A DWI charge can upend your life. A conviction for DWI in Texas carries various penalties, including jail time, probation, and the penalty of losing your license.
Additionally, you will have a criminal record that will follow you around for your life.
Can a DWI be expunged in Texas? This is an important question. Knowledgeable San Antonio DWI defense lawyer, Austin Hagee, can help answer your questions regarding expunging an eligible DWI from your record.
Relying on their vast experience and courtroom successes, the Austin Hagee Law Firm team can fight to protect your rights and future by sealing or expunging a DWI from your record.
Contact us today to explore the available options for your situation.
Can a DWI Conviction Be Expunged in Texas?
A DWI conviction cannot be expunged from your record except in limited circumstances, as detailed below in the next section. The popular misconception is that DWI convictions automatically disappear from your criminal history at some point.
But they do not. The record of your arrest, including fingerprints, charges, and disposition of your case, remains available to the public for inspection indefinitely.
As a result, your DWI arrest will show up in a background check run by a private individual, employer, or member of law enforcement.
The consequences of a criminal record are significant. Potential employers could turn you down and choose a candidate without a criminal history.
Institutions of higher learning and professional licensing boards will consider your criminal history when you apply for licensure and renewal. And even if it is your first offense, a DWI conviction can be used against you for enhancement if you ever pick up another DWI charge.
How to Get DWI Expunged in Texas
Texas law allows you to file a petition to expunge your DWI charges (referred to as “expunction” in Texas) only when any of the following occurs:
- You receive an acquittal,
- The court dismisses your case without the requirement of any probation first, or
- The grand jury issues a “no bill.”
The grand jury issues a no bill when they do not find probable cause that a crime occurred. This no bill essentially forces the prosecutor to drop the charges.
So if your case is resolved in any of these ways, there is no waiting period to expunge your DWI arrest record if you are an adult.
In these situations, your lawyer can file the appropriate motion for you and argue that the court must expunge all of your records relating to your DWI arrest.
You should ask your lawyer to file this petition immediately if these situations apply to you. Your arrest records remain a part of the public record until you complete the expunction process.
Order of Non-Disclosure
According to the Texas Government Code, a person who pled guilty or nolo contendere to a first-offense DWI charge and received a deferred adjudication from the court can ask for an order of non-disclosure.
Texas law allows for this application after the successful completion of deferred adjudication.
An order of non-disclosure is essentially an order to seal your record. Once an order of non-disclosure is entered, the public cannot see your records.
But you have to jump through some legal hoops to win court approval to seal your deferred adjudication from your record, and receiving this order from the court is not guaranteed. Having a skilled DWI lawyer to represent you will give you a much better chance of success.
Can a felony DWI be expunged in Texas? If you have a more serious charge than a first-offense DWI, you may want to know the answer to this question.
The court can expunge your case if you win an acquittal. However, you are ineligible to receive a non-disclosure order if you get convicted of a felony DWI.
Experienced DWI Defense Lawyer Austin Hagee Can Help
Our dedicated defense team with the Austin Hagee Law Firm has litigated thousands of cases. We have the courtroom experience to give you the best chance to beat your DWI charge or help you seal an eligible DWI offense from your record.
Call us at 210-500-3700 or contact us online to speak with our award-winning attorneys today.