The New Second Chance in Texas: Non-Disclosure of DWI Convictions

Criminal LawIf you’ve made a single mistake in Texas, including getting behind the wheel after a little too much celebration with friends, a conviction can haunt you for years. You may find it difficult to get the job you really want, to find suitable housing, or to even get credit. Under a new law in Texas, which went into effect on September 1, 2017, many Texans will get a new second chance.

Under the new statute, House Bill 3016, a person convicted of many nonviolent misdemeanors, including DWI, can ask the court for an order of nondisclosure. The amendment to the law also changes the waiting period for nondisclosure of some offenses. Under the revised law, if the misdemeanor was punishable only by a fine, you can petition the court for an order of nondisclosure as soon as you pay the fine. If there were additional sanctions, you must wait two years from the completion of any sentence before you can seek nondisclosure.

An order of nondisclosure essentially seals a criminal record, so that it cannot be viewed by the public. Accordingly, in most contexts, the person whose record is sealed may deny the conviction without consequence. Such records always remain accessible to law enforcement officers, state and federal officials and government employers.

Under the new law, a person may seek nondisclosure of a first-offense DWI, provided the blood alcohol concentration was less than .15, and the following conditions have been met:

  • The petitioner has completed any community service requirements or incarceration
  • The petitioner has paid all fines and costs, including restitution, if ordered
  • The petitioner has not been convicted of or placed on deferred adjudication for any other non-traffic offense
  • Any required waiting period has expired

Contact Us

At the law office of Bailey & Galyen, we provide a free initial consultation to every client. To set up an appointment with an experienced Texas criminal defense attorney, contact us online or call us at 844-402-2992. We will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.