How to Reduce DWI Charges and Penalties in Texas
If you are charged with driving while intoxicated, a conviction can have serious personal and financial consequences. For example, a first offense carries a fine up to $2,000, a jail sentence between 3 and 180 days, a loss of one’s driver’s license up to a year, and an annual fee of $1,000 or $2,000 for 3 years to retain one’s driver’s license. Because of the severe punishment possible from a DWI conviction, it behooves you personally and financially to take all the necessary steps to reduce a DWI charge and thereby its penalties.
How Can a DWI Charge Get Reduced in Texas?
Getting a DWI charge reduced means having the severity of the charges lowered to a lower crime class. Oftentimes this means that the possible fines, jail time, and other restrictions will be far more lenient. Examples of reducing a DWI charge include:
- Getting a Felony DWI Reduced to a Misdemeanor
- Filing a Pretrial Motion to Remove Illegally Obtained BAC Evidence
- Seeking Deferred Adjudication for Underage DWI
- Having Your Attorney Negotiate a Plea Bargain for a Less Charge Like Reckless Driving
- Getting the Case Dismissed
- Getting a “No Bill” Return at the Indictment Hearing (state drops the case)
If you would like to pursue any of these avenues to reduce the severity of charges against you, we highly recommend hiring an experienced DWI lawyer.
Underage DWI Reductions
The ability to reduce a DWI charge or penalty depends on whether the individual charged is a minor. For a minor charged with possession of alcohol while driving, the minor is required to take a mandatory-alcohol awareness and defensive driving course. This course can help reduce charges or penalties, or both.
Reducing Charges Against Adults
Unlike underage DWI cases, adults charged with a DWI are not required to take a defensive driving course, but may be ordered to do so as part of a conviction. Often, this course is ordered as a condition of probation.
Importantly, Texas does not offer deferred adjudication for adult drivers charged with DWIs. Deferred adjudication permits drivers charged with a DWI to receive only a probation without conviction.
For an adult charged with a DWI, typically the only way to reduce a DWI charge is to take a plea bargain with the state for a lesser charge, such as reckless driving. Whether or not the state offers a plea bargain will depend on a variety of factors, such as whether the person charged has prior convictions or whether anyone was injured.
However, in some cases the jury may return a “No Bill” at the indictment hearing because they don’t think there is enough evidence for the case to be prosecuted if it goes to trial. It is also sometimes possible to have irrelevant evidence that could sway the jury thrown out. If there is no case without the evidence, which could be the case in situations where the blood sample was improperly stored or taken, then the judge might decide to drop the charges against you altogether. All of these variables require a lawyer for reducing the charges.
Contact our Attorneys to Fight for a Reduction of the Charges You’re Facing
If you have questions about reducing DWI charges and penalties in Texas, a our team of criminal defense attorneys can help you. Contact our law firm today to schedule a free case evaluation by calling (713) 222-0400 or by scheduling an appointment online.