Can I get deferred adjudication for DWI in Texas?
In Texas, the answer is no. Deferred adjudication is a way for some people charged with a crime to avoid a conviction. They are placed on probation, and they enter a plea of guilty but the judge defers a finding of guilt. And if the defendant (the person charged with the crime) successfully completes his or her deferred adjudication by complying with the terms of probation, the court then sets aside the plea of guilt and the result is that the defendant is not convicted. Then after a certain amount of time passes, they can have their record sealed through what’s called a “petition for nondisclosure.” With certain notable exceptions, the crime they were charged with does not appear on their record. It is an attractive option for many defendants who are concerned about their future ability to get a job or who just want a clean record. By law, some crimes are ineligible for deferred adjudication, and in Texas DWI is one of those crimes.
Despite not having the option of deferred adjudication, there are still ways to keep a DWI arrest off of your record. You can possibly have your case dismissed or you may be able to win at trial and obtain an acquittal. Both of these results provide a path to expunction which is another, better way to keep your DWI arrest off of your record, sometimes with little or no waiting period. It is important to have a lawyer experienced in handling these types of cases to help you navigate the options that you do have available to you. An experienced dwi attorney will thoroughly investigate your case to give you the best possible option to resolve your legal matter.
The court may still offer you probation if you plead, but it will only come after a conviction.