You Can Have Your Criminal Record Sealed After a DWI or Probation

A criminal record can hold you back, even for a drunk driving arrest that happened years ago. Your record can keep you from getting your dream job, moving into a new apartment, getting an education or even traveling to other countries.

But, now your record may not have to follow you forever. Texas law has changed. People with DWI records can now have their criminal records sealed in certain cases. At the Setzer Law Firm, we can help.

Expunction and Nondisclosure in Texas of DWI/DUI

When people talk about “record sealing,” a DWI or DUI they’re often talking about two different legal concepts: expunction (also called expungement) and nondisclosure. Here’s the difference:

  • Expunction: Expunction wipes your record clean, completely removing all documentation of charges against you. But not everyone qualifies for expunction. You may be eligible for expunction if you were arrested for a misdemeanor or felony and then acquitted at trial, pardoned or not formally charged.
  • Nondisclosure and record sealing: Some criminal records in Texas can be sealed under an Order of Nondisclosure. Nondisclosure may be an option for you if you don’t qualify for expunction. Nondisclosure hides the record of the criminal charge, but it doesn’t make it completely disappear. While your employer, landlord or other members of the public won’t be able to see it in a background check, criminal justice agencies will. That means the record will still be visible in some cases, like if you’re applying for security clearance.

In most cases, whether you’ve had your criminal record expunged or sealed, you do not have to disclose it. You don’t have to worry about explaining it to potential employers when you’re applying for jobs. And you don’t have to dread seeing an application denied because of something that happened years ago.

“Am I Eligible for Having My DWI Charges Sealed?”

This is one of the most common questions we hear about criminal record sealing. The good news is that a “Second Chance” law was passed in 2017. The law made it possible for DWI offenders to conceal their past charges.

However, the rules are complicated, the law can change at any time and every case is different. For example, your BAC must have been less than 0.15 and there must have been no official accident with another person involved. You’ll also need to have completed probation, paid all fines and costs in full and waited at least two years since DWI probation.

Not sure whether you meet the requirements? It’s best to talk with an experienced criminal defense attorney about your case that is familiar with sealing a DWI / DUI record.

Get Help From Our Law Firm

Talk with us about criminal record sealing in Texas. Call our Southlake, Trophy Club or Dallas law office by contacting us online. We’re dedicated to helping you overcome serious criminal charges so that you can move forward with your life.