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DUI News Blog

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Deadly Weapon and DWI Probation Eligibility

Did you know that a deadly weapon finding may have an impact on your eligibility for DWI probation?

Texas law limits a judge or jury’s authority to order or grant probation on certain offenses. These are typically what DWI lawyers refer to as “3g” offenses. This list includes, but is not limited to: Murder, Sexual Assault, Injury to a Child, and Compelling Prostitution. More importantly, though, the law limits a Judge’s ability to grant probation when the offense involves a deadly weapon. If a deadly weapon was used or exhibited in the commission of a felony and the defendant is the one who used or exhibited the deadly weapon, the law says that a Judge may not grant straight probation.

A jury, however, has fewer limits. While a jury may not grant probation for offenses like Murder or certain Aggravated Kidnapping, they may also not grant probation if a person receives a sentence of imprisonment that exceeds 10 years. However, a jury has no deadly weapon limit. In other words, a judge may not grant straight probation for Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, but a jury can.

Oddly, there is an exception to the deadly weapon rule. A judge still has authority to grant deferred adjudication probation if an offense involves a deadly weapon. There are other restrictions to deferred, however, that may affect your case. Please contact our DWI Lawyers to discuss the specific facts of your case to determine if any of these exceptions apply to you.


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Mimi Coffey

Mimi Coffey

Mimi Coffey is a trial attorney with 24 years experience. She is the founder of The Coffey Firm, serving Dallas, Tarrant and Collin counties. She is board-certified in DWI by the National College of DUI Defense (NCDD) and is a Regent of the NCDD. Mimi Coffey also listed on several “top” directory listings such as DWI attorneys Tarrant County, DWI Lawyer Fort Worth, DWI attorney Dallas County, DWI attorneys Collin County and DWI attorneys Parker County. I am very involved with the community DFW caring DWI lawyer, Texas Tech School of Law foundation and I enjoy using the skills I have developed to give back to the community. She has also appeared numerous times as a legal commentator for CNN, National Fox News, as well as local Dallas/Fort Worth stations on DWI-related stories. She is also a frequent speaker at both national and statewide seminars. She is a prolific trial attorney with a proven trial record. She has tried over 300 cases, with 80% of them being jury trials in her 18-year career. Her success includes everything from .21 breath tests, blood tests to 3 car accident cases just to name a few. Mimi’s cases have also made good case law for the State of Texas. For example, in Tarvin v. State, it was found that weaving within your own lane was not a traffic violation. In Lajoie v. State, the courts determined that the defendant’s request to have his attorney must be suppressed as opposed to used as evidence of guilt. She is the author of Texas DWI Defense: The Law and Practice. She is also the author of three nationally-published articles and four statewide articles. Mimi has twice attended Indiana University’s Borkenstein Course for state toxicologists both on alcohol and drugs. She has also completed the NHTSA SFST Course, SFST Instructor Course and the 12-Step DRE Mini-Course Program. She is also one of the first attorneys in the United States to attend the Axion Labs Gas Chromatography Training. Her minor in college was Geology lending her a comprehensive and disciplined scientific mind when it comes to scientific and mathematical issues such as blood and breath testing. Mimi has won the President’s Heart of a Champion Award presented by the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (TCDLA) numerous times. Mimi also led the effort to get the State Bar of Texas’ Board of Legal Specialization to recognize the NCDD’s DWI Certification. Mimi has been active in 4 legislative sessions in fighting against bad DWI laws. Her efforts prevented the breath/blood test refusal as being a separate crime. She has advocated for true deferred adjudication for DWI. Mimi also sued a Dalworthington Gardens police officer for illegally drawing blood. Since her lawsuit, the 2nd Court of Appeals ruled against police officers drawing blood. (The Court of Criminal Appeals overturned this). Mimi also sued the Texas Department of Public Safety for its double jeopardy surcharge program. Since the initiation of her suit, Texas DPS has instituted amnesty programs based on one’s earning potential.

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