If someone is convicted of DWI in Texas, expungement isn’t an available option. The most that someone with a DWI conviction can hope for is an Order of Nondisclosure (sealing) of their criminal record, but this is only available under limited circumstances.
That said, expungement is available for those who were arrested and charged with DWI, but the charges didn’t result in a conviction.
Expungement vs. an Order of Nondisclosure
Expungement is an important form of relief for those convicted of certain crimes because it permanently destroys their criminal record, making it as if the arrest, charges, and/or conviction never happened. This is why so many who face DWI charges wonder if expungement is an option, and it can be if you have an experienced attorney who can help you avoid conviction.
An Order of Nondisclosure keeps a person’s criminal record from the public eye. This allows most people to maintain their privacy and keep their DWI convictions from interfering with their everyday life years into the future. That said, their criminal record remains available to the government, particularly law enforcement.
Expungement for DWI/DUI in Texas
If you were arrested and/or tried for DWI, expungement may be available as long as you meet certain criteria.
At least one of these criteria can qualify someone for DWI expungement:
- You were younger than 21
- Your case was dismissed
- DWI charges were never filed
- You were acquitted
- You won an appeal against your DWI conviction
Sealing a DWI Conviction in Texas
If you were convicted of DWI and expungement isn’t an option for you, sealing your criminal record with an Order of Nondisclosure can be an alternative. This option, however, is only available to those who receive their first DWI conviction.
Qualifying for an Order of Nondisclosure requires meeting the following criteria:
- It was your first DWI conviction
- Your BAC didn’t exceed 0.15%
- You were not boating or flying
- You have never been convicted of another crime
- You have never received deferred judgment for another crime
- You completed your probation and/or incarceration and paid all applicable fines and restitution
- Your DWI didn’t cause injury to another person
Mandatory Waiting Period
In addition to meeting these requirements, you must also wait for two or five years before your record can be officially sealed.
The two-year mandatory waiting period applies to those who were required to install an ignition interlock device on their cars, and they have driven for at least six months with this device. The five-year mandatory waiting period applies to those who weren’t required to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicles.
Avoid Expungement or Sealing by Avoiding a Conviction
If you’re only at the beginning of the criminal justice process for DWI, it’s helpful to look ahead at your options in case of conviction. That said, it’s more important to focus on securing legal counsel that can help you achieve a better outcome, such as help from our attorneys at Rodriguez & Gimbert, P.L.L.C.
We can offer the personalized legal guidance you need to beat DWI charges or secure another favorable outcome for your defense.
Learn more about how we can help during a consultation – contact us online to get started!