Individuals who are charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI or DUI) are typically only concerned with what the immediate impacts of a conviction will be. While facing potential time behind bars, driver’s licenses suspensions, and steep fines, individuals focus their time and energy on coming out of their situation with the least amount of punishment as possible.
Only after the dust settles do individuals consider what other long-term effects a conviction could have on their futures. When individuals realize that their criminal record may place limitations on their educational and employment opportunities, they turn to the option of having their criminal records sealed or expunged.
According to Tex. Code Crim. Proc. § 55.01 there are a few circumstances in which an individual can have a record of DWI expunged from his or her record. These circumstances include:
• The individual is arrested for DWI but is released without being charged with the crime
• An individual is charged with DWI and is acquitted at trial
• An individual is convicted of DWI but later has his or her conviction overturned by the court of appeals
• The individual was convicted of DWI but is later pardoned or acquitted of the crime
An offender who has a DWI conviction on his or her record that has not been overturned or pardoned is not eligible for a sealing or expunging of his or her criminal record.
If you are eligible to have your DWI record expunged in Texas, you must first meet certain procedural requirements. If you have been acquitted of a DWI charge, you must submit a petition for expunction, along with the court orders. The petition must include:
• Your name, sex, race, date of birth, driver’s license number, social security number, and address at the time of the arrest
• The information of all law enforcement agencies that may have information related to your criminal record
• The offense you have been charged with
• The date the offense occurred
• The date of your arrest
• The county you were arrested in
• The name of the law enforcement agency that you were arrested by
• Your case number and court of offense
The petition must be submitted within 30 days of the acquittal, and upon your submission, the court will enter an order for expunction.
If you meet all of the necessary requirements and you successfully have your record expunged, you will be able to move forward as if the arrest never occurred. If you are applying for jobs, schools, loans, or housing, you can legally deny that the DWI conviction ever took place. Even if you are questioned under oath, you do not have to divulge any information pertaining to the arrest.
Richard McConathy is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Dallas who can assist you in getting your DWI record expunged. As a founding member of The Law Offices of Richard C McConathy, has served thousands of clients throughout Denton County, Collin County, Tarrant County, and Dallas County. In addition to assisting clients in record expungement cases, McConathy also represents clients who have been charged with DWI, drug crimes, violent crimes, fraud, theft, and many other offenses.