A DWI can linger on your record indefinitely unless you take measures to get it sealed or expunged. A DWI on your record can be a major problem, preventing you from finding work, traveling, purchasing a handgun, obtaining child custody, or renting a home. If you end up in legal difficulty, having a DWI on your record as a “previous conviction” can significantly increase the fines and persuade jurors against you.
It will take at least ten years for the record to become “stale,” in terms of obtaining some mercy on a subsequent conviction. If you’re facing DWI accusations with long-term ramifications, a Texas DWI lawyer is a terrific friend to have.
Can you get a DUI off your record in Texas?
If you do nothing, DUI charges will remain on your record indefinitely. DUI charges in Texas can be expunged from a person’s record. DUI is distinct from DWI. In Texas, only juveniles under the age of 21 can be prosecuted for DUI. First-time offenders have several options for avoiding a permanent, final conviction.
In Texas, a DWI can stay on your record for as little as TWO YEARS. As of 2017, Section 411.0731 of the Government Code permits a court petition for nondisclosure in the following circumstances:
- It was your first offense, and there were no aggravating factors.
- Your blood alcohol concentration was less than 0.15 percent.
- You completed your sentence, whether it was jail time, fines, or a license suspension.
- You paid all of the court’s fees and charges.
- Since your DWI, you have not been convicted of any offenses.
- You are not awaiting trial for another offense.
- You have served your two-year waiting period.
When your non-disclosure petition is granted, your record is effectively “sealed” from the prying eyes of prospective employers, landlords, or others running a background check on you. Certain exclusions apply, particularly if you want to work in government, as a lawyer, or with children or the disabled. Those who want to legally buy a handgun or receive a conceal-and-carry permit must also reveal their sealed records.
How to Get a DWI Expunged in Texas
A DWI on your criminal record might cause discrimination and make certain elements of your life difficult. As an example, if you lost your job due to a DWI conviction, you would have to look for new work. However, if a possible job needs you to pass a background check, your employment may be refused due to your DWI, particularly if the job requires you to drive.
Depending on the circumstances, a DWI can be expunged from your record in TWO to FIVE years. Expungement makes your DWI disappear as if it never happened. This is possible if:
- Your case has been dismissed.
- You were arrested but not found guilty.
- It has been concluded that you are “not guilty” of the charges leveled against you.
- You were able to successfully plead down to a lesser offense, such as reckless driving.
- You committed your crime as a minor and followed all court orders.
- You were given deferred adjudication and finished your probation satisfactorily.
How to Reduce the Consequences of a DWI in Texas
Don’t gamble with your future. Get solid legal guidance before it’s too late. If you have just been charged with a DWI or would need more information about having your record sealed or expunged, contact Law Offices for a free consultation with a Texas DWI lawyer.