Sealing your DWI Conviction
In September 2017, a new Texas House Bill now allows certain DWI convictions to be sealed from the general public's view. Sometimes called the "Second Chance" law, While this is not a full Expunction, the new DWI sealing law is considered part of the existing NonDisclosure Laws, which had only applied in the past to cases dismissed through Deferred Adjucation Probation.
As long as the DWI case and the applicant is eligible, the DWI sealing progresses just like a regular Motion for NonDisclosure.
Not all DWI convictions are eligible for sealing under the new DWI Nondisclosure law. To be eligible, a person (and their DWI case) must meet the following guidelines:
- first-time DWI offenders only;
- blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.14 or less;
- no accident in the DWI case;
- successful completion of sentence, whether it's probation, jail, or treatment;
- all court costs and fees paid;
- the waiting period has elapsed: 2 years if person was sentenced to IID for 6 months, or if not, then 5 years.
What You Need to Know
This is a very beneficial law. Years ago, employers didn't bat an eye at a DWI. Now, Austin is growing so fast that the good jobs and housing are very competitive. A DWI on your record may make the difference in a whether you get a new job, promotion, car loan, mortgage, and more.
There are two drawbacks First, this is not an expunction. A DWI Nondisclosure will not shield the offense from everyone. Several state agencies listed within the statute as having the authority to view sealed records: mainly banks, education boards, licensing agencies, police, and prosecutors.
Another drawback to Nondisclosure is that we now live in a digital age where information is posted on websites, blogs, and online databases. Even after an offense is sealed, it is not a 100% guarantee that the offense will be hidden from the public. Still, it remains the best method by which to seal a criminal offense in Texas for those who have successfully completed Deferred Adjudication.
Closely Related Offenses
Related areas to Nondisclosure include DWI Sealing of Record -- which is a specific Nondislosure, but for DWI cases that can also be sealed. Also, if a case was dismissed, read about Expunctions.
If you're looking for other topics that are related to this one, you can see more information below, or click related legal offenses.
Work with an Experienced DWI Nondisclosure Attorney
Hiring the right attorney from the beginning is important. The Keates Law Firm has over 16+ Years Experience handling Nondisclosure.
Call Us to talk about your particular case and situation. It's a 100% Free Phone Consultation with Criminal Defense Attorney Keates. No Sales Pitches, No Hassles. We'll see if we are the right Law Firm for you, and give you a quote. Be sure to check out Keates Law Firm's Reviews and also our past cases and Results.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will an Expunction in Texas Clear My Criminal Record?
In Texas, an Expunction should destroy the records of both arrest and court proceeding. This is important since Texas DPS tracks arrest data, and actually sells the information to private businesses that then supply the public with your personal information.
What's the difference between an Expunction and Nondisclosure in Texas?
An Expunction orders agencies to destroy records of a criminal offense. This includes law enforcement and courts. Nondisclosure orders the records to be sealed from the general public, but law enforcement, prosecutors, and a growing number of agencies can still view the arrest and case data.
How can I Destroy my Arrest Record in Austin Texas?
As a general rule (although there are exceptions), only offenses that have not resulted in a conviction may be expunged from an individual's record. Cases dismissed via Deferred Adjudication Probation may be sealed through an order of non-disclosure.
What are the Costs to Clear my Record?
There is an attorney fee, a court filing fee, and court costs such as clerk's office fees. Expunctions and nondisclosure are expensive since the legal work includes research, document and motion writing, file review, and an actual court setting or hearing. In total, you can expect a range from $1,500 or more depending on the County, the offenses, and the Attorney.
Should I get an Expunction if the case was Dismissed?
Even if your case was dismissed, the public can still view the citation or arrest, the court proceeding data, and the outcome. A background check will show the disposition on your case as Dismissed, but that can still raise serious issues with potential employers, housing, and others.
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For more information, please see our other FAQs on Expunctions and Clearing your Criminal Record: