Obstruction of Highway Charges vs. Texas DWI
Navigating the criminal court system in Texas can be difficult, especially if you are facing a driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge. One possible charge that may arise from a DWI accuse is obstruction of the highway, which could also carry serious consequences for your future.
An Obstruction of Highway charge (OoH) is a lower-level Class B misdemeanor in Texas. It’s a commonly used plea bargain for those accused of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), allowing them to plead guilty to a lesser offense. In cases where there is uncertainty over details such as blood alcohol level, or a lack of strong evidence, police may choose to reduce DWI charges to OoH.
What Is Obstruction of Highway?
Under Texas Penal Code section 42.03, obstruction of a highway is defined as blocking or otherwise restricting access to a public road or other thoroughfare. This includes standing, sitting, or lying down in an area where someone would normally travel on foot. In addition, it includes intentionally placing objects, such as debris or discarded items in the path of pedestrians or vehicles. The most common offense of obstruction of highways is related to intoxicated people walking on public roads or highways.
Criminal Penalties and Consequences
While this allows the accused to minimize the impact of their transgressions, it is important to note that an OoH conviction carries certain legal implications. If found guilty, you may face up to 180 days in jail, a fine of up to $2,000, and court-ordered community service. As such, you must consider your options carefully before accepting a plea bargain that involves reducing a DWI charge to an OoH. Seeking guidance from an experienced criminal defense attorney may help you decide how best to move forward.
Advantages of Pleading Guilty to Obstruction of Highway
Pleading guilty to obstruction of highway in Texas is often a difficult decision due to the potential consequences. However, here are some advantages to pleading guilty that can help you make the best decision for your situation.
- Eligibility for deferred adjudication and possible dismissal of DWI charges
- Eligibility to apply for Motion for Non-Disclosure
- Maximum punishment of up to 6 months in the county jail\
- A maximum fine of $1,000, compared to the $1,000 annual surcharge on your driver’s license if you are found guilty of DWI.
DWI vs. Obstruction of Highway – Tackling Your Defense
Drunk driving is a serious issue in Texas, with increasing arrests due to Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) charges. Despite this, there are ways for those charged with DWI to reduce the severity of their sentence if they are willing to plead guilty to a lesser charge. One option available to those charged with DWI in Texas is to plead guilty to Obstruction of Highway or Other Passageway (OoH), also known as “drunk walking” or “sobriety lane walking”.
Why is Texas DWI Reduced to Obstruction of Highway?
In some cases, prosecutors may offer to dismiss or reduce DWI charges if a defendant agrees to plead guilty to Obstruction of a Highway (OoH). This offer is typically made in cases where the evidence of DWI is not strong enough to secure a conviction, but there is still evidence of obstruction of a highway. In these cases, the prosecutor may offer to drop the DWI charges in exchange for a guilty plea to Obstruction of a Highway.
By pleading guilty to OoH, those charged with DWI avoid hefty fines, jail time, and license suspensions. It can also help prevent future legal issues by avoiding the DWI charge on one’s criminal record. However, it is important to note that a guilty plea still results in a misdemeanor conviction, so it should not be taken lightly.
Those considering pleading guilty to OoH should consult with a knowledgeable attorney first. An experienced attorney will be able to work with the prosecution and negotiate a beneficial plea agreement for the defendant. They can also explain the potential consequences of pleading guilty and help ensure that the rights and interests of the accused are fully protected during any negotiation. Moreover, an attorney may even be able to have the charges against the defendant reduced or dismissed altogether.
Reducing DWI charges by pleading guilty to OoH can be a viable option for some defendants in Texas. Still, consulting with an experienced attorney before entering into any agreement is important. With the right representation, reducing the severity of one’s sentence while keeping any future legal problems at bay is possible.
Hire a DWI Attorney
The best way to protect your legal rights is to hire an experienced Texas DWI defense attorney who thoroughly understands the various aspects of Texas law concerning Driving While Intoxicated. With knowledge and expertise on your side, your attorney can help you navigate the courts and work to obtain a favorable outcome for your case. From negotiating plea bargains to preparing for a trial, your lawyer will explore every available option to help you mount the most effective defense possible and potentially reduce the severity of your sentence.
In addition to helping you form an effective strategy for your case, a good DWI lawyer can provide invaluable guidance throughout the court process, from explaining the potential consequences of a conviction and answering any questions about protocol or procedures. A knowledgeable attorney can also take a proactive approach to your case by looking for any inconsistencies or irregularities in the evidence presented against you and pushing for dismissal if warranted.
Given the significant financial penalty and other potential ramifications of being found guilty of a DWI offense in Texas, obtaining legal representation cannot be emphasized enough. Whether you’re facing charges for a first-time offense or subsequent ones, an experienced DWI defense attorney can provide the assistance and counsel you need to help protect your legal rights and minimize the impact of these costly penalties.
Ultimately, whether or not you should plead guilty to obstruction of highway in Texas depends on your specific circumstances. Consulting an experienced attorney is always recommended to ensure that you make the best possible decision for yourself and your future.