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Benefits of Deferred Probation in a DWI case

Deferred probation is a disposition in which a Defendant is placed on probation, and upon successful completion, the case will not result in a final conviction. A prosecutor may offer deferred probation on a DWI if certain statutory requirements are met (i.e. no prior DWI’s and a BAC level under .15). Certain aggravating factors such as an accident may weigh against the prosecutor making such an offer. In some cases, an attorney may be able to negotiate deferred probation even if the statutory requirements are not initially met.

There are several benefits of deferred probation. First, the case does not result in a final conviction. Therefore, no final conviction is posted on your permanent record or driving record. This avoids any insurance implications, there is no drivers license suspension, and there is no
imposition of the DPS “super fine” which can range up to $6,000. Also, upon successful completion of deferred probation, a Defendant may be eligible to have the DWI arrest non-disclosed if certain statutory requirements are met. A non-disclosure will bar public viewership of the DWI arrest.

There are some disadvantages of deferred probation. First, in almost all cases, the Defendant will be required to have a Deep Lung Device (DLD) installed in his or her vehicle. Secondly, if a Defendant gets arrested for a second DWI, the first DWI (even if deferred probation is successfully completed) can still be used to enhance the second offense to a DWI 2nd , a Class A misdemeanor. Always inquire with your attorney as to the possibility of obtaining deferred probation on your DWI case.

No Contact Means NO CONTACT

For bond conditions and protective orders, a “no contact” conditions means absolutely no contact. Fortunately, some courts are re-wording such conditions to only cover “harmful or injurious” contact instead of all contact. But, when your bond conditions cover all contact, this includes electronic contact. In other words, no texting, phone calls, emails or direct messages (DMs) on social media. Unfortunately, some courts even include “tagging” a person in a photo or post. This is because a no contact condition is an objective, rather than subjective, conditions. This means that even if you do not intend for the “tagging” to convey information or contact the other party, it may still violate your conditions or protective order.

A violation of a bond or protective order means serious business. Not only would you face the consequence of the violation itself, multiple violations in a short period of time could mean a new charge! This new charge typically would be a Class A misdemeanor, but can be as high as a third degree felony. Multiple violations within a 12 month period would automatically be a third degree felony. Keep in mind, if charged as a felony, it would also be subject to felony enhancements meaning the possibility of higher punishment.

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 Assault

Though it seems like nonsense, regular assault is not a lesser included offense of assault by strangulation. This means that a person charged with a felony assault impeding breath or circulation cannot have a trial instruction a regular assault as a lesser included offense. The courts reasoning for this is that strangulation is a very specific type of bodily injury, so it requires different, additional facts for proof. In other words, assault by strangulation, by definition, excludes other injuries. The Coffey Firm disagrees with this reasoning and will work toward negotiating with the State on reducing or dismissing felony strangulation assault charges.

The issue comes with the indictment itself. If the indictment only alleges strangulation and not regular bodily injury, the courts will apply this rule. The State may amend the indictment, but relying on the State to do you any favors would be unwise. Let The Coffey Firm fight for the best possible outcome for you.

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.

Days of Jail as a Condition of Probation

DWI Probation Sometimes Includes Days in Jail as a Condition of Probation

For certain DWI convictions, the law requires days of jail as a condition of probation. The good news is that a First Time misdemeanor DWI conviction does not have this requirement. The jail time as a condition of probation only comes into effect on a second or more DWI Conviction, or for Intoxication Assault or Intoxication Manslaughter conviction. The minimum days of a jail as a condition of probation is as follows:

  • 72 hours (3 days) of continuous confinement on a second DWI conviction (Class A Misdemeanor);
  • 5 days if the second DWI conviction occurred within 5 years of the first DWI conviction;
  • 10 days on a third or more DWI conviction (felony);
  • 30 days on an Intoxication Assault conviction; and
  • 120 days on an Intoxication Manslaughter conviction.

This problem becomes worse when the State moves to revoke probation. If the court revokes probation and sentences you to jail or prison, then the days of jail spent as a condition of probation do not count for calculating credit for time served.

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 and Texas Driver’s License

Did you know that a DWI can affect your Texas Driver’s License?

A DWI arrest may result in a suspension of your Texas Driver’s License. Having an experienced DWI law firm behind you is very important in protecting your rights. It is *incredibly* important to have a DWI Lawyer experienced in protecting your Texas Driver’s License.

