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1st DWI's prior to 1994 were Class A and 1st DWI's after that were Class B. Can you petition court to change an A to B?

Houston, TX |

I just recently found out that my 1990 1st offense DWI (trial by judge), 2 yr probation, $200 fine, dwi class, 80 hrs community svc, no jail time) is on the books as a CLASS A. No priors, no enhancements, nada. This is a Class B all day long. I was attempting to obtain a professional license through the state, and it was found that I could not be issued a license because of the class A dwi. I was told that a 1st DWI prior to 1994 was a Class A, because it was looked at by the fines & penalties under vernon's civil statues to equal to a class A. After Sept.1994 legislature change the law to recognize a 1st DWI as a Class B. So because I received a DWI 4yrs earlier, I can NOT get a license, but if I would have got the DWI in 1995, I would qualify for a the license. What can I do to fix?

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Attorney answers 4


No. Crimes are always classified based on the law that applied at the time the crime was committed. There is no way to change your old Class A into a Class B. All you can do is challenge the prior conviction through a habeas corpus action or ask the governor to issue you a pardon. The first is an uphill battle and the second is exceedingly unlikely.

*** The fact that you solicited advice over a public forum waives any attorney-client privilege thus far. In addition, communications over this forum do not create any attorney-client relationship. To have a privileged conversation and/or establish an attorney-client relationship, contact me using the following information: Peyton Z. Peebles III Capitaine, Shellist, Peebles & McAlister, LLP, 713-715-4500 (office) 713-715-4500 (cell)


This is a class B all day long today. It was a class A all day long in 1990. The subsequent change in the statute does not affect your case. No judge has the authority to do anything about that. The only thing I could suggest is seeking a pardon through the board of pardons and paroles. The forms are on their website.

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Since the law at the time of the commission of the offense labeled the crime as a class A misdemeanor that is what you are stuck with.

Answering this question does not create an attorney-client relationship. Legal advice has not been given. Also, this question and answer is posted on a public forum and therefore any attorney-privilege is waived.


Folks have about an 8% chance of being granted a pardon by the Texas governor. The success rate for misdemeanor applications is even worse, since a person must demonstrate even more harm than when applying for a felony pardon. Good luck.

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