Deferred Adjudication on a DWI


How does deferred adjudication work for DWI charges? What are the advantages?

The advantages:

  • If you complete the probation, you would not be “convicted” of the DWI.
  • You would be allowed to get the charge sealed after 2-5 years have passed.
  • You would not have to pay the “DWI surcharges”

Can I get deferred adjudication?

Only certain types of cases are eligible to receive deferred adjudication.

  • It must be your first DWI charge
  • Your BAC (blood alcohol content) must be under .15
  • There must not have been a collision or injury (this is the policy of Travis County).
  • You must have an ignition interlock device during the probation.
  • ***Note - These eligibility requirements can be waived by the prosecutors.

If I meet all those requirements, will I get deferred adjudication?

Not necessarily. The prosecutor must agree to offer deferred adjudication as a plea bargain.

Is this as good as a dismissal?

No. But if a dismissal isn’t possible, this is definitely better than a conviction. Of course, you don’t have to accept the plea bargain, you can have a jury trial.

If I was arrested for another DWI charge in the future, would they be able to use this one to enhance the new one to the next level higher – a class A misdemeanor?


What does it mean to get the case “sealed”?

Sealing prevents non-governmental agencies (e.g. Dell, Walmart, apartment complexes) from seeing your arrest. But to be clear, sealing doesn’t happen automatically. We are happy to help you do it when you are eligible.

When can I get it sealed?

2 years after the probation is over if you had an IID in your car for 6 months during the probation. Or, 5 years after the probation is over if you had an IID for less than 6 months.

I have more questions.

No problem. Give us a call.