How Long a DWI Stays On Your Record in Texas
If you want to know how long a DWI stays on your record in Texas, you know how serious a conviction is. Likely, that’s why you searched for information about DWIs (driving while intoxicated) or a Houston DWI lawyer.
The short answer for how long a DWI stays on your record is “forever.” However, it’s important to understand that certain cases qualify for expungement. Otherwise, it remains a permanent part of your criminal record.
In Texas, there’s no “washout period” for a DWI conviction. That’s why you need an experienced Houston DWI defense attorney on your side. If you face a DWI conviction, schedule a free consultation with our criminal defense law firm today. Those arrested for a DWI need to act quickly!
What If It’s My First Offense?
Unfortunately, there’s no difference when it comes to how long a DWI stays on your record. Whether your first offense or more, the only change is to the severity of the consequences.
With a DWI on your criminal record, you face a major impact on your life.
- Fewer career prospects
- Limitations on the type of job you can apply for
- Your ability to earn income in general
- Owning a firearm
- Insurance premiums increase
- Immigration status for non-citizens
Moreover, a conviction potentially means jail time and the loss of your license. To many people, this all sounds harsh. However, Texas takes drunk driving seriously, and the consequences are severe at every level.
When you face DWI charges, you need to work with a Houston DWI lawyer who strives for the best possible outcome in your case. From reduced charges to dismissal and expungement, a good attorney knows how to work every angle of your case.
Accessing Conviction Data in Texas
In Texas, anyone has the option to search, attain information on, and study your records. Under the Texas Public Information Act, it’s a public right.
In the state of Texas, it is likely your DWI stays on your record indefinitely. Generally, only non-conviction data gets erased from anyone’s record. This means dismissal or winning your case.
When you apply for certain jobs, you have to list your DWI conviction on the application. Oftentimes, this means rejection for many people.
Expungement: What Is It?
Expungement refers to the erasure of your data from your criminal record. It is also known as expunction.
Under Chapter 55 of the Texas Code, this erasure is possible but often quite difficult. Expunging a DWI record requires an application to the governor and a petition. Additionally, there are specific conditions to meet for eligibility.
In Texas, a first or second DWI defense is a Class A or Class B misdemeanor.
Per expunction laws, this means it is no longer a viable option until around a year after the conviction.
However, a good attorney knows how to build a case with a stronger chance of having a judge overrule this requirement. For many cases, a DWI stays on your record until a judge dismisses the charges against you.
Deferred Adjudication When a DWI Stays on Your Record
When there’s concern a DWI stays on your record, deferred adjudication is another possibility. Essentially, this is similar to a plea bargain made with a prosecutor. When you meet a set of requirements over a specific period of time, they dismiss your case.
Typically, this is only possible for first-time DWI offenses a judge feels deserve a type of probation. Effectively, they dismiss your case when you plea guilty or no contest.
However, failing to meet the terms of this agreement or receiving another charge in a specific period of time, you automatically receive a conviction.
Wondering Whether a DWI Stays On Your Record? Call for a Free Consultation
When a DWI stays on your record in Texas, you face severe short-term and lifelong consequences. Your best option is to work with an experienced Houston DWI lawyer.
Luckily, you remain innocent until proven guilty. With an advocate on your side, you have a better chance at dismissal or reduced charges.
With decades of experience, our DWI defense attorneys know how to defend you against DWI charges. At your free consultation, we assess your case, examine the evidence, and search out a way to pursue the best possible option.
While a DWI looks bad, you have a chance to find a strong defense against the prosecution. When the evidence is insufficient, flawed, or inconsistent, we fight to have your case thrown out.
It’s important to remember that you still have hope! Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation with Houston DWI lawyer Herman Martinez.