How long does a DWI stay on your record in Texas?
A DWI can stay on your record forever unless you take action to have your record sealed or expunged. Having a DWI on your record can be a serious problem, preventing you from gainful employment, travel, firearm purchase, child custody, and housing rental. If you find yourself in trouble with the law, having a DWI on your record as a “prior conviction” can also stiffen the penalties and sway jurors against you.
It will take at least 10 years for the record to become “stale” in terms of achieving some measure of leniency on a subsequent conviction. A Texas DWI lawyer is a great friend to have if you’re facing DWI charges with long-lasting consequences.
Getting a DWI Sealed in Texas
Sometimes a DWI can be on your record in Texas for as little as TWO YEARS. As of 2017, Section 411.0731 of the Government Code allows a court petition for nondisclosure in cases where:
- It was your first offense, and it was not under aggravating circumstances.
- Your blood alcohol level was lower than 0.15 percent.
- You served your full sentence, be it jail time, fines, or license suspension.
- You paid all court-imposed fees and costs.
- You have not been convicted of any crimes committed since your DWI.
- You are not in deferred adjudication for another crime.
- You have completed the required two-year waiting period.
When your petition for non-disclosure is granted, your record is effectively “sealed” against prying eyes of prospective employers, landlords, or others conducting a background check on you. Certain exceptions apply, particularly if you are applying to work in government, as a lawyer, and if you wish to work with children or the disabled. Those looking to legally purchase a firearm or obtain a conceal-and-carry permit must also disclose their sealed records.
Getting A DWI Expunged in Texas
A DWI can come off your record in TWO to FIVE years through expungement, depending on the circumstances. Expungement wipes your DWI out of existence, as if it never happened. This can be done if:
- Your case was dismissed.
- You were arrested, but not convicted.
- It is determined you are “not guilty” of the charges against you.
- You successfully pleaded down to a lesser charge, such as reckless driving.
- Your offense occurred when you were a minor, and you fulfilled all court orders.
- You were granted deferred adjudication and successfully completed your probation.
How to Lessen the Consequences of a Texas DWI
Don’t leave your future to chance. Get sound legal advice before it costs you dearly. If you have been recently charged with a DWI, or you would like more information on getting your record sealed or expunged, contact Peveto Law Offices for a free consultation with a Texas DWI attorney.
- Texas.gov, https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/GV/htm/GV.411.htm
- Texas.Public.Law, Sec. 411.0731 Procedure for Community Supervision Following Conviction; Certain Driving While Intoxicated Convictions, https://texas.public.law/statutes/tex._gov’t_code_section_411.0731