If you have a DWI conviction on your record in Texas, you may be eligible to have the conviction sealed. The fact is that having a DWI on your record can affect your career, your ability to rent a home, and much more. Since 2017, the State of Texas has had a mechanism on the books for sealing DWIs after a two-year waiting period for first-time offenders who have an otherwise clean record.
Petition for an Order of Nondisclosure of Criminal History
The official title of the sealing process is called a petition for an order of nondisclosure of criminal history, but it is generally referred to as a sealing your conviction. Sealing prevents most employers, potential employers, and other private citizens from discovering the original conviction via a background check, and this can obviously be very important to your future.
In order to qualify to have your DWI record sealed, all of the following must apply:
The conviction was a first offense DWI in Texas.
Two years have passed since the conviction.
Your blood alcohol content (BAC) in the case did not exceed 0.15 percent.
You completed a term of six months with an alcohol-detecting ignition interlock installed in your car.
You paid all of your attendant fines and fees and successfully completed all the terms of your probation.
If all of these pertain to your case, you are likely a good candidate for having your DWI record sealed. If you did not have the interlock device installed, you may still be eligible to have your record sealed, but there is a waiting period of five years.
The Benefits of Having Your Record Sealed
The obvious benefit of having your record sealed is that it becomes invisible to private citizens, but this can mean more than you realize in today’s world – when anyone anywhere can find out virtually anything about you with a quick internet search. Having your DWI record sealed can open up employment opportunities, housing opportunities, opportunities to volunteer at your children’s schools, and much more.
The Sealing Process
The sealing process itself can be quite complicated – and demanding. The filing process is exacting, and if done incorrectly, your petition will need to be refiled. All told, it is in your best interest to work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer who will ensure that you avail yourself of your best chance to seal your DWI record. If everything proceeds smoothly, your record could be sealed in about five months.
Consult with an Experienced Killeen Criminal Defense Lawyer about Having Your DWI Sealed
If you have a DWI conviction that qualifies – or may qualify – to be sealed, you should not bypass this opportunity. Brett Pritchard is an experienced criminal defense lawyer who is committed to helping you safeguard your future from the negative effects of an unsealed DWI conviction. We are here to help, so please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 for more information today.