Record Sealing for DWI Cases
The consequences for a criminal conviction can last long after you’ve completed your sentence. You may have issues obtaining employment, applying for housing or pursuing an educational opportunity because you now have a criminal record that can be easily accessed with a background check. Additionally, the stress of a criminal trial and conviction can have a long-term effect on your personal relationships
This type of scenario is very common for people charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) because for the longest time Texas did not allow DWI offenders to obtain deferred adjudication. However, Texas repealed this ban on September 1st, 2019, which means DWI offenders can now have their record sealed if they obtained deferred adjudication.
If you or someone you know has been charged with DWI, it’s important you seek an experienced attorney. You could be eligible for deferred adjudication and have your record sealed in the future. To learn more about record sealing for DWI, our suggestion is you review the article below to learn how you can petition for non-disclosure
DWI Attorney Explains How to Seal Your Record in Georgetown, TX
The criminal consequences for DWI are overwhelming and bleed over into your professional and personal life. A criminal record can hinder you from receiving employment, housing, or pursuing a degree at an educational institution. If you are interested in sealing your DWI charges, we suggest you get in contact with Law Office of Price & Wiggins, P.C..
Michael J. Price is a skilled attorney who has represented numerous clients charged with DWI or those who are looking for non-disclosure. He can utilize his knowledge, resources, and network for your case. To schedule an appointment call Law Office of Price & Wiggins, P.C. at (512) 354-1880.
Law Office of Price & Wiggins, P.C. represents people throughout the greater Williamson County and Bell County area including Georgetown, Hutto, Taylor, Salado, Killeen, Temple and Belton.
Overview of Record Sealing in Texas
- Texas Now Allows DWI Offenders to Seal Their Records
- How to Qualify for Non-Disclosure?
- How Do I Petition for Non-Disclosure?
- Additional Resources
Texas Now Allows DWI Offenders to Seal Their Records
In 1984, Texas legislators implemented a ban on allowing DWI offenders to receive deferred adjudication. This new law was created to reduce the amount of DWI-related crashes and fatalities in Texas. However, it took the opposite effect and lead to a backlog of DWI cases where the prosecutors had little to no flexibility for plea deals.
After years of fighting to repeal the ban, Texas finally passed a new bill in 2019 that would allow first-time DWI offenders to obtain deferred adjudication. Certain violent DWI offenses are not eligible for deferred adjudication such as intoxication assault or manslaughter. Those with specific violent or sexual prior convictions or have had their guilt deferred recently in the last five years will not be able to petition for deferred adjudication.
This has drastically changed the futures of many DWI offenders in Texas. They can now obtain deferred adjudication and eventually petition for non-disclosure in the future. Basically, DWI offenders who competed deferred adjudication can seal their records from the general public. Which means no employers, landlords, licensing agencies or peers will access their arrest, charges and conviction
How to Qualify for Non-Disclosure
To seal your criminal record, you must fill out a petition for non-disclosure. Unfortunately, not everyone can successfully obtain non-disclosure they must fulfill the following qualifications:
- Placed on deferred adjudication by a judge;
- Successfully complete the program;
- Waited the appropriate period to petition for non-disclosure; and
- You weren’t convicted with a crime between the time of your deferred adjudication and when you filed the petition for non-disclosure
You must wait an appropriate time period to file for non-disclosure. These wait times depend on if the judge required you to have a portable alcohol monitoring device (PAM). The waiting times for these include:
- 5 years if you didn’t have a portable alcohol monitoring device; or
- 2 years if you did have a portable alcohol monitoring device
To obtain non-disclosure, you must have successfully participated in a deferred adjudication program. This program doesn’t admit first-time DWI offenders if they have prior convictions for any of the following crimes:
- Indecency with a child;
- Aggravated kidnapping in a child safety zone;
- Burglary in a child safety zone
- Sexual Assault;
- Aggravated sexual assault;
- Sexual offenses in a child safety zone; or
- Human trafficking in a child safety zone
How Do I Petition for Non-Disclosure in Texas?
To obtain non-disclosure, you must first fill out a petition form which can be found here. To file the petition correctly you will have to go to the clerk who handled your initial charges. Additionally, you must pay a filing fee of $280. If you’re unable to pay this fee, you can file a Statement of Inability to Afford Payment of Court Costs form.
Once you’ve filed the petition, the court will schedule a hearing. Both the prosecuting attorney and law enforcement will be notified of your hearing within 45 days of the request. They can choose to attend and contest your petition for non-disclosure if they find it appropriate. Thankfully, you can also bring legal counsel can represent you during the hearing.
A judge will issue an order of non-disclosure if:
- You’ve completed all the terms of your deferred adjudication;
- You meet the eligibility requirements for non-disclosure; and
- Granting non-disclosure is in the best interest of justice
If the judge finds you meet the qualifications, then your order of non-disclosure will be granted. Your records will be sealed from the general public and most employers. It’s important to know some government and licensing agencies will be able to obtain your records such as the state Board of Education Certification and the Texas Medical Board.
How to Fill Out A Petition for Non-Disclosure – Visit the official website of the Texas courts to learn more about non-disclosure. Access the court document to learn non-disclosure eligibility, access the non-disclosure form, and learn who can see your charges if you’re granted non-disclosure.
Texas Laws for Non-Disclosure – Visit the official website of Texas Government Code to learn more about orders of non-disclosure. Access the site to learn what is non-disclosure, how to get non-disclosure, and the relative cost of non-disclosure.
DWI Lawyer for Non-Disclosure in Georgetown, Texas
Has your past DWI charges or arrest haunted you over time? Do you want to find a way to seal your record completely? If so, get in contact with Law Office of Price & Wiggins, P.C. to learn more about non-disclosure. A petition for non-disclosure could mean no licensing agencies, employers or anyone else can bring up your record with a background check.
Contact Michael J. Price to learn how you can petition for non-disclosure. He has years of experience under his belt and can use his skills for your case. Call (512) 354-1880 to set up your first consultation today. Law Office of Price & Wiggins, P.C. represents people throughout the greater Williamson County and Bell County area including Georgetown, Belton, Temple, Killeen, Hutto and Taylor.
This article was last updated on December 4, 2019.