When facing a DWI probation, you usually don’t know what to expect. In general, probation depends on the nature of your violation and whether there are other violations on your record. In most cases, you could face a maximum sentence for your original conviction.
Ultimately, the decision of how to punish your violation belongs to your probation officer and the judge. The length of probation can be from as little as six months to as long as two years for a first-offense DWI conviction. Hire the best DUI lawyer as soon as you can as they are likely to take a harsh stance in your case.
To know about what you could face during your time of probation, keep on reading below.
Probation is the community supervision and other conditions you serve instead of a jail sentence if the judge finds you guilty. The length of the probation time depends on various factors. Typically, it can be from one to two years. It could be longer if you also face any sex offenses or felony DWI probation.
According to the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Chapter 42A, there are two types of probation:
1. Deferred Adjudication
This probation is available for a first DWI-related offense. This is for people who waive a jury trial when they have the DUI charged against them.
Only a judge, not a jury, can order the DWI probation, provided both the defendant and the prosecutor waive the trial. The judge defers adjudicating guilt until the time you finish your probation period.
Still, there are certain conditions you need to fulfill while on your probation. On successful completion, the court will dismiss the case and they is no finding of guilt. Moreover, the fact that you are guilty of this criminal offense will not be available.
However, your adjudication and the circumstances of your arrest will be available. In order to hide your DWI records from the public view, you need to file for a non-disclosure.
2. Suspended Sentence
The court imposes this probation after your case goes to trial and if there is a guilty verdict. You might go to either state prison or county jail, depending on the crime. When found guilty, the court may order a suspended sentence for a set period of time. This is also known as straight probation.
“Educate yourself about the dangers of drunk and distracted driving.”
But with suspended sentence probation, your incarceration time is less than your sentence. Furthermore, if you don’t violate the terms, the court views it as the completion of your sentence.
It is important to realize that you might not be eligible to expunge your DUI record. In such a case, contact a criminal defense attorney to get your DWI charges erased.
Depending on your age, your offense and other factors, there might be DWI or DWI charges against you. Additionally, if you have a minor with you or an open alcohol container in the car, the penalties increase.
Texas BAC (blood alcohol content) limit is 0.8 and you can get a DWI even while parked. Not just for these BAC levels, you can also get a DWI for using drugs legally.
Keeping this in mind, when a judge grants a probation, most people see it as a second chance. They stick to the terms of probation, as violating them can cause them to face more penalties. These terms are set by the court, depending on individual cases.
- Of these, the most common condition is abstaining from drugs and alcohol. You must submit to regular or random testing to this effect.
- Do not commit any other offense or leave the country without permission from the court. Report to your probation officer on a regular basis.
- You may have to face restriction or suspension of your driver’s license. There is a possibility to face jail time before the probationary period starts.
- You can be asked to attend community service and alcohol awareness classes. DWI education and intervention program might be mandatory for you during this period.
Avoid getting a license suspension by installing an Ignition Interlock Device in your car. You blow into this device and if even a trace of alcohol is present in your system, the car doesn’t start. In cases where the BAC is greater than 0.15, the judge makes this installation mandatory.
Violation and Consequences
Violating the above terms allows your probation officer to request an arrest warrant. It could even result in your probation revocation. Missing the court-mandated alcohol education class comes under grave violations. Not showing up for the scheduled community service is another serious violation.
“One in every three traffic deaths in the US are due to drunk driving.”
Others include getting arrested for further offenses or not making your court payments. Presence of BAC while driving or possessing drugs can get your probation revoked. Though court will decide the seriousness, even simplest probation violations have severe consequences.
In case of a violation, both you and your probation officer can present your case to the court. The judge considers each case individually. His verdict depends on the type of probation or if it is your first violation.
Either way, it is always a great idea to have the best DWI lawyer by your side. Only an experienced DUI attorney can avoid harsh consequences and reduce the sentence.
Contact DWI Defense Attorney David Hunter Today
Contact knowledgeable and the best DWI lawyer David Hunter today. With invaluable experience as Texas judge, David Hunter works in your best interests. To learn more, call [phone number=”281-265-1515″] any time of the day. Or, make an appointment online by clicking here and scheduling a free case evaluation.