Texas Attorney General Opinion: MW-204 Page: 1 of 2
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The Attorney General of Texas
July 8, 1980
Supreme Court Building
P.O. Box 12548
Austin, TX. 78711
701 Commerce, Suite 200
Dallas, TX, 75202
4824 Alberta Ave., Suite 160
El Paso, TX. 79905
1220 Dallas Ave., Suite 202
Houston, TX 77002
806 Broadway, Suite 312
Lubbock, TX. 79401
4309 N. Tenth, Suite B
McAllen, TX. 78501
200 Main Plaza, Suite 400
San Antonio, TX. 78205
An Equal Opportunity/
Affirmative Action Employer
Honorable James B. Adams, Director
Texas Department of Public Safety
5805 N. Lamar Blvd.
Austin, Texas 78773
Opinion No. MW%-2 04
Re: Whether Attorney
Opinion MW-133 should
Dear Mr. Adams:
You have requested our opinion regarding whether Attorney General
Opinion MW-133 (1980) should be given retroactive effect. In that opinion,
we construed the effect of amendments to article 42.13, Texas Code of
Criminal Procedure, on statutory provisions concerning the suspension of a
person's driver's license in driving while intoxicated cases. We said that,
whereas former article 42.13, Code of Criminal Procedure, had expressly
provided that an individual who receives misdemeanor probation does not
have a final conviction, the amended statute deems a grant of probation to
constitute a final conviction, except when probation is granted under section
3d, which provides for a deferred adjudication of guilt. Under section 24(a)
of article 6687b, V.T.C.S., a final conviction of the offense of driving while
intoxicated results in the automatic suspension of the defendant's license to
drive. Thus, we concluded that the amendments to article 42.13, Code of
Criminal Procedure, had significantly altered the law in this area.
These amendments, enacted by the 66th Legislature, Senate Bill 849,
Acts 1979, 66th Legislature, chapter 654, at 1514, took effect on August 27,
1979. Prior to the release of Opinion MW-133, (1980), there was widespread
disagreement as to the precise meaning of the amendments to article 42.13,
Code of Criminal Procedure, and it appears that many attorneys in good
faith advised clients to plead guilty in the belief that a grant of probation
would prevent the suspension of their driving privileges. In recognition of
such reliance, you have announced that the Department will record only
those convictions which became final on April 1, 1980, and thereafter. You
inquire as to the status of persons convicted between August 27, 1979, and
April 1, 1980.
The amendments to article 42.12, Code of Criminal Procedure, were
enacted by the legislature on May 28, 1979, and signed by the Governor on
June 13, 1979, but did not become effective until August 27, 1979. Neither
the administering agency nor the Attorney General is empowered to
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Texas. Attorney-General's Office. Texas Attorney General Opinion: MW-204, text, 1980; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth272049/m1/1/: accessed December 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.