Everyone makes mistakes. Unfortunately, some can follow you for life. If you receive a driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated conviction in Texas, you could face both short- and long-term consequences.
After a certain amount of time has passed, the Texas courts may approve a request for expunction. The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure defines expunction as eliminating an arrest or conviction from your permanent criminal records. DWI/DUI expunction could give you your life back.
What is expunction?
In Texas, expunction irrevocably removes information about a criminal charge, arrest or conviction from a public record. Most people will not have access to a DWI or DUI conviction after expunction, including employers, landlords and schools. It will be as if the event never happened. The only people who will have access to the expunged or sealed record are law enforcement.
Who is eligible for expunction?
Only certain crimes qualify for expunction in Texas. If police placed you under arrest but the city never officially charged you with DWI/DUI, for example, you could be eligible for record expunction. Other eligible records include the following:
- A dismissed case, either before or after filed charges
- Certain alcohol offenses as a minor
- A not-guilty verdict in trial
- A pardon by the Texas governor or U.S. President
Expunction is one of a few options for moving forward after a DWI or DUI arrest in Texas. You could also be eligible for a petition for nondisclosure, which limits who can access your record, or a motion to seal the record from the public eye (for juvenile offenders).
How do you file a petition for expunction?
If you believe your arrest, charge or conviction makes you eligible for record expunction in Texas, take the first steps with help from a lawyer. You or your attorney needs to ensure you meet the requirements, get copies of your record and file the correct paperwork with the county criminal courts. Then, you or your lawyer may need to attend a hearing. DWI/DUI record expunction could help you get back on your feet.