The second bill relating to DWI Defense has been proposed by Representative Dutton. I think it is a fantastic idea.
The crux of the bill changes Sec 42.12, which is the community supervision (probation) section of the code. Right now, there are certain crimes that if convicted and placed on probation, you are not allowed early release off. They are mostly major aggravated crimes involving weapons or sex offenses. The worst of the worst. But strangely enough, DWI was added to it. This means if you get 2 years probation, you cannot get off early.
Not being able to get off probation early ties the hands of the judges and the prosecutors for people who have been sucessful on probation. It takes away a lot of discretion for those in the know, that are put in their positions by the people that elect them. This bill would remove the "DWI restriction" and allow somone on DWI probation to be released early. It doesn’t make any other changes, such as making it not a final conviction, or removing from their record — simply letting them get off probation early. Judges/Prosecutors usually only allow this if you have already completed all the terms and condtions of probation (commuity service, DWI classes, etc.).
Below is the entire text of the bill:
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
relating to the reduction or termination of the period of community supervision imposed on a defendant convicted of certain intoxication offenses.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1. Section 20(b), Article 42.12, Code of Criminal Procedure, is amended to read as follows:
(b) This section does not apply to:
(1) a defendant convicted of an offense [
under Sections 49.04-49.08, Penal Code, a defendant convicted of an offense] for which on conviction registration as a sex offender is required under Chapter 62; [ ,] or
(2) a defendant convicted of a felony described by Section 3g.
SECTION 2. The change in law made by this Act applies to a defendant who is placed on community supervision before, on, or after the effective date of this Act.
SECTION 3. This Act takes effect September 1, 2009.