Nondisclosure of DWIs | DWI Nondisclosure Law Offers Second Chance | House Bill 3016
Nondisclosure of DWIs in Texas
An individual charged with DWI is prohibited from getting deferred adjudication in Texas. A nondisclosure is a legal remedy that allows for the criminal record relating to certain non-violent offenses to be sealed after a person successfully completes deferred adjudication. The lack of deferred adjudication for DWIs has meant that Texans did not have the ability to seal a first-time DWI regardless of how much time had passed.
However, the passage of House Bill 3016 means Texans will finally be able to get nondisclosure for a first-time DWI under certain circumstances, despite never being granted deferred adjudication.
House Bill 3016 was introduced by State Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, and had broad bi-partisan support. Thompson told the Texas Tribune, “If we are going to require a person to be penalized for a mistake they have made, once that penalty is over with, they have fulfilled the obligations of that penalty…they ought to be given an opportunity to make a living.”
Texas Governor Greg Abbot signed HB 3016 into law on June 15, 2017. The law will go into effect on September 1, 2017.
Second Chance Law | DWI Nondisclosure
The new 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 Second Chance Law also 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.
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:
- 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.
- 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 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. If a person does 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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