Skip to main content

In DWI cases when are reduced charges in DWI cases offered?

Canyon Lake, TX |

If the DA is willing to reduce charges based on a weak case when is this typically done?

If there are facts of the case which the DA has not considered such a jurisdiction issue, obviously a criminal defense attorney won't want to tip the DA off to some of the weaknesses in his case, when will a defense attorney make his case for reduced charges or will he go ahead and take it to trial, file a motion to suppress, etc... and have the court hear the motion and case and not ask for reduced charges?

Attorney Answers 5


  1. Best answer

    You ask when DWI charges may be reduced to some other "non-DWI" charge. The simple answer is: whenever the prosecutors think that they will lose the case. If the prosecutors believe that they can prove the DWI, they would rarely, if ever, consider reducing the charges.

    And the prosecutors in some jurisdictions have a policy of never reducing DWI charges.

    Prosecutors will consider that they may lose the case, and therefore may consider reducing a DWI charge when: 1) The defendant looks good on a video, 2) there is no blood or breath test, 3) when there is a very low blood or breath test, (i.e. - possibly if below 0.10, and quite likely if it's well below 0.08), 4) there are issues regarding the legality of the stop, and 5) there are credibility issues with the arresting officers.

    A good DWI defense attorney should discuss with the defendant any plea offers, and also the option of turning down a plea offer for a reduced charge and simply going for a not guilty verdict on the original DWI case.

    This answer is for general purposes only, and is no subsitute for specific legal advice that would come from an attorney hired by you, having full knowledge regarding the facts and circumstances of your individual situation. This correspondence does not create an attorney-client relationship, and you should consult with one or more attorneys prior to acting on any of the information provided in this response.


  2. It depends. You have to read the file, and perhaps make an argument on how "weak"
    the case is. You would review the BAC report, the sobriety test report, and watch the video.

    Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

    Please mark as the best answer.

    Best of luck,

    John Vong
    Attorney at Law
    10827 Bellaire Blvd., Ste 200
    Houston, TX 77072
    (832) 641-0461

    DISCLAIMER This answer is for informational purposes only under the AVVO system, its terms and conditions. It is not intended as specific legal advice regarding your question. The answer could be different if all the facts were known. This answer does not establish an attorney client relationship. I am admitted only in Texas.


  3. If there is a jurisdiction question it can be raised at any time. Most DWI's aren't reduced unless the video is good for the defense or there are problems with the stop.

    My answers are intended only as general legal advice and are not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. There is no substitute for a full consultation with a local experienced criminal defense attorney. For more answers based on my 19 years of experience visit my website, www.austincriminaldefenseattorney.com


  4. Whether or not a DA will reduce a DWI charge to a lesser charge depends on many factors including, but not limited to, the facts of the case and the county where the case is pending. In some counties, there is a "no reduction" policy in place by the sitting DA. This means that a DWI filed in that county can NEVER be reduced to a lesser charge. In counties that do reduce DWIs to other charges, you typically need to set your case for trial, have great arguments against intoxication on your side, or the state needs to have a problem getting certain evidence admitted or witnesses to appear in trial.


  5. As a defense attorney, I would ask the DA to dismiss the case outright based on weaknesses in the case. I would expect the DAs would then counteroffer for the defendant to plea to reduced charges (not sure if you are talking about reckless driving??). It is rare in Bexar County for the DAs office to reduce DWIs to reckless driving as they now have the Take Responsibility Program where you can plea to Obstruction of A Highway while Intoxicated (time limits to plea and strict terms of probation). What county is the DWI in?

    Amy E. Owen
    Legarreta & Owen, LLP
    613 E. Ashby Place Suite 2
    San Antonio, Texas 78212
    210-532-5321 phone
    210-532-5322 fax

    I am a criminal defense attorney practicing in San Antonio, Texas. The above information is not a substitution for a meeting whereas all potential legal issues can be discussed.The above is not intended as legal advice. The response does not constitute the creation of an attorney client relationship as this forum does not provide for a confidential communication.

Criminal defense topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Questions?
An attorney can help.

Post a question and get free legal advice from attorneys.

Ask a Lawyer

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics