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Can DWI charged get reduced in Harris County, Houston, Texas?

Houston, TX |

I was told that Harris County does not reduce charges at all, if the charge would have happened in any other county besides Harris it could be reduced. I want to know is that true? Or can I get it reduced in Harris County?


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Toward the end of the term of former District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal,it was not uncommon for the State to offer to reduce DWI charges to Reckless Driving. Then came the administration of Pat Lykos who did away with that policy,and instituted a standard offer of 30 days in jail or a year probation for a first offense DWI. But she also instituted a program called DIVERT. This was a hybrid community supervision and alcohol rehabilitation program, for qualified first time DWI defendants, which allowed for dismissal of the underlying DWI charge upon successful completion of the program.It also made way for expunction of the arrest record after a two year waiting period. In Texas, by statute, one cannot receive deferred adjudication for DWI. Deferred adjudication is a type of probation that leads to dismissal of charges. For that reason, DIVERT was an appealing option for first time DWI offenders trying to keep their records clean. Then, on January 1,2013, Harris County swore in Mike Anderson as it's newly elected District Attorney. One of his first acts was to end the DIVERT program. This came as no surprise to those of us who followed his campaign trail. He was an outspoken critic of the DIVERT program. But D.A. Mike Anderson gave us all hope when during a televised interview on Public Access television,he indicated that Pre Trial Diversion may be made available for qualified DWI defendant's in Harris County,Texas. Pre Trial Diversion is a type of supervision program administered by the District Attorney's Office, which allows for dismissal of the underlying criminal charge. It also makes possible the expunction of the criminal record. As of today, this policy has yet to be initiated, and the only policy change that has been made regarding DWI prosecutions, is that the 30 day minimum jail sentence is no longer in place. I remain hopeful that Mike Anderson will find it in his heart to offer Pre Trial Diversion to those who are deserving of a second chance. But January is turning into February, and still no word on this policy. Finally, I agree with Mrs. Henley - if the State ever offers to reduce charges, it's usually because they cant make their case.This is where trial experience matters. In this business, you have to be willing to fight. Hope this helps.

Houston DWI Attorney Jim Butler
(713) 236-8744

James R. "Jim" Butler,Houston,Texas,DWI Lawyer. Free Consultation .Call (713)236-8744. I only represent people accused of DWI in Texas.



Thank you everyone for the info.

Charles Kent Zavala

Charles Kent Zavala


Thanks for the history lesson, very interesting to see policy trends.


Unless you set the case for trial, and there is a REAL (and I mean REAL) chance the State will lose, they will not reduce. If you are a first offender, you will be offered 30 days in jail or 1 year probation. Period.

Cynthia Henley


Ms. Henley has extensive experience handling criminal cases in Houston, so I trust that her information is accurate. DWIs are technical cases and require an attorney who handles them regularly. I would set up a consultation with Ms. Henley ASAP so she can discuss your case and the process with you in detail.

Macy Jaggers's answer to a legal question on Avvo does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Ms. Jaggers offers everyone a free consultation to discuss their case. Feel free to call her office at 214-365-9800 to make an appointment (phones are answered 24 hours) or visit her website at for more information about her services and recent victories.

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