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How Long Does A DWI Stay On Your Record?

Mark Thiessen
How Long Does A DWI Stay On Your Record?

People who have been recently charged with DWI often call us up asking “How long does a Houston DWI stay on your record?” and “Can you get a DWI off of your record in Texas?” Some of them got caught while driving and smoking weed in Texas; others because they’ve just failed their field sobriety test. What’s in common? All of them are worried.

Let’s face it. A single DWI conviction can give you a frustrating amount of baggage to deal with for the rest of your life. It can drive up your auto insurance by hundreds of dollars and even keep you from getting jobs. If your DWI charge is severe enough, it could wind up damaging both your criminal and driving records.

To add insult to injury, there’s no “washout period” for a DWI in Texas. Even if you received your 1st DWI when you were 22 and your 2nd one when you’re 65, the penalties for the 2nd DWI are just as severe as if you received your 2nd DWI charge the week after your 1st DWI charge.

However, if you aren’t convicted of your DWI charge, then all of that weight is lifted from your shoulders. We don’t believe that one mistake should ruin your future. The DWI attorneys at Thiessen Law Firm will stand by your side in court and fighting to reduce that amount of time that single bad decision affects your life. Here’s how.

How Long Does a DWI Stay on Your Record? How Long Is Too Long…

Until your case is dismissed

You’re innocent until found guilty. If a judge doesn’t have enough evidence to convict you (or that evidence was obtained illegally), then chances are they will dismiss your case. When that happens, you can get rid of—in other words, expunge—any record of your charges and arrest. A dismissal is the quickest way to get DWI charges off your records, and it is much easier to obtain with a Houston DWI lawyer.  

Until you complete Deferred Adjudication

For first-time DWI offenders, judges will sometimes offer the chance to complete deferred adjudication, which ultimately results in a dismissal of your charges. You must plead “guilty” or “no contest” to the charges brought against you and then complete the requirements of your deferred adjudication (which are akin, but not the same as “straight probation”).

Until after you wait for a period determined by your charge

While this strategy isn’t the best one, it is possible to apply for DWI expungement after simply waiting certain amount of time. However, you have to meet many conditions in order to apply for and receive DWI expungement for this reason.

These conditions include: that you are charged, released and never convicted; that you aren’t also charged with other misdemeanors or felonies relating to the same DWI charge; and that you’ve waited for the proper amount of time (180 days from the arrest for class C misdemeanors, 1 year for class A or B misdemeanors and 3 years for felonies). 

Until you are tried and found innocent

If you and your lawyer take your case to trial and you are found innocent, then there’s no reason a DWI should remain on your criminal or driving record. Sometimes the answer to the question “How long does a Houston DWI stay on your record?” is simply “however long it takes to prove you’re innocent.”

Until you are no longer a minor

Luckily, if your first and only DWI or DUI conviction occurred during the follies of your youth, your charges may be eligible when you legally become an adult. The main difference between DUI and DWI in Texas, if you need a refresher, is that you’re eligible for a DUI only when you’re a minor.

For forever

Does a DWI stay on your record forever in Texas? Unfortunately once you receive a DWI conviction, that conviction is probably going to be stuck on your record indefinitely. The best way to avoid this result (besides not driving while intoxicated) is to make sure that you have the best DWI attorney in Houston at your side.

How Long Does a DWI Stay on Your Record? Well, How Soon Did You Call Your Lawyer?

Can a DWI be dismissed in Texas? While getting a DWI charge removed from your record can be challenging, it’s entirely possible with a talented lawyer and a solid defense. If you want to keep your driver’s license in hand and your insurance rates at bay, call our team at the Thiessen Law Firm at (713) 999-3959 and request a free case evaluation. We’ll fight to keep you living your best life by keeping your criminal and driving records free of DWI convictions.

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