Dismissed vs Not Guilty: What's the Difference?

August 21, 2019

Being charged with a crime in Texas is never an easy situation to be in no matter your age, background, or criminal history. Whether you are facing your first criminal charge or your fifth, you should always consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney. When faced with a DWI charge in Texas, receiving a dismissal or not guilty verdict are both excellent outcomes, however, the two are very different according to Texas DWI laws.


What Does It Mean to Have Charges Dismissed?

In order to have a DWI charge in Texas dismissed, you will need the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney to poke holes in the prosecutor’s case. The prosecutor is required to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in order to obtain a conviction. If there were errors in your arrest, booking, or interrogation, you may be able to have your case dismissed. DWI charges can only be dismissed by the district attorney prosecuting your case.


What Does It Mean to Be Found Not Guilty?

texas dwi lawsFor the most part, when a jury returns a not guilty verdict for your DWI case in Texas, it means that the case is closed and you will not have to attend the sentencing hearing for felony DWI Texas. This is also known as an acquittal, and the prosecution is not permitted to appeal this decision under the rules of double jeopardy, which means you cannot be tried for the same crime twice. It does not necessarily mean that you are innocent either. It just means that the prosecution did not have the necessary evidence to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. 


When Does DWI Reach Felony Level in Texas?

Many people charged with DWI will ask the following question: is a DWI a felony in Texas? DWI charges in Texas are handled as follows:

  • 1st DWI offense: Class B or Class A misdemeanor, depending on BAC level
  • 2nd DWI offense: Class A misdemeanor
  • 3rd and subsequent DWI offenses: 3rd-degree felony

However, there are other circumstances that can lead to an automatic charge of felony DWI in Texas. Those circumstances include any of the following:

  • You were intoxicated while driving with a child under the age of 15 in your vehicle
  • You were involved in an accident that caused serious bodily injury or death to someone else while driving while intoxicated

is a dwi a felony in texasAs with any criminal charge, it is imperative that you consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney when facing an initial or subsequent DWI charge in Texas.


Charged with DWI in Houston? Contact an Experienced DWI Defense Attorney Today

Facing a DWI charge in Houston does not mean your life has to come to a halt. However, the penalties in Texas for DWI are serious, which is why you should always consult with a defense attorney. Our attorneys can help explain the Texas DWI statute whether or not it’s felony DWI. Call the office of Flood & Associates at 713-224-5529 to schedule a consultation with one of our DWI defense attorneys.



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Disclaimer: The information on this website does NOT constitute legal advice. If you need legal advice, then retain an attorney to discuss the facts of your case. If you would like to discuss your case with an attorney at Tyler Flood & Associates, Inc., then please contact us to schedule a consultation. Until we specifically agree to act for you on a matter, you should not provide us with any confidential information or material.
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