Is There a Statute of Limitations for a DWI in TX?
Yes. Depending on your specific case, the statute of limitations can be two years or more. In Texas, a driving while intoxicated (DWI) offense is typically considered a misdemeanor. This means that you must be formally charged within two years of committing a DWI. For example, if you were arrested for DWI on January 2, 2022, the authorities have until January 4, 2022, to charge you with DWI. In Texas, the date of the offense and the date of filing do not count toward the statute of limitations.
Normally, offenders are charged shortly after they get arrested for a crime, but the authorities may wait to charge suspected DWI offenders pending the lab results. But your DWI charge is considered a felony, which is possible if you hurt or kill another individual or were carrying a passenger under 15 years old during the DWI incident, the statute of limitations becomes three years within the date of the incident.
What is Tolling?
Usually, the statute of limitations begins to run at the date of the crime. However, in situations where it’s difficult to determine the crime or the victim is scared to report the crime, the statute of limitations might be tolled or delayed. For example, in Texas, the time limit does not start for particular crimes, like the ones below, against minors until the victim becomes an adult:
- Injury to children or trafficking for forced services or labor – 10 years from the child’s 18th
- Aggravated kidnapping and sexual assault intent – 20 years from the child’s 18th
Likewise, if an offender attempts to evade arrest, a warrant for their arrest will be issued, making them a fugitive. The prosecution will be given additional time to file charges as well. This means that if the offender moves out of state, the statute of limitations will be tolled.
What If No DWI Charges Were Filed?
Don’t celebrate just yet. If no DWI charges were filed against you, you’re not out of the woods until the statute of limitations stops running. It’s only until the statute of limitations ends that the authorities can no longer formally charge you. However, keep in mind that you will still have to expunge your arrest record.
Your arrest record can negatively affect your chances of getting a decent job, qualifying for loans, and may impact your personal life, among many other possible consequences. In some cases, when background checks are conducted, your arrest record may come to light. The individual doing the background check might not be able to distinguish the record of your arrest from a criminal or conviction record.
Reach Out to a Seasoned Texas DWI Defense Attorney Now
The statutes of limitations can be confusing. Likewise, it’s crucial to note that the authorities can base other criminal charges on your DWI incident, which means that there may be multiple statutes of limitations that may apply to your case. If you want to learn more about the statute of limitations in Texas, contact the Law Office of Brent D. Bowen today. Additionally, you may want to hire an attorney immediately to protect your Speedy Trial rights.
Our seasoned Texas DWI defense attorney can help you understand how the statute of limitations may apply to your specific situation. Call 940-222-2488 or contact us online to schedule your appointment.