The New Fake Deferred Adjudication DWI Law
Don’t be fooled by the new fake DWI deferred adjudication bill. Those who are uninformed may choose to get a fake dismissal not knowing it is fake. The best thing to do is to analyze your DWI case properly 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, dismissed or reduced to a lesser charge (typically an “obstruction of a highway”).
What is deferred adjudication?
A true deferred adjudication is when a defendant pleads guilty to a charge (or no contest if the judge allows) and after successful completion of probation, the case is dismissed. This means the case could not be used as a conviction in the future. This was a true second chance type of punishment. This represents the carrot and stick approach. If one finished the conditions of probation (as if they were convicted for the offense), the reward is a true dismissal.
Is the new DWI deferred adjudication law a real deferred adjudication?
The plain and simple answer is NO. The DWI is never dismissed. It can be used in the future in the same way as a conviction can be. In the old days, a true deferred adjudication could never be used against a person. The laws have changed. The DWI deferred adjudication is exactly like the family violence deferred adjudication in that it counts as a conviction for enhancement purposes.
How deferred adjudications will be used against you: Now days, apartment complexes, employers and licensing agencies are using successful deferred adjudications against a person in the same manner as a conviction. Applications ask for “any criminal convictions” or “Have you ever been placed on deferred adjudication? If so, what for?” Licensing agencies are even barring people from certain vocational licenses due to deferred adjudication. For example, a mechanic or shop owner can’t even have the license to inspect cars if they are on deferred adjudication for DWI (barred for 10 years).
(g) For purposes of this section, a person is convicted of an offense when an adjudication of guilt or an order of deferred adjudication for the offense is entered against the person by a court of competent jurisdiction.