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New DWI Laws for Texas May Happen: Texas Legislature Considers Revising DWI Laws

It’s not news to anyone that Texas drunk driving laws need to change. There are huge backlogs of pending DWI cases in most Texas counties – 1000s of cases that are bottlenecked. This, of course, is a bigger problem for the prosecution than for the defense.  Any good DWI defense attorney will tell you that those big backlogs aren’t necessarily bad news for DWI defendants.

However, there’s also the problem of inequality in how DWI laws are carried out in our great state. As we discussed this summer (“Will Texas DWI Laws Finally Become Fair? Maybe.“), it’s checkerboard justice: get pulled over in one part of Texas, it’s serious. Get stopped in another area of the Lone Star State, it’s no big deal.

Texas Legislature May Change the Law for First Time DWI Offenders

However, things may really be changing next year. Down in Austin, come January, the Texas Legislature will hear a proposal that will let first time DWI offenders the option of deferred adjudication with the key benefit of keeping that DWI off their record. Right now, with your first DWI conviction, you’ve got a misdemeanor on your record along with a fine of up to $2000 and a driver’s license that is suspended for 6 months.

What does this mean to you? 

If you are facing your first DWI charge, then the new law would let you opt for “deferred adjudication,” which means you just get your case put on hold for awhile.  If, during this delay period, you do jump through all the hoops (and that will include someone checking out what you’re doing and your taking part in some sort of treatment program) then you could end up acquitted of the DWI charge after you’ve done a year’s probation without another offense.

Sounds like a pretty good deal, right?  Let’s see what happens. 

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