such as Wise County DWI Lawyers, Tarrant County DWI LawyerDallas County DWI attorney, Collin County DWI attorneys and Parker County DWI attorneys. Mimi is a caring DWI Lawyer in Dallas – Fort Worth. She also involves herself in the Texas Tech School of Law foundation and enjoys using her skills to give back to the community.

Interlock and DWI Convictions

When it comes to Interlock and DWI Convictions, please be warned that the law gives judges a large amount of discretion for first time DWIs. For misdemeanor (DWI#2) or felony  repetition DWIs (3rd or more), the law requires an interlock as a condition of probation. The same is true for DWI with BAC double the limit (.15 or more) or for DWIs by minors. Some courts may allow for alternatives to the interlock (for example, a portable unit or SCRAM (ankle) monitor). However, that does not change the requirement for some form of monitoring.

Interlock and First Time DWI

For pure first time DWIs, however, the law merely states that the court “may” require interlock as a condition of probation. This is why having a DWI Lawyer like Mimi Coffey is so important. You need someone like Mimi to fight hard to avoid the interlock on a first time DWI.

There are four main exceptions to this discretion on first time DWIs, though. The first, as mentioned above, is if your BAC was .15 or more. The second, also mention, is for minors who receive a DWI. The third is deferred adjudication probation. Oddly, the law requires interlock as a condition of DWI deferred adjudication probation. However, there is a further exception to this that allows the court to waive the interlock requirement if we present a favorable Substance Abuse Evaluation (SAE) to the court.

The fourth and final exception is if you receive a DWI license suspension. This is more of an ‘indirect’ requirement since the interlock would be a condition of an Occupational Drivers License. However, this works the same in effect. While courts generally give credit for any ALR suspension on a first time DWI, this is not always the case. In other words, even if you satisfy all of the other exceptions (i.e., a good SAE, adult, BAC not .15 or more), the court may still indirectly require an interlock by issuing a license suspension.

More about Mimi Coffey & The Coffey Firm

When people look for a Top DWI Attorney or Best DWI Attorney, they look for experience, certification, and respect in the legal community. Mimi Coffey is a nationally-renowned trial attorney, board-certified in DWI by the NCDD. She has been practicing for over 24 years and is an author of multiple DWI Defense textbooks. She is also a national and state-wide lecturer on the law.

The Coffey Firm handles a wide variety of cases, including Unlawful Carrying Weapon (UCW), Assault (including family violence), and Possession charges. We can also help you try to get a DWI off your record or avoid probation revocation.

Mimi is also listed on several “top criminal lawyer near me” directory listings such as Wise County DWI Lawyers, Tarrant County DWI LawyerDallas County DWI attorney, Collin County DWI attorneys and Parker County DWI attorneys. Mimi is a caring DWI Lawyer in Dallas – Fort Worth. She also involves herself in the Texas Tech School of Law foundation and enjoys using her skills to give back to the community.

Expunction for Gun Convictions

Expunction for Gun Convictions: The Updated Statute

The law for expunction for gun convictions recently changed when ‘constitutional carry’ became the law. According to the updated expunction statute, certain Unlawful Carrying Weapon convictions became eligible if those convictions occurred before September 1, 2021. The UCW convictions that the updated expunction statute covers are those for carrying handguns when they are not on their own property (or property owned by them), or inside or “directly en route to a motor vehicle or watercraft” that the person owns or controls.

Put in other words, only gun convictions involving carrying a handgun fall under the updated expunction statute. For gun convictions involving criminal activity (i.e., a UCW when arrested for DWI) DO NOT fall under the new statute. This means that a UCW conviction attached to another offense IS NOT ELIGIBLE for expunction.

More about Mimi Coffey & The Coffey Firm

When people look for a Top DWI Attorney or Best DWI Attorney, they look for experience, certification, and respect in the legal community. Mimi Coffey is a nationally-renowned trial attorney, board-certified in DWI by the NCDD. She has been practicing for over 24 years and is an author of multiple DWI Defense textbooks. She is also a national and state-wide lecturer on the law.

The Coffey Firm handles a wide variety of cases, including Unlawful Carrying Weapon (UCW), Assault (including family violence), and Possession charges. We can also help you try to get a DWI off your record or avoid probation revocation.

Mimi is also listed on several “top criminal lawyer near me” directory listings such as Wise County DWI Lawyers, Tarrant County DWI LawyerDallas County DWI attorney, Collin County DWI attorneys and Parker County DWI attorneys. Mimi is a caring DWI Lawyer in Dallas – Fort Worth. She also involves herself in the Texas Tech School of Law foundation and enjoys using her skills to give back to the community.

ALR Notice of Suspension

Mimi Coffey DWI Lawyer, Texas DWI, Texas ALR, Texas License SuspensionHere is a word of warning for the ALR Notice of Suspension. PLEASE MAKE SURE THE ADDRESS ON YOUR LICENSE IS THE SAME AS WHERE YOU RECEIVE MAIL. Or, at the very least, that you have the ability to receive mail at the address on your license.

