Having a DWI conviction on your record can not only be embarrassing, it can also become an extra hurdle when applying for a job, housing, or a loan. Until just a few years ago, there was no way to get a DWI conviction sealed. That all changed in 2017 when the Texas legislature made it possible for those meeting specific requirements.
Getting your record sealed, or “nondisclosed” means that courts and other public entities are not allowed to share court record or arrest information about your DWI to the public. The Texas nondisclosure law does allow several notable exceptions to this rule, including many professional licensing boards, criminal justice agencies, and other state agencies. Your sealed case will also still be considered for determining the existence of prior offenses for law enforcement purposes.
While getting your DWI conviction sealed does not erase it permanently, it is still better to have your record sealed than not sealed.
Am I Eligible for a Nondisclosure?
Not everyone is eligible to get their DWI conviction sealed. For the most part, this is only available to first time DWI offenders with no other criminal history outside of fine-only traffic offenses. Your DWI also cannot have resulted in an accident where another person was involved, including your passengers. Finally, if you were convicted of a DWI where your BAC was 0.15 or greater, you are ineligible for nondisclosure.
There is also a waiting period before you can request to have your DWI conviction sealed. Depending on if you had community supervision and the length of time you had an ignition interlock device (or not), the waiting period can be anywhere from 2-5 years after your supervision period or sentence ends.
Can I Seal an Old DWI?
Yes. Even though the DWI nondisclosure law was enacted in 2017, it applies to DWI convictions from before that date. This means that someone with a DWI from 2000 or 2010 can still take advantage of the new law and seal their DWI conviction if they otherwise qualify.
Hire a DWI Record Sealing Attorney Today
It’s important you find an attorney that knows what they’re doing, that knows the DWI and nondisclosure laws and what to look for. Call (512) 599-9000 day or night to set up your free consultation.
written by Alexis Guadarrama