Texas DWI Second Chance Law: Understanding Your Options with Tisdell Law

Photo of a Drunk Driver

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in Texas can have serious consequences, including fines, license suspension, and even jail time. However, there may be legal options available to individuals looking to seal or expunge a DWI charge from their criminal record. 

An experienced criminal defense attorney can represent you and ensure that all legal considerations are thoroughly addressed for having your criminal record sealed.

Potential Consequences of DWI Convictions in Texas

  • Fines: A DWI arrest in Texas can result in fines and penalties ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending on the circumstances of the offense and any prior convictions.
  • License Suspension: A DWI conviction typically results in the suspension of the person’s driver’s license for a specified sentence period, ranging from months to years, depending on factors such as blood alcohol level and prior offenses.
  • Probation: In some cases, a person convicted of DWI may be placed on probation, during which they must comply with certain conditions. This includes attending alcohol education programs, submitting to drug testing, installing an ignition interlock device in the vehicle, and refraining from further criminal activity.
  • Jail Time: Depending on the offense’s severity and prior convictions, individuals convicted of DWI in Texas may face incarceration ranging from days to months—even years. This can severely affect other opportunities in the future regarding employment and household.

What Is Texas’ Second Chance Law?

The Texas DWI Second Chance Law, officially known as House Bill 3016, went into effect on September 1, 2017. It allows certain first-time offenders convicted of a DWI offense to petition the court for non-disclosure of their criminal records under specific conditions. As per the law, if an arrested and convicted person engages in any other form of criminal activity, their sealed records can be reopened.

The Process of Sealing a DWI Conviction in Texas

Eligibility Assessment

Eligibility requirements for DWI second chances in Texas include:

  • A first-time DWI offense with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of less than 0.15%.
  • The DWI offense must not have resulted in an accident involving another individual.
  • Successful completion of any court-ordered probation and other requirements.
  • A waiting period of two years for misdemeanors or five years for felony DWI offenses.
  • No subsequent DWI offenses or disqualifying crimes during the waiting period.

Preparation of Petition

Choose a qualified and experienced Texas DWI defense attorney to prepare and file a petition for nondisclosure. The petition should include supporting documentation and evidence demonstrating your eligibility for non-disclosure.

Court Hearing

You will need to attend a court hearing where your petition for non-disclosure will be reviewed by a judge. During the hearing, your attorney will present arguments and evidence in support of your request for non-disclosure. The judge will consider your petition and other relevant factors before deciding whether to grant or deny non-disclosure.

Compliance with Requirements

Comply with any requirements or conditions imposed by the court as part of the non-disclosure order for a first-time offender. This may include paying court fees, completing any remaining terms of probation, and fulfilling other obligations outlined in the order.

Importance of Hiring a Texas DWI Lawyer

Being convicted of a DWI can hurt your chances of leading a fulfilling life. An experienced criminal defense attorney in Texas can fight so you can receive the following benefits by obtaining a non-disclosure of first time DWI:

Privacy Protection

Non-disclosure seals your criminal record from public view, making it inaccessible to most employers, landlords, and other entities conducting background checks. This can be a lifesaver for first-time DWI offenders who were picked up by law enforcement agencies.

Improved Employment Opportunities

With a sealed driving under the influence conviction, you may have better prospects for employment, as many employers consider criminal history when making hiring decisions.

Enhanced Housing Options

Landlords and property managers often review applicants’ criminal histories when renting properties. A sealed DWI conviction can increase the likelihood of securing housing.

Restoration of Rights

Non-disclosure restores certain rights and privileges that may have been restricted as a result of the DWI conviction, such as voting rights and eligibility for licenses, which can impact your professional life. In short, it can give you a fresh start.

Photo of a Police Placing DUI Charges

How Tisdell Law Can Assist You in Obtaining a Second Chance?

Expert Evaluation of Eligibility

  • Our experienced attorneys will conduct a thorough evaluation of your case to determine if you are eligible for non-disclosure under Texas law.
  • We will review the specifics of your conviction, including the nature of the offense and any previous criminal history, to assess your chances of obtaining non-disclosure.

Guidance on Record-Sealing Procedures

  • Tisdell Law Firm will provide clear and concise guidance on the steps involved in the non-disclosure process, ensuring you understand what to expect at each stage.
  • Our attorneys will explain the documentation required, deadlines to be met, and court proceedings involved in obtaining non-disclosure, helping to alleviate any confusion or uncertainty.

Thorough Preparation of Petition

  • Tisdell Law Firm will handle all aspects of preparing and filing your petition for non-disclosure, ensuring that it is accurate, complete, and persuasive.
  • Our lawyers will compile the necessary documentation, including court records and supporting evidence, to present a compelling case for sealing your criminal record.

Advocacy in Court Hearings

  • Our skilled attorneys will represent you in court hearings related to your petition, advocating vigorously for your rights and interests.
  • We will present compelling arguments to the judge, highlighting the positive changes you have made in your life and emphasizing your deservingness of a second chance.

Get Our Top-Rated Texas DWI Attorneys on Your Side

Your past mistakes should not dictate your future opportunities. With the help of Tisdell Law Firm, you can take proactive steps toward obtaining non-disclosure of your criminal record and reclaiming control of your life. Our experienced attorneys will pursue every aspect of your case with precision and attention to detail—from preparing and filing paperwork to representing you in court hearings.

We will explain your rights, legal options, and the steps in obtaining a second chance, empowering you to make informed decisions. To set up your free consultation, call us at (806) 352-4844 or reach us online.