DWI Non-Disclosures

A Potential Chance To Start Over

On September 1st, 2017, a new law took effect in Texas that allows certain people with a DWI conviction the opportunity to seal arrest records. House Bill 3016 allows this through an order of nondisclosure. This process gives Texans convicted of a DWI the legal authority to NOT disclose the arrest or conviction on any application for employment, information or licensing. A sealed record is not the same as an expunged record, but it does make a difference in a competitive job market.

Often, when two equally qualified candidates apply for a job, the individual with a DWI arrest will lose the opportunity to someone with a clean record. This new law could be a game changer for many people who have only made that one mistake.

Certain Requirements for a DWI Non-Disclosure Must Be Met:

  • You cannot have previously been convicted of or placed on deferred adjudication for any other offense, except for a traffic offense punishable by fine only.
  • Your DWI conviction cannot have been enhanced by a finding of a blood alcohol content of over 0.15.
  • The conviction cannot have involved a motor vehicle accident involving any other person, including a passenger in your vehicle.
  • The judge must find that it is the best interest of justice to grant the nondisclosure, after notice to the State and a hearing.  However, if the State agrees, a hearing is often unnecessary, and the order for nondisclosure can be quickly finalized with the judge.

Additionally, there is a waiting period that must pass before an order of nondisclosure can be pursued, which starts upon completion of the punishment (either completion of probation or discharge of any jail sentence):

Two Years

You completed probation and successfully completed at least a 6 month term with an interlock device (a machine you put in your vehicle and blow into in order to operate it).

Three Years

You served a jail sentence (including revocation of probation), and successfully completed at least a 6 month term with an interlock device.

Five Years

You completed probation or served a jail sentence (including revocation of probation), without an interlock device.

It is very important to note that this change in the law is RETROACTIVE, meaning that it applies to ALL previous DWI convictions, not just convictions after September 1st.  Therefore, many people are already eligible to seek an order of nondisclosure for an old DWI.

At Chappell, Lanehart & Stangl, P.C., we are very experienced in obtaining orders for nondisclosure, and we have already successfully obtained orders for nondisclosure for clients under this new change in the law.  If you would like to pursue an order of nondisclosure for that one mistake you made, or if you have any other questions, feel free to call our office and set up a free consultation, and Chuck or I would be happy to visit with you.