Being put on DWI probation is never a pleasant experience. It disrupts your private life, sends your stress levels through the roof, and leaves a permanent mark on your legal records in the form of a criminal conviction. Probation is often a result of getting caught up in a whirlpool of legal and monetary demands, one that sucks you down if you can’t meet them all.
What’s worse? A DWI probation violation in Texas usually results in jail/prison time. So even if you avoid jail time on your DWI conviction, you’re not out of the woods yet. DWI probation can be incredibly strict and keeps you from moving forward from a DWI charge you’d likely like to leave in the past.
Your best bet? Hire the best DWI lawyer Houston has to offer, make smart legal decisions, and increase your chances of avoiding probation altogether. Mark Thiessen and the attorneys at Thiessen Law Firm have spent years making miracles happen for clients accused of DWI in Texas, and they may be able to do the same for you.
If you or a loved one has been accused of DWI contact Thiessen Law Firm today at (713) 864-9000 to begin defending your life.
How did you get here?
A DWI is leveled against any person found to be intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place. Although the basic definition appears simple, there are many legal minutiae that can affect the case as well as the severity of the sentence.
Some elements of a DWI that need to be proved, beyond a reasonable doubt, in order to convict are:
- Any intoxication that was caused by alcohol, a dangerous substance, a drug, or a combination of the previously mentioned substances. (Not a medical condition, drowsiness, ADHD, unfamiliarity with the test, incoordination, physical injury, mental disorder, etc.)
- Operation of a vehicle that uses some form of motor or a similar propulsion system.
- The vehicle was traveling in a public place.
While the punishment for a misdemeanor DWI can include jail time, more often than not, you’ll be handed a stiff probation.
How does DWI probation work in Texas?
Texas DWI probation rules are brutally strict. Depending upon the severity of the punishment, and your legal history, terms of probation can be extremely intrusive. Some of the common punishments for DWI probation in Texas include, but are not limited to, the following:
- A SCRAM ankle monitor or a Soberlink alcohol monitoring device.
- Car interlock devices that require you to take a breathalyzer every time you need to drive, and sometimes even remote home monitoring.
- Steep fines to both the court and the probation program.
- Routine drug tests. How often do you get drug tested on probation for DWI? It depends on how suspicious your probation officer is about your use of drugs or alcohol — but they can test you as often as they want.
- You will be required to attend multiple DWI classes and show up for routine visits to your probation officer.
The worst part? At the end of serving regular probation, it’s still a conviction for DWI. Collateral consequences for a DWI conviction can make the inconveniences of serving probation look like a cakewalk. Say goodbye to your travel plans and gun rights, and be ready to pay some serious insurance premiums!
How long is probation for a DWI in Texas?
Texas probation rules dictate that the amount of time spent on probation will be proportionate to the severity of the case (and whether or not you’re also serving jail time). You can expect to spend a lot longer on probation for a felony DWI in Texas, like a charge for intoxication manslaughter or intoxication assault, than for a DWI first offense.
That being said, the range for DWI probation length in Texas is typically between one and two years.
What are the conditions for Texas DWI probation early release?
According to the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure 42A § 701, although judges in Texas do have the authority to grant early release for people serving probation for other criminal offenses, they cannot release someone from probation for a DWI offense.
So, you cannot get released from DWI probation early. You can, however, have the conditions of your probation adjusted in some circumstances. This can mean fewer check-ins with your probation officer, reduced or removed community service hours, or an ignition interlock device removed from your car.
Opportunities for term adjustment are done on a case-by-case basis and vary greatly by judge and county.
How to avoid Texas DWI probation
Cops and prosecutors may lead you to believe that you’re 100% out of luck the second the cuffs are put on. This is not true. While some punishments come right after the arrest, DWI convictions can be avoided altogether – if you play your cards right. That means doing the following:
- Hire the best trial attorney you can afford ASAP.
- Don’t violate the terms of your bond.
- Let your lawyer handle the license revocation hearing.
- Always be polite, prompt, and dressed nicely for court.
If you want to avoid DWI probation, you need to avoid conviction. To avoid conviction, you need a DWI lawyer who takes complex DWI cases to court and wins them — like the Texas DWI attorneys at Thiessen Law Firm.
Looking to avoid Texas DWI probation? You need to avoid a DWI conviction.
DWI probation might sound better than doing significant jail time, but being on probation means being convicted of DWI. Don’t give up hope. Hire an experienced and aggressive DWI attorney who knows how to go to battle for their clients and win.
Mark Thiessen of Thiessen Law Firm has secured thousands of dismissals and over 100 Not Guilty Verdicts for his clients. He is also the only lawyer in America who is 4x board certified in:
- Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization
- DUI Defense by the National College for DUI Defense as approved through the American Bar Association
- DUI Law by the DUI Defense Lawyers Association
- Board Certified Advocate of Criminal Trial Law by the NBTA Foundation
More Helpful Articles by Thiessen Law Firm:
- What Does Acquitted Mean for DWI?
- How Much is Bail for a DWI in Texas?
- Do They Drug Test in Court for DWI?
- What is the Sentence for Intoxication Manslaughter in Texas?
- How We Use Accident Reconstruction To Win DWI Cases