How can The Coffey Firm help with my Texas Driver’s License after a DWI arrest?

The Coffey Firm is very familiar with the DWI license suspension process, described in more detail below, and has multiple lawyers who handle the ALR hearings. We even have one DWI lawyer dedicated to ALRs and other Texas Driver’s License matters. This includes petitioning for clients to obtain an Occupational Driver’s License (ODL) to allow clients to drive for essential needs during a DWI suspension. Rest assured that The Coffey Firm will fight to protect your Texas Driver’s License to allow you to live your life with as few restrictions as possible.

DWI and ALR Driver License Suspension

The main suspension that affects a person arrested for DWI is call the Administrative License Revocation (ALR) suspension. After police make a DWI arrest, the law requires them to read what is called a ‘statutory warning’ (DIC-24) to the person arrested for DWI. This warning goes over the consequences of giving breath or blood (a “failure” case if BAC is .08 or higher), and the consequences of *refusing* to give breath or blood. If you “refuse,” police must obtain a warrant to do a DWI blood draw. Keep in mind that on a ‘refusal’ case, DPS only has to prove everything up to the refusal itself. This means that for a ‘refusal’ case, DPS does not care about the actual blood result.

You have 15 days from the date of arrest (not the date of release or date of charge) to request the ALR hearing.

The consequences of a “failure” case are a 90 day suspension on a first time DWI arrest or a 1 year suspension for a second or more DWI arrest within 10 years. However, if you have a prior older than 10 years, then the clock essentially resets back to the first time DWI arrest. For example, a DWI arrest in 2023 when your prior occurred in 1991 will mean you only face a 90 day suspension in a ‘failure’ case.

The consequences of a ‘refusal’ case are a 180 day suspension on a first time DWI arrest or a 2 year suspension on a second or more DWI arrest within 10 years. As with the ‘failure’ cases, a prior DWI arrest from over 10 years ago does not affect you. So, a prior DWI suspension from 1991 would not affect a 2023 DWI suspension, at least for the ALR.

How does the DWI criminal case affect my Drivers License suspension?

If a jury finds you not guilty of DWI, then the ALR suspension goes away once DPS receives notice of the DWI not guilty.

But, here is the bad news: the criminal case *generally* does not affect your ALR drivers license suspension. This means that even if the State never files a DWI case against you or gives you a DWI dismissal or DWI reduction, that the ALR suspension would not go away.

The other bad news: a DWI conviction may result in a *separate* drivers license suspension. The law allows for the criminal court to issue its own DWI suspension upon a DWI conviction. This criminal suspension ranges from 90 days on the low end (first time DWI convictions) up to 2 years.

GOOD NEWS, though: on a first time DWI conviction, courts give credit for any ALR suspension already completed. In other words, the court may give you a 90 day criminal suspension, but with credit for 90 day ALR suspension. This would mean no separate suspension on more than paper. Similarly, on a first time DWI conviction there will typically be no separate criminal suspension if you receive DWI probation and that probation requires you to complete a DWI Education Program and/or requires you to only drive vehicles with an ignition interlock installed.

What if I have a Texas CDL? Does that change anything?

Short answer: yes, having a CDL makes quite a bit of difference.

The Texas CDL primarily affects the criminal case and eligibility for DWI deferred. But, having a Texas CDL also impacts your Texas Drivers License suspensions in a strange way. The base suspension does not change, but a CDL holder may receive a CDL disqualification *separate* from the regular license suspension. A first time DWI with a CDL results in a 1 year CDL disqualification on top of the base suspension. A second results in a lifetime CDL disqualification. (*however, the law does allow for a person to reapply for a CDL after a certain amount of time following the disqualification). This means that even once the ALR suspension ends, the disqualification would prevent driving commercial vehicles, which may place employment at risk for most CDL holders.

The Coffey Firm is dedicated to protecting your CDL so that a first time DWI does not ruin your life! Our DWI Lawyers know how important your CDL is to making a living and will fight hard so that you can keep your job.

What are the consequences to driving without a Texas Driver’s License?

The main consequence that you place yourself at risk of a Driving While License Invalid (DWLI) Or While License Suspended (DWLS) ticket. Fortunately, both of these are fine-only traffic tickets most of the time. However, there are circumstances that would raise it to a Class B Misdemeanor. One of those is driving without insurance. More importantly, though, is that if it was as DWI suspension the DWLI becomes a Class B Misdemeanor. This means that rather than simply paying a ticket, police may arrest you. This is why The Coffey Firm helps clients obtain an Occupational Drivers License in the event of a suspension. With the ODL, the court grants you permission to drive for essential need during the suspension, meaning that you are legal to drive within the restrictions set by the court.

