DWI Plea Bargains in Texas.

A DWI plea bargain in Texas is a common way to resolve a DWI charge. In particular, a DWI plea deal has a two advantages. First, it can help you avoid jail time. Second, it gives you control of your case.

However, if you take a DWI plea deal in Texas, then you give up your right to fight the DWI charge. In many cases, this is the right thing to do. But it is not the right call for everyone.

For this reason, our post will describe the pros and cons of a DWI Plea Bargain in Texas. And we will also tell you about factors to consider when choosing between pleading out or fighting your case.

What is a DWI plea bargain in Texas?

A DWI plea bargain happens when a suspected drunk driver pleads guilty or no contest to a DWI charge. In exchange, the prosecutor will agree to give the person probation. Or in the alternative, the prosecutor will agree to give the person a lower jail term.

In exchange for probation or a lower jail term, the person gives up the following rights:

  • The right to a jury trial;
  • Waives the right to appeal;
  • Gives up the right to put on a defense; and
  • Agrees that the police report is true and correct.

Further, if the judge accepts the deal, then the court will follow the terms of the plea bargain. This often means that the person will go on probation, pay fines, be drug tested, and report regularly. If the person completes the probation, then the Court will close the case and the person can put the DWI arrest behind him or her.

On the other hand, if the judge rejects the DWI plea deal in Texas, then the person can take back the offer to plead out, and ask for a jury trial. More importantly, if the judge does not want to follow the deal, then the fact that you talked about a plea deal cannot be used against you at trial.

In short, there is no downside with talking to the prosecutor about a plea deal on your DWI case.

What happens when you are on DWI probation in Texas?

If you ask for DWI probation, then you are agreeing to do the following:

  • Report to a probation officer at least once a month;
  • Pay a monthly fee to probation;
  • Get drug tested;
  • Pay a fine;
  • Not get arrested for a new crime;
  • Complete community service hours;
  • Take a DWI education class; and
  • Follow all the rules of probation.

In sum, these are the most common parts of a DWI plea bargain in Texas. If you can complete these terms without any problems, then you are a good candidate to complete DWI probation.

What happens if you break DWI Probation in Texas?

If you do not follow the rules of DWI probation in Texas, then the judge may issue an order for your arrest. As a result, you will have to turn yourself in and bond out of jail. Then you will return to court for an MTR hearing.

At the MTR hearing, the judge will decide if you broke the rules of probation. If you did, then the judge will then decide what to do about the violations. The good news is that the judge has options. The options include keeping you on probation, sending you to jail, or something in between.

When should I consider taking a DWI plea deal?

There is no right way to answer this question. This is because every person has a right to fight his or her DWI charge. And you have a right to fight your case even if the State has overwhelming evidence you are guilty of DWI.

Nevertheless, you should consider taking a DWI deal if the following facts are present:

  • A high BAC;
  • Your BAC is over the limit and you crash into another car;
  • You look awful (i.e., really drunk) in your DWI arrest video; or
  • You want to avoid jail time in a tough county (e.g., Comal County).

To make matters more interesting, these factors will break in different ways for each person. As an example, 0.15 is considered a high or extreme BAC. When this happens, you should consider a plea deal. Otherwise, you may face higher jail term.

At the same time, many people do poorly on DWI tests for reasons other than driving drunk. To illustrate, some drivers cannot walk in a straight line because they have back or leg injuries. Similarly, they cannot keep their foot off the ground for 30 seconds because of their age or some other medical condition.

So you should always ask one this question in a DWI case: “Is there a good reason why I did not do well on the DWI tests?” A good DWI lawyer can help you answer this question. He can also guide you into making the best choice for your case.

When should I reject a DWI plea bargain in Texas?

This is a tougher question to answer. This is because once you reject the plea deal, then the outcome in your case becomes less certain. More to the point, without a plea deal, your punishment will be up to the judge.

Yet at the same time, there are several factors that weigh in favor of fighting your DWI case. These factors are:

  • You look good on the DWI video and you have a low BAC test result;
  • You believe your are not guilty;
  • A DWI conviction will cause you to lose your job;
  • A DWI conviction will cause you to lose your immigration papers; or
  • The plea offer is awful. Stated differently, you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

On top of that, these factors show why it is important to watch the DWI video with your lawyer. Together, you can develop a game plan that will increase your chances of winning at trial.

San Antonio DWI and DUI Defense.

The main takeaway from this post is that one size does not fit all when it comes to DWI plea deals. Some people will take a DWI plea deal to cut their losses. While others will plead not guilty and go to trial because they have a strong defense. And the right answer will depend on your goals in the case.

San Antonio DWI Defense Attorney. Phone: 210-733-7575.

Genaro R. Cortez is a DWI Defense attorney in San Antonio. He has over 20 years experience defending people accused of DWI. If you have questions about your DWI case, then call today for a free case consult.