Woodlands Criminal Defense Attorney - Can I get a DWI dismissed?
Woodlands Criminal Defense Attorney - Brian Foley
A DWI is one of the hardest types of charges to get dismissed. Typically if someone has no criminal history and they are getting in trouble for the first time prosecutors will give them a second chance. This could be through a number of options. However on a DWI there is a lot of pressure to make sure that people are held accountable. This pressure comes from the community, MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), the way the laws about DWI are written, and the general concern that DWI is one of the only misdemeanor offenses that could end with a death. For these reasons it can be difficult to persuade a prosecutor to dismiss a DWI charge.
Until very recently the law didn't even allow for the charge to be dismissed by completing a deferred adjudication probation. This is available for every other misdemeanor offense. Now it is available for DWI as well but there is a catch. If you are placed on deferred adjudication probation for DWI and complete your probation without a hitch the case will be dismissed. But if you are arrested again for DWI then the probation could be used against you to enhance your punishment to a DWI 2nd Class A misdemeanor. This means that instead of facing a maximum punishment of 180 days in jail you could be facing up to 365 days in jail and a $4000 fine.
It isn't a conviction as far as telling a potential employer but it is a conviction for enhancement purposes. Some of the other ways to get a DWI dismissed are by completing a pretrial diversion which is a formal program similar to probation, however the prosecutor and not the court dismisses the case during a pretrial diversion and there is no formal plea of guilty on the record with the court. This means that the case may be expunged as opposed to non-disclosed. For more information check out https://www.brianfoleylaw.com/expunction-and-nondisclosure
You could also have the case dismissed by completing conditions for dismissal. This could be as simple as taking an alcohol awareness class and attending a victim impact panel where you hear some of the more tragic effects of DWI from the family members of victims or victims themselves. Again DWI is a serious offense and can cause pain and suffering to everyone involved in the process.
You could also have a DWI dismissed because the officer involved has committed some other untruthful or bad act and has since been fired or disciplined by his police agency. This is not something you can really count on, but a good defense lawyer will know who the officers in their jurisdiction are that have had issues like this and may be able to bring this up to the prosecutor in order to get the case dismissed or get a more favorable deal. Prosecutors make decisions on cases based on the evidence and the amount of risk that the jury, judge, and prosecutor's time would be wasted by trying a case that has no chance of success. Hiring a defense lawyer who knows how they make these decisions can be the difference between having to go to trial and having your case dismissed.
BORING LEGAL DISCLAIMER
For litigants who do not have counsel: Reading this blog post does not create an attorney client relationship. Call to set up a free consultation.
For the general public: This Blog/Web Site is for educational purposes only and it provides general information and a general understanding of the law, but does not provide specific legal advice. By using this site, commenting on posts, or sending inquiries through the site or contact email, you confirm that there is no attorney-client relationship created. Don't just read this as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney.
For attorneys: This Blog is informational and educational in nature and is not a substitute for Westlaw or other research and consultation on specific matters pertaining to your clients. As you know the law can change day to day based on recent case opinions. And unfortunately you shouldn't cite it in court as binding authority because it is not. Mention it to your friends, just seek real consultation if its something important.