First-Time DWI Offenders Get Second-Chance
New Texas Bill, House Bill 3016, was recently signed into law by Texas Governor Greg Abbot, allowing individuals with certain nonviolent criminal convictions to have those convictions sealed from their records. The new “second chance” law, as it is being called, is a drastic step forward for Texas citizens, especially because it allows qualifying DWI misdemeanor convictions to be sealed through an order of non-disclosure. Expunction is commonly called “non-disclosure.” This new law starts September 1, 2017.
Orders of Non-Disclosure for DWI Cases
It is important to note, however, that only DWI convictions obtained under certain circumstances may be expunged. To successfully apply for non-disclosure of a DWI conviction, the following must be true:
- the individual was a first-time DWI offender;
- the individual must have had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.14 or less;
- the individual must not have been involved in an accident as a result of operating a motor vehicle under the influence;
- the individual must have successfully completed any sentence handed down by the court, including any DWI program, probation, or jail sentence; and
- the individual must have paid all court costs and fees.
- the waiting period has elapsed:
- 2 years if the person successfully completed a period of at least six months of driving restricted to a motor vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device as a part of the sentence; or
- 5 years if there was no interlock requirement as part of the sentence.
If a person fulfills all of the requirements, then he or she can petition to have their DWI conviction sealed from public record.
Sealing DWI Charges
Sealing your record is an important tool because it allows those who have made mistakes in the past to have a second chance. Being able to seal your criminal record makes it easier to get a job, apply for housing, or applying for certain loans that they may have otherwise been prevented from receiving.
Importantly, having your record sealed does not, however, mean that the conviction is no longer on your record; it simply means that it is cleared from public view. Certain agencies may still be able to access the conviction, such as law enforcement agencies, or certain professional licensing agencies like the Texas Bar.
If you or someone you know is a first-time DWI offender and is interested in applying for nondisclosure, contact an experienced Texas criminal defense attorney.
Find a Lawyer for DWI Non-Disclosures in Austin, Texas
Contact Kevin Bennett today to discuss how an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you get a DWI expunged or sealed in Travis County, Pflugerville, Lago Vista, Lakeway, Texas and the surrounding areas.
Kevin Bennett will thoroughly review the facts surrounding your case, and use his knowledge of Texas DWI law and criminal legal procedure to fight for your best possible defense.
Call The Law Office of Kevin Bennett today at (512) 476-4626 if you have been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Your initial consultation is free, and it will begin the process of defending your freedom and protecting your driving privileges.