Sealing a DWI Conviction

Experienced, Aggressive, & Skilled Houston Criminal Defense Lawyers

Texas Legislature passed a new law this session regarding DWI convictions, also known as the “second-chance law.” According to Tex. Gov’t. Code 411.0731, 411.0736, which is a petition for the nondisclosure for DWI and certain drug convictions, this new law allows people to request the sealing of their records. This new law allows people who have been convicted of DWI to petition for an order of nondisclosure of criminal history. As expected, this law will benefit those who have been adversely affected in their personal and professional lives due to a DWI conviction. It also allows the sealing of some felony drug convictions, even if the person was forced to serve time in state jail.

The law, effective on September 1, 2017, applies in the following instances:

  • After a two-year waiting period, in which the conviction involved a BAC less than 0.15, caused no accident involving injury to another. The person in question must also have successfully completed 6 months of the ignition interlock device, in addition to completing probation. The person may not have any previous offenses.
  • After a three-year waiting period, in which the conviction involved a BAC is over 0.15, yet did not caused no accident involving the injury of another. Similarly, the person must have successfully completed 6 months of the ignition interlock device as part of their sentence. This instance includes those who were sentenced to jail time or had revoked probations. This also disallows any prior offenses.
  • After a five-year waiting period, in which the person in question did not have ignition interlock device as a condition of probation or jail sentence. This case also requires no prior offenses, as well as no accident involving the injury of another person.
  • State jail felons may petition for the sealing of their records after a 5-year waiting period, only if their conviction involves marijuana or any other drugs in penalty groups 1, 1-A, 2, and 2-A.

According to Sec. 411.0716, anyone who has earned a DWI conviction can apply to have this record sealed--no matter how old the conviction is. The judge must make an affirmative finding at the time of sentencing to prevent automatic nondisclosure. However, this law only applies if you are ineligible to receive an automatic order solely due to a judge's finding that issuing the order is not best.

If convicted of a misdemeanor that is punishable by a fine, you may petition for an order of nondisclosure once you have completed your sentence. If the punishment included more than just a fine, you may petition on 2 years following the date of sentence completion.

Contact Our Houston Criminal Defense Lawyers Today

At Stornello Law Firm, P.C., our Houston criminal defense lawyers understand how difficult it is to have your reputation, professional, and personal life on the line with a conviction that continues to haunt you, years later. This is why our legal team is thrilled for the announcement of this new law, as we are sure it will change the lives of many for the better.

Interested in having your DWI conviction sealed? Call us today at (281) 761-7160.