What It Means To Seal A DWI Record
Texas DWI charges remain on your record, whether you were convicted or not. The only exception to this is when the charge is sealed. This is different from expungement. Expungement is when a charge is completely removed from a person’s record. Sealing a charge essentially makes it invisible to third parties.
If you are interested in sealing a DWI record, discuss your situation with a Houston DWI lawyer. There are specifics to qualify for a sealed record. When you work with a legal professional, you will know if you are eligible. When a person qualifies, a petition can be filed.
Past Records Can Be Sealed
The ability to file a petition to seal a charge is in connection with a law that was put into place in September, 2017. It is different from other laws in that it can apply to past records. The change can be retroactive.
Benefits of sealed records is that means the conviction will not be seen by individuals who are doing background checks in your day-to-day life. For example, if someone finds out about a past DWI arrest in the process of you applying for housing or a loan, they may decline your request as a result. When a record is sealed, your arrest and conviction will not be discovered.
Qualifying for a Nondisclosure Order
Sealing a record is referred to as an order of nondisclosure. When filing a petition, it is essential you provide evidence of your eligibility to have your record sealed.
You may be eligible to have your DWI arrest and conviction sealed if any or all of the following apply:
- Your conviction was not a Class A misdemeanor
- Blood alcohol level was under a certain amount
- All terms of your conviction have been completed
- Fines and fees in connection with the penalty have been settled
- There are no other offenses are on your record
There are timelines to consider as well.
Law Enforcement Will Still See the Arrest and Conviction
Having a DWI sealed means it will not appear to third parties and if you are asked if you were arrested for a DWI you can say no, but that does not mean it disappears completely, it only disappears from public records.
Police officers, border officers, and other law enforcement officials can still see the sealed DWI. And, if you choose to move forward with a career that involves supporting children, such as a teacher, or in the medical field, the arrest could be seen in license applications. To understand the full advantages of sealing a Texas DWI, talk to a Houston DWI lawyer.
What would a sealed record mean for you? Our experienced legal team can defend you against a charge or explore your options for a sealed record. We have the knowledge to protect you whether you were charged with a DWI in connection to alcohol or prescription drug use. Reach out to the legal team at Ayson Law Firm to understand your rights. Contact us today for a free consultation with a Houston criminal defense attorney today.