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The New Fake Deferred Adjudication DWI Law

Mimi Coffey DWI Lawyer, Texas DWI, Texas DWI Deferred Adjudication

The New Fake Deferred Adjudication DWI Law


Don’t let The New Fake Deferred Adjudication DWI Law bill fool you. The uninformed may choose to get a fake dismissal not knowing it is fake. Mimi will analyze your DWI case during a full case evaluation and review all options to determine the best course of action.

What is it?

Before Sept. 1, 2019 there was no such thing as deferred adjudication for any type of DWI offense. Cases ended either in a DWI conviction, dismissal or reduction to a lesser charge (typically an “obstruction of a highway”).

Deferred Adjudication

A true deferred adjudication occurs when a defendant pleads guilty (or no contest, if allowed) to a charge. After successfully completing probation, the court dismisses the case. In other words, the State cannot use the case against you. True deferred adjudication is a second chance type of punishment. True deferred adjudication represents the carrot and stick approach. If one finished the conditions of probation (as if convicted for the offense), the reward is a true dismissal.

The Deferred Adjudication DWI law is Texas Code of Criminal Procedure 42A.102, which says (in simple language):

  • The judge may grant deferred adjudication unless:
    • the defendant is charged with . . .
      • A DWI or BWI, and, at the time of the offense
        • the defendant held a CDL; or
        • the defendant had BAC of .15 or more
      • for a DWI which may be enhanced (i.e., a DWI #2 or higher even if negotiated down to a Class B)
      • A DWI with a child passenger, FWI (Flying while Intoxicated), Assembling an Amusement Park Ride while Intoxicated, or Intoxication Assault/Manslaughter

In other words, the DWI has to be a true 1st time offense (Class B Misdemeanor) and you must not be a CDL holder. Do not confuse this with eligibility for nondisclosure, though. If, at the time of offense, you had a BAC of .15 or more, you are ineligible for a nondisclosure even if you receive a lower charge. This is because nondisclosure eligibility is based on whether your case is punishable as a Class A or higher charge, not the actual punishment given.

Will I receive a true dismissal after DWI deferred adjudication?

The plain and simple answer is NO. The case still exists. Prosecutors may use it in the future in the same way as a regular conviction. In the old days, true deferred adjudications were unable for use against a person. But, the law changed. The DWI deferred adjudication is exactly like the family violence deferred adjudication in that it counts as a conviction for enhancement purposes.

How others use the deferred adjudications against you

Nowadays, apartment complexes, employers and licensing agencies use successful deferred adjudications against a person in the same manner as convictions. For example, applications ask for both convictions and deferred adjudications. Licensing agencies are even barring people from certain vocational licenses due to deferred adjudication. For example, a dental hygienist trying to renew their license must report any conviction or deferred adjudication as part of the renewal process. In other words, a dental hygienist might lose their career despite deferred adjudication meaning there is no actual finding of guilt. This might also mean that a mechanic or shop owner can’t even have a license to inspect cars if on DWI deferred adjudication (barred for 10 years as mentioned in the statute below).

https://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac$ext.TacPage? sl=R&app=9&p_dir=&p_rloc=&p_tloc=&p_ploc=&pg=1&p_tac=&ti=37&pt=1&ch=23&rl=5

“(g) For purposes of this section, a [conviction occurs] when [the court enters an] adjudication of guilt or an order of deferred adjudication for the offense . . . against the person by a court of competent jurisdiction.”

More about Mimi Coffey

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), Theft and Possession charges. We can also help you try to seal your record or avoid probation revocation.

Mimi is also listed on several “top” directory listings such as DWI Lawyers for Wise County, DWI Lawyer Tarrant CountyDWI Lawyer Dallas County, DWI Lawyer Collin County and DWI Lawyer Parker County. Mimi is a caring DWI Lawyer in DFW, 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.