If you’re wondering, “How do I seal my DWI in Texas?”, then it’s time to start learning more about an order of nondisclosure in Texas for a DWI.
A DWI nondisclosure in Texas is the best way to seal your record after the legal process is complete. However, there are many nuances involved that could leave you ineligible or unprepared to petition the court. Not all crimes are eligible for nondisclosure, and just because your record is sealed doesn’t mean it’s invisible to everybody.
Let’s take a few moments to break down some of the most important facts regarding an order of nondisclosure in Texas for DWI.
1. A nondisclosure in Texas seals your record
If you’re debating whether or not a nondisclosure in Harris County is worth the hassle and investment, the answer is yes. A DWI nondisclosure in Harris County (and the rest of Texas) seals your record from the public. This means that future employers, lenders, landlords, family members, and anyone else within the public sector will not see the incident in question on your record.
Sealing your record now will prevent you from encountering hassles in the future that could negatively impact your ability to get and keep jobs, homes, money, friends, and more.
2. You can legally deny the occurrence ever happened
When you successfully petition the court for an expunction order (which is common with a first DWI in Texas and other similar offenses), this means that you can legally deny the occurrence. This expands to include the arrest and the prosecution. You still have to admit you were arrested if it’s only sealed.
This being said, if a potential employer (or anyone else in a similar setting) asks if you have anything on your record or if you’ve encountered any legal issues in the past, you can legally say no.
3. Nondisclosure is not the same as expunction
While a DWI nondisclosure in Texas would seal your record from the public, it does not seal your record from law enforcement and other state agencies. What this means is that your record is not completely cleared of the incident. In order for that to happen, you would have to qualify and successfully petition the court for full expunction.
Keep in mind, however, not everyone qualifies for expunction.
If you went through deferred adjudication probation or reached final conviction, then you are not eligible for expunction. However, the pretrial diversion program in Texas for DWI and dismissals with no probation are eligible for expunction.
4. A nondisclosure helps you avoid prejudices
You may be asking why an order of nondisclosure is necessary if you were not convicted of a crime, and the answer is simple.
If a potential employer or landlord sees that you have an incident listed on your background check, they may subconsciously (or consciously) use this against you (even if the case was dismissed and you were not convicted). This is why it’s important to seek a nondisclosure order with the help of an experienced lawyer.
Similarly, this is also why expunctions are important. If you’re in a sticky legal situation later down the road, you don’t want to give the court or law enforcement any ammo to use against you.
5. Not everyone is eligible for a nondisclosure
Much like expunction, not everyone is eligible for nondisclosure in Harris County and beyond. It’s important to work with a lawyer from the very beginning of the legal process so that you can make sure you’re taking steps that will guarantee nondisclosure eligibility.
Your nondisclosure eligibility in Texas depends on the following criteria:
- You did not receive final conviction for your charges
- You must have completed any mandated probation, and if required;
- You must complete a two-year waiting period (misdemeanors) or five-year waiting period (felonies) that starts post-probation
Murder charges in Texas, sex offenses, stalking, family violence, and other similar crimes are never eligible for nondisclosure.
Getting assistance with DWI nondisclosure in Texas
At Thiessen Law Firm, we have hands-on experience helping the people of Houston navigate the murky waters of nondisclosure and expunction. We are 100% dedicated to getting the best possible outcome for each and every one of our clients no matter what. With hundreds of dismissals and Not Guilty verdicts, our record proves it.
If you’d like to learn more about the process of DWI nondisclosure in Texas, please contact our firm for a free consultation. We’d love to help you not just bury… but remove this part of your life from your past.
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