I am a former Texas Peace Officer and I work for the Law Office of Jamie Balagia as an investigator on the cases that we handle. I do not give legal advice but do have an opinion about what you need to do when charged with a criminal offense. What follows are my suggestions and thoughts about what you may be facing when charged with a DWI.
"You have been charged with a DWI. You have obtained an attorney. The State may offer you a plea bargain in which they agree to dismiss your DWI charge if you agree to plead guilty to what most people consider a lesser charge. (The attorneys here tell me that a DWI does not have any official "lesser included charge" so in reality it is a different charge with lfewer penalties than a DWI carries.)
Two possible options are:
* Obstructing a Roadway (OAR); * Reckless Driving These are two very different charges but they each carry less of a burden than a lifelong DWI conviction.OAR could be your best option to avoid a DWI conviction on your record. DWI is a class B misdemeanor in the Texas Penal Code. OAR is also a Class B misdemeanor but if you plead guilty to OAR you won't have to pay the Driver's License Surcharge to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). AND you won't have a DWI conviction on your record because that charge will be dismissed and can't be refiled.
A DWI conviction in Texas will result in DPS assessing a $3,000.00 surcharge that has to be paid at the rate of $1000.00 a year for the next three consecutive years. OAR is the most commonly pled to charge in a DWI case besides DWI. Additionally, there is no driver's license suspension upon a conviction of OAR.
Reckless Driving is also a class B misdemeanor in the Texas Transportation Code (not the Texas Penal Code). For a driver who holds a Class C driver's license, there is no suspension for a Reckless Driving conviction.
The problem with pleading guilty to Reckless Driving is that it can negatively affect the future costs of your car insurance. Insurance companies do not like to see a Reckless Driving conviction on a policy holder's driving record.
Typical factors to consider in arguing for a reduced charge are:
* the criminal history of the defendant; * the particular driving facts of the case; * whether or not there was a car accident or an injury involved; * how the driver appears on the arrest video; * how well the driver performs the field sobriety test on the video; * the results of a chemical test; if any; and * the willingness of a prosecutor to try a DWI case.