Deferred Adjudication for a Houston DWI?

A question that we here fairly often, "Can you get Deferred Adjudication for a Houston DWI?"  Not since 1984 have Houston DWI suspects been able to receive a deferred for their DWI arrests.  That' right, the Texas Legislature took the deferred probation option away from DWI suspects over 25 years ago.

What is more surprising to those that don't practice criminal law, a citizen charged with any other crime in Texas is eligible for deferred probation.  Murder? Sexual Assault of a Child? Aggravated Assault?  Drug Dealing?  Yes, each and every one of these crimes is eligible for deferred adjudication probation. but not DWI.

Why is it that DWI is the only crime in Texas that one is not eligible for deferred?  Could it be that we really think a DWI is a worse crime than murder?  Could it be that the Legislature is beholden to someone?  Could that someone be the incredibly powerful lobbyists at MADD?  Let me know your thoughts.

July 4th Weekend - Another "No Refusal" Weekend for Houston DWI Suspects

The 4th of July weekend brings another weekend that law enforcement will once again utilize its controversial “No Refusal” policy for those citizens arrested for a Houston DWI offenses. Law enforcement agencies have teamed up with the district attorney’s office to force blood from DWI suspects who don’t volunteer to give a breath or blood test.

When a police officer, sheriff’s deputy or DPS Trooper arrests a citizen for DWI this 4th of July weekend, they simply won’t take no for an answer. Even though we all have a right to refuse a breath or blood test, law enforcement just refuses to see it that way. Instead, these law enforcement officers – with the aid of the district attorney’s office – will fill out a search warrant affidavit and ask a Judge to sign that affidavit. The police will then strap the DWI suspect down and forcibly take his blood.

It should be noted that a prominent Houston DWI lawyer recently made a request to determine how many, if any, DWI blood search warrants had been refused by the Judges. The answer, I believe, was none. The Judges are “suppose” to be neutral and detached from the facts and the results in this process. They are “suppose” to carefully scrutinize these DWI search warrant affidavits and only sign if the affidavit is sufficient. Does it sound like the Judges are acting as a rubber stamp in these DWI search warrant cases? Does it sound like the Judges are acting neutral and detached in this process as required by the Code of Criminal Procedure?

For a more cynical article, read Paul Kennedy's take on the "No Refusal" 4th of July weekend.