DWI Deferred Probation
Prior to the passage of House Bill 3581, if you were arrested for a DWI you faced 4 possibilities, you could fight the case and attempt to get it dismissed, attempt to get a pretrial intervention, if your county had such a program, or had a conviction on your record either by a probation or jail time. The legislature has now added 5th option. If you are charged with a DWI 1st, you may be eligible for a deferred adjudication
What is a deferred adjudication?
A deferred is a probation without a conviction. If you complete a deferred probation, your case will be dismissed. You may then become eligible for a non-disclosure which will seal the record of your request from the public.
Benefits of a DWI Deferred
If you are not able to get a pretrial intervention, a deferred maybe your next best option. You will qualify for a non-disclosure, but you will have to jump through a series of hoops. You can get a DWI conviction sealed in certain situations, but you will have to wait longer to get the non-disclosure if it is a conviction and not deferred. You also may be able to avoid fees of a conviction.
Requirements for a DWI Deferred
1. First time DWI
2. Blood alcohol content less than .15
3. No property damage
4. An intoxilzer installed on your car for the duration of your probation
Consequences of a DWI Deferred
This law will stay on your record as a conviction for the purposes of a second DWI. This means, even if you get a deferred, get it nondisclosed, if you are ever arrested again, the Government will use this deferred to plead you to a DWI 2nd. You will also have to pay the cost of keeping an intoxilizer in your car for at least a year along with probation cost. You will not be able to get an expunction, which will erase all records of your arrest as you would in a pretrial intervention. Lastly, you will not qualify for a non-disclosure if you have had another deferred or have plead guilty to another crime greater than a traffic ticket.
A deferred maybe a good solution for a person who was charged in their first DWI, but there are possible better solutions in your case. A DWI is a serious charge and requires professional help. The easy way out, is not always the best way out. Please contact an attorney who is qualified to handle this type of case. This blog is for information purposes only and is not enough to be considered legal advice.