“Should I take my DWI to trial?” is a common question asked by many of our clients and potential clients. The answer, as with pretty much all areas of the law, is not straightforward and is based on an important number of factors. As an experienced DWI Attorney in Fort Worth, here are some things to consider:
No Deferred Prosecution in a DWI or any DWI-Related Offense
This is important when determining whether to go to trial or not. If you take a plea for a DWI, you will have a permanent conviction for DWI. Until they change the law on DWI and allow for deferred dispositions, this is one of the primary reasons why many DWI’s go to trial and why I might recommend for your case to go to trial – you simply have nothing to lose by going to trial. You win – Not Guilty and it gets wiped from your record through an expunction. You lose – you are right where you were with a plea – convicted of DWI.
Blood, Breath, or Refusal?
Is there a blood or breath test and what is the result. The statistics show that your chances of winning at trial going up significantly if you don’t have a breath or blood test. This is a major factor in deciding whether to go to trial or not.
DWI Trials can be costly. If the facts don’t support a trial (maybe it’s a high blood test), then it might not be financially worth the risk of taking it to trial since the odds of a win would be greatly reduced.
In addition to getting a conviction, there is additional collateral consequences that might effect your decision or my recommendation to take a DWI to trial. Maybe a DWI will effect your ability to work (you have a CDL or a nursing license) and you need to take the case to trial to try and avoid the DWI conviction.
What’s the Offer – Reduction?
Maybe you would otherwise want a trial, but the State prosecutor offers us a great deal like a reduction to a non-DWI offense (i.e. Obstruction). In these situations, it is many times advisable to accept the deal, avoid trial, and avoid a potential DWI conviction if convicted at trial. On the flip side – a high offer might give us nothing to lose in a trial situation.
Attorney Bryan Hoeller is a former Tarrant and Dallas County prosecutor. He is an experienced Fort Worth criminal defense attorney, DWI Attorney in Fort Worth, and Federal Criminal Defense Attorney.