Avoiding a DWI Conviction by Plea to a Lesser Charge

Factors to Consider When Arguing for Reduced DWI Charges

Should you decide to plead guilty to obstruction of highway charges to reduce the fines and penalty fees of a DWI conviction? Here are some factors that will be considered:

  • How it will affect your criminal history

  • Details and evidence of driving while intoxicated must favor the defense

  • If there was an accident or injury involved at the time a reduced charge is unlikely

  • How well the driver performed on video recorded field sobriety exercises

  • Chemical test results, if any were given or taken-lower results are better

  • Willingness-or not- of the prosecutor to try this particular DWI case

To avoid the chance of a DWI conviction, it is hard to refuse an offer by the prosecution to agree to a plea to an Obstruction of Highway charge, which is a Class B misdemeanor in Texas. It can only be offered by the prosecution in plea bargains in some, but not all counties in Texas. It is highly attractive because it gives those charged with DWI an alternative option to plead guilty to a non-DWI offense. Sometimes. the State will reduce DWI charges to obstruction of highway charges, if they feel they have a weak case.

When a person pleads guilty to obstruction of highway, they will end up with a final conviction that could be either:

  1. Probation that remains on their record for ever both for public and police or

  2. Deferred adjudication that allows removal of the record from public view

    1. Eligibility for deferred adjudication and dismissal of the DWI charge

    2. Eligibility to apply for Motion for Non-Disclosure. which can remove  the offense from the public record, but leaves it on police type records. This possibility has limitations that need to be understood.

    3. Maximum punishment of up to 6 months in the county jail

Maximum fine of $1,000, as opposed to the $1,000 annual surcharge on your driver’s license if found guilty of DWI.