In Texas, a DWI conviction has always served as a permanent mark on your record. If you had ever pled guilty on a DWI charge or been found guilty after a trial, then you were stuck with a public record of that charge forever. However, thanks to a new law, that is no longer the case for many first-time DWI offenders.
The new law that took effect on September 1, 2017, is retroactive which means that it applies to convictions received both before and after September 1st. Individuals who qualify under the new law can now seek an Order of Non-Disclosure from the Court that originally issued the DWI conviction. If an Order of Non-Disclosure is granted, then all records related to the DWI – including, police reports, court records, and DPS files – are sealed from the public and can only be seen by law enforcement personnel. Perhaps most importantly, an Order of Non-Disclosure legally allows you to refrain from disclosing the conviction when applying for most jobs.
So is your DWI conviction eligible for Non-Disclosure? To be eligible:
- You must have been having successfully completed all conditions of your original sentence, including paying all fines, court costs, and restitution ordered.
- You must not have previously been convicted or placed on deferred adjudication for any other offense other than a fine-only traffic ticket.
- The DWI conviction must not have been part of an auto accident involving any other person.
- The DWI conviction must not have included a finding that you had an alcohol concentration level of .15 or more.
Depending on the specifics of the conditions of your sentence, you may be eligible for an Order of Non-Disclosure soon as 2 years from the date of completing your probation. If you think you are eligible to have your DWI conviction sealed, then you should contact an experienced DWI attorney as soon as possible. For a free consultation, contact Hernandez & Baggett, PLLC at 214-855-7771.