When someone is convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas, it leaves a glaring mark on his or her driving record and criminal history. Certain places of employment will not hire someone with a DWI on his or her records. If the DWI was considered a felony, even more situations will arise that will put the convicted driver at a disadvantage, such as landlords that will not rent spaces to felons.
With so many consequences of having a DWI, the question eventually comes to mind: “When will this DWI conviction be removed from my records?” In Texas, the answer is “never.” There is no lookback period in Texas. A previous DWI conviction will always be considered when the next DWI charges are created. For example, a driver could be convicted of a second DWI offense in 2015 and be arrested some 20 years later for a third-time DWI, despite that massive amount of time in between criminal violations.
Since DWIs never “fall off” driving records in Texas, it is all the more important for a driver to fight tooth-and-nail when accused of a DWI. Oftentimes, only a Texas DWI attorney’s intervention can keep that permanent mark from being applied.
Can Expungement Clear DWI Convictions?
In Texas, the criminal justice system allows both expungement – sometimes called expunction – and record sealing of criminal records in certain situations. It is very important to understand that a DWI Conviction is permanent and can NEVER be expunged. This is why we fight DWI conditions very aggressively. A person who is arrested for a DWI but never charged, or who had his or her charges dismissed, could potentially use expungement to erase that arrest from his or her record. Expungement is also available for low-level alcohol-related misdemeanors but it might not be possible for many DWI offenses. It is usually best to speak with a Texas criminal defense lawyer to discover if expungement is an option after a DWI arrest or conviction, and whether or not that would help with subsequent convictions.
Record sealing will most likely not prevent the escalation of subsequent DWI convictions in Texas. When a criminal record is sealed, it becomes significantly more difficult for interested third parties to access your file without a warrant or court order. However, law enforcement agencies and other governmental groups can still openly view your arrest and driving records, meaning the police would be aware of a preexisting DWI whether you sealed the record or not. Since there are always benefits to sealing your record when possible, it is still worth keeping this option in mind and asking a DWI lawyer about it.
All We Do is DWI Defense – (713) 224-5529
At Tyler Flood & Associates, we intentionally focused our entire law firm on DWI defense cases. When you have been arrested for driving while intoxicated, you should turn to our Houston DWI attorneys first for legal protection. If everything goes accordingly to plan, we can have your charges dismissed so you never need to worry about having a DWI mark permanently on your record. But first, we need to talk to you about the circumstances of your case so we can start formulating the right defense strategy for you. Contact us now to begin fighting back against your charges.