Can I Get Deferred Adjudication for a DWI in Texas?

Texas DWI Deferred Adjudication law 2019

The answer is YES beginning September 1, 2019. The Texas Legislature passed a new bill , TX HB3582, making it possible to get Deferred Adjudication for a DWI charge in Texas under certain circumstances. This means that a person can petition the court for a nondisclosure of criminal history of the DWI case. This can take place “only on or after the second anniversary of the date of completion of the deferred adjudication community supervision and the discharge and dismissal of the case”

Can I get Deferred Adjudication for All DWI Charges in Texas?

No there are many DWI or Intoxicated offenses that are not qualified for Deferred Adjudication Probation. Generally speaking a DWI and BWI qualify for deferred adjudication but with exceptions.

What DWI or Intoxication Charges Do Not Qualify for Deferred Adjudication in Texas?

  • Driving While Intoxicated with Child Passenger, a State Jail Felony
  • Fly While Intoxicated, a Class B Misdemeanor
  • Assembling or Operating an Amusement Ride While Intoxicated, a Class B Misdemeanor
  • Intoxication Assault, a 3rd Degree Felony
  • Intoxication Manslaughter, a 2nd Degree Felony

What Other Factors Disqualify a DWI Deferred Adjudication?

A DWI or BWI will not qualify if at the time the driver had a commercial driver’s license or commercial learner’s permit. If the DWI or BWI involves a blood alcohol content of .15 or more the driver is disqualified from a Deferred Adjudication. If Texas Penal Code 49.09 can increase the current DWI or BWI based on a previous conviction then Deferred Adjudication cannot be given.

Do I Need to Have an Ignition Interlock Device when on DWI Deferred Adjudication for Alcohol?

If a judge grants Deferred Adjudication community supervision for a DWI or BWI the driver SHALL have an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) on driver’s vehicle or vehicle most driven by him or her. The driver may not operate any vehicle without a IID installed on it. This is after failing a controlled substance and alcohol evaluation or no evaluation done.

What if I cannot Afford and Ignition Interlock Device?

An indigent driver, who can prove indigence, qualifies for a reduced cost of the IID. This includes a waiver of installation fee and 50 percent reduction in monthly device monitoring fee. The fee waiver does not apply to fees for failing to pass breath monitoring.

Do I Always have to have an Interlock Device for a DWI Deferred Adjudication Probation?

The answer is MAYBE not. Chapter 42A of Texas Code of Criminal procedure covers this.

Art. 42A.408 e-2 Texas Code of Criminal Procedure-

The judge MAY waive the IID for a DWI if after a controlled substance and alcohol evaluation the judge determines and enters into the record that restricting a driver to an IID is not necessary for the safety of the public.

Can I Get My DWI or BWI Non Disclosure Sealed from Public View?

Yes. A person may petition the court in which the person was placed on Deferred Adjudication community supervision for an order of non disclosure after a discharge and dismissal.

But according to Tx Govt. Code 411.074 the person cannot have a deferred adjudication or conviction for a sex offense, murder, capital murder, trafficking of persons, continuous trafficking of person, injury to a child, elderly or disabled person, abandoning or endangering a child, violation of court order, repeated violation of protective or court order, stalking, or offense involving family violence. But look below…….!!

Then the next line of Texas Govt. Code Sec. 411.0726 says that a person may petition for an order of nondisclosure if they have “never been previously convicted or placed on deferred adjudication community supervision for another offense, other than a traffic offense that is punishable by fine only.”

One more prohibition preventing a nondisclosure would be if the prosecutor presents sufficient evidence to the court that the DWI or BWI involved an accident with another person or passenger in the same vehicle.

When Can I get my Nondisclosure and Record Sealed from the Public?

If a person qualifies under the circumstances described above the person may petition the same court of the deferred adjudication. It must be 2 years after completing Deferred Adjudication and discharge from community supervision.

Can My DWI or BWI Deferred Adjudication be used Against Me in the Future?

Yes it can. This deferred adjudication is considered a conviction for later enhancement purposes.

What Offense Date Can Use This Law?

This new Deferred Adjudication law applies to a people committing an offense on or after September 1, 2019, the date this law takes effect.

What are the Fines For DWI Now?

According to the Texas Transportation Code 709 the additional STATE fines for DWI are as follows IN ADDITION to the already existent $2,000, $4,000 or $10,000 fines:

(1) $3,000 for the first conviction within a 36-month period;

(2) $4,500 for a second or subsequent conviction within a 36-month period; and

(3) $6,000 for a first or subsequent conviction if it is shown on the trial of the offense that an analysis of a specimen of the person’s blood, breath, or urine showed an alcohol concentration level of 0.15 or more at the time the analysis was performed.

(c) If the court having jurisdiction over an offense that is the basis for a fine imposed under this section makes a finding that the person is indigent, the court shall waive all fines and costs imposed on the person under this section.


It is not advisable to accept this as a final disposition in your case except as a last resort. You should hire a well versed attorney who knows DWI and BWI law to explore all areas of your case. Make sure there is not a good chance of winning your case before pleading guilty. Everything from prior to the police stop to the specimen analysis is important.

Don’t hesitate to contact us for more information at

Author: Eric Torberson

Eric Torberson is a licensed attorney in Texas as well as licensed in the federal courts of the southern and western districts of Texas.