Dealing with a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) charge in Texas is a challenging and life-altering experience. It can impact your personal and professional life, making it difficult to secure employment or even rent an apartment.
Fortunately, Texas law allows for the sealing of certain DWI records. By taking this initiative, you can protect your reputation and give yourself a fresh start.
So, how do you seal a DWI record in Texas? What are the steps you need to take? Read on for a general overview. If you want to learn about your specific options in your individual situation, speak with a DWI defense attorney today.
Before delving into the process of sealing your DWI record, it’s essential to determine whether you’re eligible for this relief.
In Texas, you may be eligible to seal your DWI record if:
As a first-time offender, you should not have received a conviction that was a Class A misdemeanor – which means your BAC was not 0.15% or higher.
Also, your DWI arrest should not have involved an accident with another person. This means that the accident should not have included a driver or passenger of another vehicle or a passenger in your car. It does not matter whether the other party or parties were injured or not.
You cannot have prior convictions that include probation or deferred adjudication. You’re only allowed minor traffic violations.
If you do meet the eligibility requirements for sealing a DWI record, you can apply for nondisclosure. You’ll just need to determine the waiting period before you can proceed.
Each waiting period differs, depending on the facts of your DWI case. The determination of the wait time is based on whether you were put on probation or if you had to have an interlock device installed on your auto for at least six months.
You can go ahead and petition for nondisclosure if you completed all the requirements of your probation. This includes having an interlock device installed on your vehicle for at least six months during the probation period. You can apply for nondisclosure after two years from the end date of your probation.
You’ll wait three years after the completion of your DWI sentence if you resolved your case without having to complete probation. You also had an interlock device installed on your car for at least six months during this time.
If you did not have to install an interlock device for six months, you can petition for nondisclosure five years after the completion of your DWI sentence or the end date of your probation.
After meeting the applicable criteria, you’ll qualify for an Order of Nondisclosure, which will prevent various entities from accessing your DWI record.
To proceed with sealing your record, you must collect the appropriate documents and information related to your case. These may include:
Sealing a DWI record is a complex legal process involving numerous forms, affidavits, and procedural rules. To ensure your petition is handled properly, it’s important to consult with an attorney – a legal representative who is experienced in handling DWI cases in Texas.
Your attorney will evaluate your eligibility for sealing, guide you through the legal process, and represent you at any necessary hearings.
Once you have determined your eligibility, gathered the necessary documentation, and consulted with an attorney, you will need to file a formal petition for an Order of Nondisclosure with the appropriate court.
This petition must detail the facts of your case and demonstrate to the court that granting an Order of Nondisclosure is in the best interest of justice.
In some cases, a hearing may be required before the judge can grant your request for an Order of Nondisclosure. If so, it’s essential to be fully prepared and represented by an attorney during this meeting.
Your attorney will present evidence and arguments on your behalf and explain why your record should be sealed.
Once the judge has reviewed your case and deemed you eligible for an Order of Nondisclosure, they will sign off on the order. At this point, you should provide copies of the order to the relevant law enforcement agencies to ensure that your sealed records are no longer accessible. Your attorney can help you with this process.
Sealing a DWI record in Texas is a complex and demanding process that requires thorough preparation and legal expertise.
By following the steps outlined above and by working with experienced legal counsel, you can significantly increase your chances of success. Doing so will help you restore your reputation and help you move forward in life with added self-confidence. Now is the time to do so – contact the Mendoza Law Firm today.
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