DWI probation in Texas is common for someone convicted of their first DWI. Instead of spending time in jail for that first DWI in Texas, the offender can be placed on a form of “community supervision” — otherwise known as probation. Basically, the judge will probate the jail sentence in return for a period of time spent following strict rules under the supervision of a probation officer.
In some counties, there is also a probation program called Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) which is probation that leads to dismissal if successfully completed.
Hoping for DWI probation in Texas over jail time? You’re not alone. Here’s what to expect if you receive DWI probation in Texas.
DWI probation in Texas: What to expect
While you’re fulfilling a DWI probation in Texas, there are a number of requirements you may be expected to follow, including:
- Paying Fines: Between court and probation, you’ll be required to pay a series of Texas DWI fines. Court can set you back up to $6,000 and monthly probation fees can be around $50-$100 every month.
- Regular Check-ins: For a DWI conviction, you’ll be required to check-in with your probation officer at least once a month. During these check-ins, the probation officer will make sure you’re adhering to your DWI probation terms.
- Attending Meetings: Between community service and educational classes, there are a handful of meetings you’ll be required to attend during DWI probation in Texas.
- Routine Testing: During probation, you are expected to avoid alcohol and drugs. Your probation officer will conduct routine testing to ensure this.
- Miscellaneous: On top of the primary requirements, there are other items you’ll need to be aware of. For example, during probation, it’s likely that you’ll be required to maintain employment, notify the court of any pertinent life changes, refrain from traveling, and, of course, avoid run-ins with the law.
Can you get off probation early for a DWI in Texas?
The length of probation varies from case to case. But what does not vary is the fulfillment of this probation. In other words, your probation cannot end early with a DWI conviction. PTI terms may be terminated ahead of schedule, but that is up to that county and the District Attorney.
However, if you have successfully adhered to all of the terms set forth by your probation for a consecutive amount of time, it is possible to have those terms adjusted. You could be required to check-in with your probation officer less, or you could even have your community service hours reduced. But again, it’s important to remember that these potential changes are not guaranteed, and will vary from case to case.
What happens after your first DWI in Texas?
What happens after your first DWI in Texas will depend heavily upon the particulars of your case and the skill of your Houston DWI lawyer. You will want to speak with your attorney regarding pretrial diversion, probation options, expungement, and other avenues of lessening the effects of DWI conviction on your life.
Experienced DWI attorneys will also have insight into whether or not your DWI arrest and/or your breath or blood test was conducted legally. Lawyer-Scientists such as Thiessen Law Firm’s own Mark Thiessen are especially well-equipped when it comes to handling these issues and defending your rights.
Can you get DWI probation in Texas for your 2nd DWI?
If this isn’t your first time getting caught drinking and driving, then it’s very unlikely you will receive DWI probation in Texas. Jail time is usually required, especially if property was damaged or a person was injured.
With a standard 2nd DWI conviction, you can expect to spend at least 3 days in jail, with the potential for jail time to extend up to one year. You will also be expected to pay annual fines. Unlike standard DWI cases, conviction in intoxication manslaughter cases is almost always accompanied by heavy fines and longer jail time.
How long does a DWI stay on your record in Texas?
Unless you and your lawyer petition for DWI expungement, a DWI charge and/or conviction will remain on your record for the rest of your life. Unfortunately, having a DWI on your record can limit your opportunities for work and your ability to join the army, along with other possible ramifications. For more information, please see our article regarding DWI expungement.
Seeking DWI probation in Texas? Contact Houston DWI expert Mark Thiessen.
If this is your first DWI charge, you and your lawyer may wish to explore the option of DWI probation in Texas. But even if this is your second or third DWI, it’s important to have an aggressive lawyer with a DWI certification in your corner. A DWI expert like Mark Thiessen can help you defend your freedom and, if necessary, help you negotiate your probation requirements, jail time, and more.
At Thiessen Law Firm, we’re Board Certified in DWI Defense by the National College for DUI Defense. Mark is one of only three lawyers in all of Texas to be Triple Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, DWI Defense Law by the National College for DWI Defense, and DWI Law by the DWI Defense Lawyers Association. He has secured thousands of dismissals for his clients and won over 100 Not Guilty verdicts.
Contact us online or call us at 713-864-9000 to schedule a free consultation.
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