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How Will New Texas Laws Affect Criminal Cases?

 Posted on January 10, 2020 in Criminal Defense

Frisco drunk driving defense attorney

With the start of the new year, it is worthwhile to consider the latest changes to criminal laws in the state of Texas. While the laws regarding how crimes like driving while intoxicated (DWI), drug charges, theft charges, and assault charges are prosecuted will largely remain the same, there is a definite financial impact to some of the latest legislation. Whether the changes will directly affect you depends on the types of charges you are facing and the circumstances of your case.

No More Surcharges Under Safe Driving Program

One major legislative move by the Texas legislature has to do with safe driving. Beginning in September of last year (2019), the Driver Responsibility Program (DRP) was repealed. In case you were unaware of this program meant to encourage safe driving, it imposed surcharges on people with traffic-violation-related points and/or convictions on their driving record.

As you might have guessed, driving while intoxicated (DWI) topped the list of the program’s targeted reasons for a surcharge. The cost of this program for anyone convicted or with points was not received well, resulting in the program’s repeal. Beginning in 2020, no Texan has to worry about those surcharges anymore. Unfortunately, those who have already paid their surcharges will not be issued a refund.

Increase in Criminal Court Fees

One of the new bills associated with criminal law that takes effect this year concerns criminal court fees. The new law will impose an increase in fees for a variety of convictions, including Class A and Class B misdemeanors. Some of these increases result in fees that are almost twice as much as the costs from years past. This legislation is meant to have a financial effect more than anything else. It will help the government collect and more effectively allocate these funds to improve the criminal justice system overall, but it will certainly hurt defendants who are already reeling from a guilty conviction.

Contact a Collin County DWI Defense Attorney

Overall, the repeal of the DRP has been a welcome change for many Texans, but the new fee hikes associated with criminal court convictions are not going to sit well with those paying for them. However, something that you need to realize is that with a skilled attorney by your side, neither the DRP from before the repeal nor the new court fees in 2020 will affect you if your charges are dismissed.

If you or someone you know is facing a DWI or any other criminal charges, it is critical to seek qualified legal counsel as soon as possible. The Law Offices of Biederman & Burleson P.L.L.C. have extensive experience in handling DWIs, attorney writ bonds, or any other criminal cases. We have an impressive success rate in securing positive verdicts. Our accomplished Plano criminal defense lawyers will build a strong defense on your behalf to help you avoid a conviction or minimize the potential consequences you may face. Call us today at 469-333-3333 to schedule your free consultation. 


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