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When Is Deferred Adjudication Available in DWI Cases?

 Posted on August 05, 2022 in DWI

tarrant county DWI lawyerAn arrest for drunk or intoxicated driving can lead to multiple serious consequences. A person convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI) may be sentenced to time in prison, be required to pay thousands of dollars in fines, and their driver’s license may be suspended. Fortunately, options may be available that will allow a person to avoid a conviction, including deferred adjudication. A person who is facing DWI charges can work with a criminal defense attorney to find solutions that will allow them to move forward successfully after a DWI arrest.

What Is Deferred Adjudication?

To avoid being convicted of a DWI offense, deferred adjudication may allow a person to resolve their case and serve a sentence of probation. In these cases, a person will appear before a judge and admit guilt, but they will not be formally convicted of the charges. Instead, they will serve a sentence of community supervision. If they successfully complete the term of probation without being arrested or charged with another offense, their case will be closed without applying punishments such as fines or jail time.

Deferred adjudication is typically only available in first-time DWI cases. A person will not be eligible for deferred adjudication if they are a commercial driver’s license holder or if a chemical test performed after their arrest showed that they had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .15 percent or higher. If deferred adjudication is granted, certain requirements may apply during the person’s period of probation, such as regular drug testing, mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device on any vehicles they drive, or community service. Any violations of the terms of probation will result in the revocation of deferred adjudication. Since the person has already admitted guilt, they may be convicted of the DWI offense and face the maximum applicable punishments. 

While deferred adjudication will allow a person to avoid a conviction, the DWI arrest will still show up on their criminal record, and it cannot be removed through expunction. However, a person may apply for non-disclosure once they have completed their period of probation and the non-disclosure waiting period has expired. This seals the official records and will prevent certain parties from accessing records related to their DWI case. This will prevent certain parties, such as prospective employers, from accessing records related to their DWI case.

Contact Our Fort Worth DWI Defense Lawyer

If you have been arrested for DWI, you will want to determine how you may be able to resolve your case and avoid consequences that could affect your life and your career. At The Dameron Law Firm, we can advise you of your options, and if possible, we may be able to request deferred adjudication that will allow you to avoid a conviction. We can also assist with petitions for non-disclosure after you have completed a term of community supervision. To learn more about how we can help with your case, contact our Tarrant County first-time DWI attorney at 817-222-0624 and schedule a free consultation.


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