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New Texas Law Will Make First-Time DWIs Eligible for Sealing
One of the most devastating consequences of any crime is living with a criminal record. This is something that will stick with someone convicted of a serious crime for the rest of their lives, long past the fines and jail time. The good news is that Texas lawmakers have recently recognized that such criminal records can actually cause more harm than they are intended to and have thus implemented a new state law that will allow the sealing of first-time DWI offenses for some Texas citizens.
With this change hitting the law books on September 1, 2017 in the form of Texas HB 3016, many Texans are wanting to know if their First-Time DWIs are eligible to be sealed under this new legislation. So let’s look a little bit more closely at this new ruling to see just how it will affect those in the state of Texas with a single DWI offense.
What HB 3016 Actually Does
The new legislature basically expands the criminal offenses for which an order of nondisclosure can be sought. An order of nondisclosure is basically an order that “seals” your criminal records, meaning they cannot be accessed by those who do a background check on you like a potential employer or landlord. An order of nondisclosure does not, however, seal your records from law enforcement officers at the state or federal levels. Nor will it seal the record from an employer for a government position.
The bill allows a person who has been convicted of a DWI for the first time with a BAC that is less than 0.15 to file a petition with the court for an order of non-disclosure to seal their criminal records in relation to the DWI.
Criteria to be eligible to petition for your DWI to be sealed under HB 3016
Only those who meet all of the following criteria are eligible to petition the court to seal their first-time offense DWI:
- They have never had a conviction or probation for any other offense (traffic offenses not involving drugs or alcohol do not count). This means only a first DWI offense is eligible for sealing.
- Their BAC was not greater than 0.15
- They have completed any and all mandated periods of confinement or community service
- The DWI offense they committed did not result in an accident involving another individual
- They have paid all the restitution, costs, and fines the court imposed in their case
- The required waiting period to file for the DWI to be sealed has passed.
- This is 5 years for those who were not issued an interlock requirement during sentencing
- This is 2 years for those who completed a period of at least 6 months with an ignition restricted motor vehicle.
What’s more, if the state’s attorney shows sufficient evidence that the DWI offense in question caused an accident, then the petition to seal the DWI will not result in the court issuing an order of non disclosure.
Requirements to Petition to Seal Your DWI under HB 3016
Anyone who wants to petition to seal their DWI under HB 3016 will need to wait until the second anniversary of the date they completed their sentencing, as long as they both:
- They complied with all the conditions their sentence required for a period of at least six months.
- There was an ignition restriction device installed on their motor vehicle for at least six months.
If these two requirements are not satisfied, you will need to wait until the fifth anniversary of the date you completed your sentencing and requirements.
Contact Our Office Today For A Free Assessment of Your DWI Case To Find Out If You Are Eligible For a Non-Disclosure.
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