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.

Felony DWI Damage Control

Mimi Coffey, DWI Lawyer

Mimi Coffey, premier DWI lawyer

Felony DWIs are serious business that often require some DWI damage control. A Felony DWI in Texas is either a third or more DWI arrest or an arrest for DWI with a child passenger. Keep in mind that a DWI with child passenger is a State Jail Felony *even if it is a first time DWI*. Judges only see a name on a docket sheet and treat Felony DWIs harshly simply because they are felonies (even if you’ve never been in trouble before!). The Tarrant County DWI Lawyers at The Coffey Firm dedicate themselves on humanizing clients so that courts and DAs see beyond just a case number.

DWI Damage Control: “90 in 90”

One form of DWI damage control that The Coffey Firm recommends to all Felony DWI clients is called “90 in 90”. What this means is for the client to do 90 AA meeting in 90 days. This may sound daunting at first, but it is likely the easiest and least restrictive damage control as AA meetings are generally free and offered around the clock to fit your schedule. The reason The Coffey Firm recommends 90 in 90 is because Felony DWI judges tend to look upon it favorably.

The Tarrant County DWI Lawyers at The Coffey Firm can give you an attendance log to take with you to the 90 AA meetings so that you can verify attendance as well as keep track of meeting topics. However, The Coffey Firm usually also recommends keeping a journal (usually a video journal saved in Google Drive) of your meetings as well. This way you keep a record of what the group discussed at a particular meeting. By doing this DWI Damage Control, The Coffey Firm can show this video journal to the State while working on a Successful DWI Outcome.

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.

What To Look For in a top DWI Lawyer

Mimi has been practicing criminal defense for 28 years in north Texas and knows exactly what you should look for in a top Tarrant County DWI lawyer. Whether you are looking for an Arlington top DWI lawyer, Ft. Worth, Dallas or its many north Texas suburbs, the Coffey Firm is well known for honest, skilled representation.  For starters, these are serious warnings:

  1.  DON’T TRUST THE REVIEWS. Most people with a DWI do not want to be known as having one.  Don’t trust the reviews. Most clients do not want to be known through a review. We cannot speak to the legitimacy of all the reviews.
  2. BIG ADVERTISER DOLLARS DOES NOT EQUATE TO BIG RESULTS, IT EQUATES TO BIG OVERHEAD. Don’t trust the big marketers.  Just because a law firm can pay for ads does not mean they are competent.  Google Ads  can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.  It is way too easy for law firms that do no specialize in DWI to appear they are the best to hire.  Trust experience, word of mouth and credentials. Most lawyers who advertise they are “DWI lawyers” do not even belong to the nation’s premier DWI organization the NCDD. The NCDD provides the only board certification in DWI recognized by the American Bar Association and the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Mimi Coffey is the only north Texas lawyer (DFW) board certified in DWI by the NCDD.
  3. ANY LAWYER WHO PROMISES A RESULT SHOULD NOT BE TRUSTED. It is impossible for a lawyer to promise a result without being able to see the State’s evidence, negotiate and discuss your version of the facts.  To do so is to violate the Texas Lawyer’s Creed and is unethical. Of course, everyone wants soothing reassurance that their case will go away. This simply is not true for most people. Anytime a lawyer tells you what you want to hear from the very outset of a case, you should be suspect.  You want a truthful lawyer, not a charlatan.

Mimi Coffey has practiced DWI defense for 28 years in north Texas. She has the experience, wisdom and caring to know how to best help you with your situation.  Mimi has earned a reputation of what you want in a Tarrant County DWI lawyer:

  1. Experience.  Mimi has been practicing for 28 years. She opened the Coffey Firm in 2000. The Coffey Firm has been serving north Texas for 23 years.   People know that she has an open door policy, walk ins are welcome, and all her clients get her cell phone. She has a fully staffed office in both Fort Worth and Dallas serving Tarrant, Parker, Johnson, Wise, Dallas, Collin, Denton, Rockwall and Ellis counties.  She analyzes every single case personally. She has had close to 400 trials. She is not  just a well known name on a billboard. She is a hard working, humble, caring, accessible lawyer that cares very much about the people who come to her.
  2. Wisdom.  Lawyers across the country seek her help and advice. For years she has lectured to other lawyers across Texas and the country. She has published numerous articles in both the state and national criminal defense lawyer magazines.  She has published 2 textbooks on DWI in Texas.
  3. Caring.  Mimi believes strongly that lawyers owe a duty to help their communities.  For years Mimi has been providing scholarships to high school and law students. She is an active member of the Texas Tech School of Law Foundation Board. She gives back to the State Bar of Texas by serving on the Jury Service Committee of the Texas State Bar. She is in her 11th year of public service to other DWI lawyers on the NCDD Board of Regents which helps educate public defenders across the United States.  On a personal level, she is a mom to 4 grown children.  She took in an exchange student years ago and a family from Ukraine after Russia invaded.  Mimi refused to ever let her mother go into a nursing home. Mimi’s mom lived with her since law school and they were a powerful team until her passing this March at age 88.

Call the Coffey Firm at 817-831-3100 with your Tarrant County DWI or criminal case. Experience matters. Kindness, caring and compassion are key.

Will I Go To Jail On A First Time DWI?

A question we hear often is whether jail time on a first DWI is mandatory. The short answer is ‘not really’. The longer answer, though, is that any conviction is technically a jail sentence. The way DWI probation works is that the court sentences you to jail time, but probates that sentence and places you on DWI probation. However, for those wishing to avoid probation on a first time DWI conviction, the law requires a minimum of 3 days. Many courts require three full days (72 hours) and will not give 2-for-1 credit on these three days.

On occasion, the court will make jail time mandatory as a condition of probation. The good news is that for a first-time DWI, this rarely occurs. This mandatory jail time as a condition usually occurs on a second or third DWI. Even then, some courts allow alternatives for this jail time, such as DWI labor detail.

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.

Deadly Weapon and Probation Eligibility

Did you know that a deadly weapon finding may have an impact on your eligibility for probation?

Texas law limits a judge or jury’s authority to order or grant probation on certain offenses. These are typically what DWI lawyers refer to as “3g” offenses. This list includes, but is not limited to: Murder, Sexual Assault, Injury to a Child, and Compelling Prostitution. More importantly, though, the law limits a Judge’s ability to grant probation when the offense involves a deadly weapon. If a deadly weapon was used or exhibited in the commission of a felony and the defendant is the one who used or exhibited the deadly weapon, the law says that a Judge may not grant straight probation.

A jury, however, has fewer limits. While a jury may not grant probation for offenses like Murder or certain Aggravated Kidnapping, they may also not grant probation if a person receives a sentence of imprisonment that exceeds 10 years. However, a jury has no deadly weapon limit. In other words, a judge may not grant straight probation for Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, but a jury can.

Oddly, there is an exception to the deadly weapon rule. A judge still has authority to grant deferred adjudication probation if an offense involves a deadly weapon. There are other restrictions to deferred, however, that may affect your case. Please contact our DWI Lawyers to discuss the specific facts of your case to determine if any of these exceptions apply to you.

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 and Global Entry

Did you know that a DWI might affect your eligibility to obtain Global Entry through Customs and Border Protection?

In general, all United States citizens and lawful permanent residents possess eligibility to apply for Global Entry. This is a program through Customs and Border Protection that allows for expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers. That said, Customs my deny eligibility for a variety of reasons such as providing false information on the application and a finding of customs violation for *any* country (not just US Customs violations).

However, there are 3 important reasons related to criminal defense that everyone should know. First, Customs may deny eligibility if you have been denied for the purchase of a firearm. This restriction is important because firearm restrictions may, on occasion, be a condition of a criminal charge, even if the charge is dismissed. Further, a denial of a firearm purchase may show Customs that you are not a “low-risk” traveler based on the reason for denial.

Second, Customs may deny eligibility if you are the subject of an *ongoing investigation* by law enforcement. In other words, even if the State has not yet charged you with or convicted you of a crime, a pending investigation may result in denial of Global Entry. For example, if someone called the police but they made no arrest pending investigation, that would fall under this reason for denial of eligibility.

Finally, and most importantly, Customs may deny eligibility upon conviction, pending charges, or outstanding warrant for *any* criminal offense. This means a pending DWI or a DWI conviction could result in a denial of Global Entry. By extension, this language means that even a ticket might result in denial of eligibility. This may even include deferred adjudication probation where the court makes no actual finding of guilt.

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.