Being convicted of a DWI can have severe ramifications in your life. Not only may a court order you to incarceration and/or fines, but you will also have a mark on your criminal record. Now, the word "mark" may make it seem like a small thing, but it is far from that. Criminal proceedings, from an arrest to a conviction, are accessible to the public. That means anyone can access your information at any time. This includes potential employers, college and university personnel, and landlords, among others. Thus, you might have trouble getting a job, being accepted into a higher education institution, or finding a place to live.
But you can take legal action to seek to remove the hurdles presented after a driving while intoxicated conviction. The vehicle for doing so is referred to as a nondisclosure. If you're granted this relief, government agencies will be prohibited from releasing your conviction information to the public. Additionally, if a court approves your request, lawfully, you can refrain from disclosing information about your impaired driving offense. However, nondisclosure does not completely erase your criminal history; certain government officials will still be able to access the information under specific circumstances.
Who Qualifies for Nondisclosure?
Specifically concerning DWI matters, only under particular situations can you seek to have your record sealed. This includes a conviction that resulted in your being placed on deferred adjudication community supervision or probation.
Generally, for any person to be eligible for nondisclosure they must not have been convicted of or placed on deferred adjudication for:
- Certain sex crimes
- Aggravated kidnapping
- Capital murder
- Trafficking of persons
- Injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual
- Abandoning or endangering a child
- Violating or court order
- Family violence offense
Thus, if you're seeking to have your intoxicated driving record sealed, you must be a first-time offender (note that traffic tickets resulting in fines only do not count as prior convictions). Additionally, you cannot have been charged with a crime after you were convicted of driving while intoxicated and were completing your period of probation or deferred adjudication.
If you were convicted of a DWI, you are ineligible for nondisclosure if:
- You did not receive deferred adjudication or probation following your conviction
- Your charge was not dismissed after completing deferred adjudication
- Your probation was revoked, or you did not successfully complete the terms
- You did not complete your sentence, including paying all fines, costs, and restitution
- You caused an accident during the commission of your driving while intoxicated offense
- You held a commercial driver's license
- Your blood alcohol concentration was 0.15 or more at the time of the offense
- You were convicted of anything other than a Class B misdemeanor DWI
When Can I Petition for Nondisclosure?
Receiving a nondisclosure is not automatic. You must submit a petition after a certain amount of time, and a judge must review and approve it.
When you can seek a nondisclosure depends on the outcome of your case:
- If you received deferred adjudication:
- 2 years after you completed community supervision and your case was dismissed and discharged
- If you were placed on probation:
- 2 years after completing probation, if the court required you to install an IID and you completed that condition
- 5 years after completing probation, if you were not subject to an IID installation
- If you were sentenced after a DWI conviction:
- 3 years after completing your sentence, if the court required you to install an IID and you completed that condition
- 5 years after completing your sentence, if you did not have to install an IID on your vehicle
The process for seeking a nondisclosure is complex. You need an experienced attorney to guide you throughout.
At Hamilton Grant PC, we provide skilled legal representation for criminal matters in Dallas and are ready to discuss your case. To get started, call us at (214) 225-7117 or contact us online.