How Long Will a DWI Stay on Your Record in Texas

Does a DWI ever come off your record in Texas?

If you have been charged with a DWI, you are likely to ask, "Will a DWI stay on your record forever?" The answer may be one that you don’t want to hear, but it is "maybe."

For example, DWI charges that are dismissed without probation can be expunged and deleted, whereas DWI charges that are dismissed after probation or a DWI conviction are eligible to be sealed in extremely limited circumstances. Given that criminal records have lasting consequences, it isn’t surprising that people want to know if a criminal record can be deleted in Texas.

An expunction is a court order to destroy and delete all records of a criminal charge. Once an expunction has occurred, the person that was originally arrested and convicted of the DWI can legally deny that the incident ever occurred. If you do not qualify for an expunction or are not granted one, you can ask for a petition for an order of nondisclosure, which seals the records of your arrest and prosecution from private sector businesses and individuals. One important note is that government agencies and law enforcement bodies will still be able to access your records even with an order of nondisclosure.

How long does a DWI stay on your record in Texas?

Unless you have an expunction or an order of nondisclosure, your DWI arrest will remain on your record indefinitely. Not everyone qualifies for an expunction in Texas, though those that have had charges dismissed or found not guilty and acquitted at trial can apply for one. If you complete probation, the only charge that is eligible for expunction is a Class C Misdemeanor. Depending on the charge, there is a waiting period before an expunction can be filed ranging from 6 months to 3 years, depending on severity. As a reference, a first-time DWI conviction is a Class B misdemeanor in Texas, making you eligible to expunge the charge 1 year after the date of offense. 

Being arrested for driving while intoxicated is scary and can be life-altering. Luckily, mistakes happen, and your misstep can be behind you if you take the right steps. At Brazoria County Bail Bonds, we can assist you in any way possible during this process. We’ll work with the court and judge to set your bail and allow you to be back on the street with your family and friends. 

Read More

Leave a Reply