Nondisclosure of DWIs | DWI Nondisclosure Texas

dwi nondisclosure

Nondisclosure of DWIs in Texas

The new DWI nondisclosure law has been dubbed the "Second Chance Law." Once a record has been nondisclosed, it is hidden from private employers, banks, apartments etc. The only people that can see a record that has been nondisclosed are state licensing agencies and law enforcement agencies.

The DWI nondisclosure law applies retroactively. That means if other conditions are met, including the waiting periods, individuals who have a first-time DWI on their record may be eligible for a nondisclosure.

DWI Nondisclosed but not Forgotten

The new law only allows for nondisclosure of a first-time DWI. It does not allow for an expunction. A nondisclosure seals a person’s criminal conviction from public view, but it does not remove the conviction from their record like an expunction would. Therefore, although nondisclosure would restrict who can see a criminal conviction, the conviction would still be accessible to law enforcement and could still be considered a prior offense if any future charges were brought. That means regardless of whether a DWI is nondisclosed or not, a subsequent DWI will be enhanced based on the prior.

Cases Eligible for DWI Nondisclosure

Not all DWI convictions are eligible for nondisclosure, and certain conditions must be met before an order of non-disclosure can be granted. To be eligible:

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  • It must be a first-time misdemeanor DWI offense.
  • The conviction cannot have been for DWI BAC >/= .15
  • The applicant must have successfully completed probation for the offense and have paid all fines, costs, and restitution OR received a jail sentence and paid all fines, costs, and restitution imposed.
  • There must not have been an accident involving another person – including passengers in the applicant’s own vehicle.
  • The offense must not have been boating while intoxicated or flying while intoxicated.
  • The applicant must not have any prior convictions other than this DWI.
  • The application cannot have been placed on deferred adjudication probation for certain violent crimes or any crime requiring sex offense registration. Prior traffic offenses punishable by fine-only are not considered.
  • The nondisclosure will only be granted if the judge determines that granting the nondisclosure will be in the best interest of justice.

Waiting Periods for DWI Nondisclosure after a Probated

For eligible DWI convictions, a person can petition the court for an order of nondisclosure only after an established waiting period is met.

  • This period is two years if an individual complies with their probated sentence and has an interlock device on their vehicle for at least six months as a condition of probation.
  • If a person does not use an ignition interlock device as a condition of probation, the period is five years.

Waiting Periods for DWI Nondisclosures after a Jail Sentence

For eligible DWI convictions, a person can petition the court for an order of nondisclosure only after an established waiting period is met.

  • This period is three years if the individual had an interlock for six months as part of their sentence. Presumably, this means the judge order the suspension of their license, and the person had to have interlock as a condition of getting an occupational license. Because the statute refers a sentence, having interlock on as a condition of bond will not suffice.
  • If a person did not use an ignition interlock device as a condition of probation, the period is five years.

Contact Us About DWI Nondisclosure

Call us at (817) 203-2220 for a complimentary strategy session. Our team of former prosecutors and Board Certified Criminal Lawyers are here to help. During this call we will:

  • Discuss the facts of your case;
  • Discuss the legal issues involved, including the direct and collateral consequences of the allegation; and
  • Discuss the defenses that apply to your plan and in general terms discuss our approach to your case.

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Benson Varghese

Managing Partner at Varghese Summersett PLLC
Benson Varghese is the founder and Managing Partner of Varghese Summersett PLLC. He is a prolific writer and has authored hundreds of articles about criminal law in Texas and at the Federal level. His articles have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Above the Law, and have been selected as Top Blogs by the State Bar of Texas. He was named the Young Lawyer of the Year in 2019 by the Tarrant County Bar Association. Benson led the firm to become one of the 500 fastest growing businesses in the United States by Inc 500 Magazine in 2018. In the same year, the firm was named the Best Law Firm in Fort Worth by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The lawyers at Varghese Summersett PLLC exclusively handle criminal defense matters.
Benson Varghese