DWI Expungement Lawyer in Texas
Few things can harm your ability to make improvements in your life more than an arrest or a conviction for a DWI offense. Your DWI record can hurt your chances to secure gainful employment, to procure reasonably priced car insurance, or to rent an apartment, even if you were not convicted.
Plano Misdemeanor lawyer Andrew Peveto believes that everyone who makes and keeps a commitment to drive sober deserves a fresh start. We help residents of Dallas and Collin County to seal or expunge a DWI offense from their Texas records and to get the clean start they need without that offense dragging them down.
The Basic Elements of Texas Expungement Law
In Texas, a person’s DWI arrest and prosecution record may be eligible for expunction if that person was tried but not convicted of the underlying DWI offense. Persons who have been convicted of a DWI offense cannot expunge their conviction record.
The recent “second chance” changes to the Texas expungement laws, however, do provide convicted DWI offenders with a close alternative to expunction. Specifically, a DWI offender may now be eligible to have his or her record sealed with a petition for non-disclosure. The conditions for filing that petition are:
- Successful completion of a deferred probationary sentence;
- A blood alcohol content that was less than 0.15 at the time of arrest;
- The conviction was a first offense for DWI;
- Full payment of all fines and costs associated with the conviction;
- No official accident reports were associated with the events leading up to the DWI arrest; and
- No prior criminal arrests or convictions (excluding traffic offenses).
A petition for non-disclosure can be filed beginning on the second anniversary of completion of an offender’s DWI probation. Petitions filed and granted between the second and fifth anniversary of probation completion will impose an additional condition of a car interlock for at least six months, which will require the offender to breathe into a device to verify that he or she has not consumed alcohol prior to driving a vehicle. The car interlock condition will not be imposed if more than five years have elapsed since completion of an offender’s probation.
Effects of a DWI Expungement in Texas
Your DWI and arrest records may be eligible for expunction in Texas if:
- You were arrested, but never charged and never pled guilty to any charges;
- You were tried but found not guilty; or
- You were found guilty at trial, but that finding was reversed on appeal.
If your record is expunged, the effect is as if the arrest or trial never happened, and no information about the arrest, any charges, or trial will be available to anyone who examines your record.
Alternately, if your record is sealed pursuant to a non-disclosure order, it will not longer be available to most private parties, but arrests, charges, and convictions will still be visible to law enforcement authorities and certain other government agencies pursuant to a valid petition by those agencies.
Procedures for Filing a Petition for Texas Expunction or Non-Disclosure
The process for filing a petition to request expunction or sealing of your Texas DWI records involves many procedural requirements that must be fully satisfied for the petition to succeed. Your chances of filing a successful petition will be substantially improved if you utilize the services of an attorney who has the knowledge and experience to navigate those procedures.
For example, for both non-disclosure or DWI expunction in Texas, your petition must include complete information about your arrest records and any charges that were brought against you, a complete list of police departments and agencies that have information regarding those charges, and an explanation as to why you are eligible to have your record sealed or expunged. Further, you will need to pay all required court fees and fees changed by any notifying agencies, all of which vary from county to county in Texas.
You must also request a hearing on your petition, and all agencies that have received notice of that hearing are entitled to participate and to object to your petition. An experienced attorney will have the knowledge and skill to rebut any objections from those parties.
Finally, at least six months after a judge signs an order granting your petition, you should request a copy of your record from the Department of Safety to verify that the order has been followed.
Call the Peveto Law Office for DWI Expunction and Non-Disclosure in Texas
Texas expunctions lawyer Andrew Peveto has helped clients in Dallas, Collin County and beyond to expunge DWI arrest records for more than ten years. The new non-disclosure provisions that were enacted under Texas House Bill 3016 have now opened a new path for first-time DWI offenders to seal their conviction records and to keep those records from scrutiny by third parties.
Please call the Peveto Law Office as soon as you can after you have been arrested or convicted in Texas for a DWI. If you have not yet been charged or you have been charged but not yet tried, we will fight to defend those charges against you and to keep you qualified for Texas expunction. If you have been convicted, we will help you to build your case for a non-disclosure petition to seal your DWI record.
Additional “Expungement of DWI in Texas” Resources:
- texasbar.com: Expunctions in Texas. https://www.texasbar.com/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Our_Legal_System1&Template=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=23459
- texas.gov: Expunctions and Non-Disclosure Orders. https://guides.sll.texas.gov/expunctions-and-non-disclosure