Walker County DWI Attorney - How long does a Texas DWI stay on your record?
Updated: Apr 11, 2023
Walker County DWI Attorney - Brian Foley - Board Certified in Criminal Law
As an Attorney practicing in Walker County, Texas in Criminal Defense I get questions about DWI more than any other topic. One of the questions we encounter the most is, "How long does a Texas DWI stay on your record?"
The Answer is it can stay on your record forever if you plead guilty. If the case is dismissed because of some good defense work then you could be eligible for an expunction which removes it from all government records. An expunction after dismissal is the best case scenario for any criminal case. You could be eligible for a non-disclosure which isn't as good as an expunction but still seals the record of your case at the clerk's office from public view. There are however law enforcement and other government agencies that can still see non-disclosed criminal files. That's the main difference between a non-disclosed DWI and an expunged DWI. One hides it from all government agencies and makes it a crime to possess the information (Expunction). The other only hides it from public view and many other government agencies (Non-Disclosure).
Even if you plead guilty and end up serving jail time on a DWI first offense you may be able to get your case non-disclosed. Section 411.0726 and Sections 411.073 - 411.0736, Gov’t Code allows for the nondisclosure of certain DWI cases.
Texas Statute Sec. 411.0726 allows a person who was placed on deferred adjudication community supervision for certain driving while intoxicated and boating while intoxicated misdemeanors, and with no affirmative finding in the papers of the case, to petition the court for an order of nondisclosure. The person must have received a discharge and dismissal, satisfied certain requirements, and have never been previously convicted or placed on deferred adjudication for another offense except a fine-only traffic offense. The court may issue an order of nondisclosure after notice to the state, an opportunity for a hearing, and a determination that it is in the best interest of justice. However, the court cannot issue the order if the offense resulted in a motor vehicle accident involving another person, and the person can only file the petition after the second anniversary of the completion of the deferred adjudication community supervision and the discharge and dismissal of the case.
This law, Sec. 411.0731, outlines the procedure for community supervision following a conviction of a driving while intoxicated (DWI) offense under Section 49.04 of the Penal Code. This section applies only to a person placed on community supervision under Chapter 42A of the Code of Criminal Procedure under certain conditions.
Under subsection (a), this section applies to a person placed on community supervision following a conviction of a DWI offense under Section 49.04, Penal Code, other than an offense punishable under Subsection (d) of that section. Additionally, this section applies to a person placed on community supervision under a provision of Chapter 42A, Code of Criminal Procedure, other than Subchapter C, which includes a provision that requires the person to serve a term of confinement as a condition of community supervision or another provision that authorizes placing a person on community supervision after the person has served part of a term of confinement imposed for the offense.
Under subsection (b), a person described by subsection (a) whose community supervision is not revoked and who completes the period of community supervision, including any term of confinement imposed and payment of all fines, costs, and restitution imposed, may petition the court that placed the person on community supervision for an order of nondisclosure of criminal history record information under this section if the person satisfies the requirements of this section and Section 411.074, and has never been previously convicted of or placed on deferred adjudication community supervision for another offense other than a traffic offense that is punishable by fine only.
Subsection (c) requires that a petition for an order of nondisclosure of criminal history record information filed under this section must include evidence that the person is entitled to file the petition.
Under subsection (d), after notice to the state, an opportunity for a hearing, and a determination that the person is entitled to file the petition and issuance of an order of nondisclosure of criminal history record information is in the best interest of justice, the court shall issue an order prohibiting criminal justice agencies from disclosing to the public criminal history record information related to the offense giving rise to the community supervision, except as provided by Subsection (e).
Subsection (e) states that a court may not issue an order of nondisclosure of criminal history record information under this section if the attorney representing the state presents evidence sufficient to the court demonstrating that the commission of the offense for which the order is sought resulted in a motor vehicle accident involving another person, including a passenger in a motor vehicle operated by the person seeking the order of nondisclosure.
Finally, subsection (f) states that a person may petition the court that placed the person on community supervision for an order of nondisclosure of criminal history record information under this section only on or after the second or fifth anniversary of the date of completion of the community supervision, depending on whether the person successfully complied with a condition of community supervision that restricted the person's operation of a motor vehicle to a motor vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device.
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