ALR Notice of Suspension for “Blood Consent” Cases

On “blood consent” ALR cases (where police do not need to get a warrant to do the blood draw), Texas DPS can not attempt to suspend your license until they receive the blood result. Typically, Texas DWI blood tests take roughly a month or so from the date of arrest before the lab reports the results. The Coffey Firm will send in a preliminary ALR request once you retain us. But, on blood consent ALR cases we typically receive a letter stating “no hearing necessary” pending the results of the blood test. In an ideal world, DPS would process this request and send the notice of suspension to us once they receive the blood. However, this is not the case. When Texas DPS receives the blood result, they send *you* the Notice of Suspension in the mail.

This is why your address is extremely important. Texas DPS will send the notice to the address that *they* have on file, the address on your license. It is very important to ensure you do a change of address with DPS if relocating. If you do not receive mail to your license address, then you may miss out on the opportunity for an ALR hearing. You have 20 days from the the date on the notice to request that ALR hearing, not the date you actually received the notice (if at all). Once Texas DPS mails the notice, it does not matter if you actually receive it. If the 20 days passes with no ALR request, the ability to make the ALR request goes away. Let The Coffey Firm know about the Notice of Suspension AS SOON AS POSSIBLE upon receipt so that we may request the ALR Hearing.

More about Mimi Coffey & The Coffey Firm

When people look for a Top DWI Attorney or Best DWI Attorney, they look for experience, certification, and respect in the legal community. Mimi Coffey is a nationally-renowned trial attorney, board-certified in DWI by the NCDD. She has been practicing for over 24 years and is an author of multiple DWI Defense textbooks. She is also a national and state-wide lecturer on the law.

The Coffey Firm handles a wide variety of cases, including Unlawful Carrying Weapon (UCW), Assault (including family violence), and Possession charges. We can also help you try to get a DWI off your record or avoid probation revocation.

Mimi is also listed on several “top criminal lawyer near me” directory listings such as Wise County DWI Lawyers, Tarrant County DWI LawyerDallas County DWI attorney, Collin County DWI attorneys and Parker County DWI attorneys. Mimi is a caring DWI Lawyer in Dallas – Fort Worth. She is also involved in the Texas Tech School of Law foundation and enjoys using the skills she has developed to give back to the community.

DWI Enhancement

DWI Enhancement Savings Clause

Effective September 1, 2005, the state repealed the “10 year rule” in Texas Penal Code 49.09(e). However, there is a savings clause that says the following:

“The changes in law made by this Act apply only to the penalty or the terms of community supervision for an offense under Chapter 49, Penal Code, committed on or after the effective date of this Act. The penalty and the terms of community supervision for an offense under Chapter 49, Penal Code, that was committed before the effective date of this Act are covered by the law in effect when the offense was committed, and the former law is continued in effect for that purpose. For purposes of this section, an offense was committed before the effective date of this Act if any element of the offense was committed before that date.”

The law does not allow convictions over 10 years old for DWI Enhancement (from the date of offense). At the same time, the State may use these convictions if there is an intervening DWI conviction. However, the Court of Criminal Appeals continues to ignore this savings clause and uphold convictions the law says they cannot.

Old ‘True Deferred’ DWI Probation

Additionally, under older DWI statutes, certain probated DWIs did not count as “convictions” for purposes of enhancement. Put differently, older probation sentences acted like true deferred adjudication where courts would dismiss the DWI upon successful completion. While this rule stuck around for a while, the law now states that “a conviction for [a DWI offense] that occurs on or after September 1, 1994, is a final conviction, whether or not the sentence for the conviction is imposed or probated“. While worded ambiguously, they look at the date of conviction, not the date of offense. To illustrate, the State could use a September 2, 1994 conviction for DWI enhancement.

More about Mimi Coffey & The Coffey Firm

When people look for a Top DWI Attorney or Best DWI Attorney, they look for experience, certification, and respect. Mimi Coffey is a nationally-renowned trial attorney, board-certified in DWI by the NCDD. She has been practicing for over 24 years and is an author of multiple DWI Defense textbooks. She is also a national and state-wide lecturer on the law.

The Coffey Firm handles a wide variety of cases, including Unlawful Carrying Weapon (UCW), Assault (including family violence), and Possession charges. We can also help you try to get a DWI off your record or avoid probation revocation.

Several “top criminal lawyer near me” directory listings list Mimi such as Wise County DWI Lawyers, Tarrant County DWI LawyerDallas County DWI attorney, Collin County DWI attorneys and Parker County DWI attorneys. Mimi is a caring DWI Lawyer in Dallas – Fort Worth. She also involves herself in the Texas Tech School of Law foundation and enjoys using the skills she has developed to give back to the community.