DWI, or “driving while intoxicated,” is a crime that is strictly punished in the state of Texas. Once you are charged and convicted of a DWI, that charge is usually permanent and cannot be cleared from your Texas criminal record. That said, there are expunctions available under certain limited circumstances under Texas law, which allow you to have your adult criminal record expunged of DWI crimes in very specific situations.
An expunction is a court order that requires all law enforcement and government agencies and organizations to delete any and all existing data pertaining to your crime; if your DWI qualifies for expunction, the entire record of arrest, charge, and prosecution is destroyed. In essence, after the record of your DWI is destroyed, you can live your life as if the crime never occurred. Note that if you want to have your DWI expunged, you will have to petition the court for an official Order of Expunction, which is confusing and can be very time-consuming. Further, there are several requirements that must be met before making such a request.
When it comes to the expungement of records, you must qualify to file a petition for an Order of Expunction under Texas state law; Chapter 55 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure outlines the requirements you must meet in order to be eligible to file an expunction petition for your DWI. You may be eligible if your case was dismissed before charges were filed, or if the charges themselves were dismissed after filing. You may also be eligible if the grand jury found that the evidence in your case was insufficient to prosecute, if your case went to trial and you were found not guilty (with some exceptions), or if the court of appeals overturned your case. Additionally, if the case was reduced to another offense or you successfully completed a pre-trial diversion program, these may be eligible for expunction as well. An attorney experienced with expungements can provide more details on these and the few other instances when you might be eligible to file a petition for an Order of Expunction.
If you want to be sure that your DWI case can be deleted from your criminal record, it is important to know the process for getting an expunction. It can be stressful and complicated, so your best bet is to secure the services of a legal professional with experience and success in expunction cases. A qualified criminal defense attorney, like Brian Erskine, can help determine whether you might be eligible for an expunction, and can be the best approach to clear criminal records from your past.
If you or a loved one has a DWI on your record in Texas, consider contacting a professional attorney to help have the charge expunged. Brian Erskine of Erskine Law can assist with your expunction case in Austin, Texas, or the surrounding area. A knowledgeable and experienced attorney, Mr. Erskine will be able to explain the details of the charges to help you understand what your next steps should be. Reach out to the board-certified counsel at Erskine Law for a free and confidential legal consultation; contact criminal defense attorney Brian Erskine online or by phone at 512-359-3030 to discuss the details of your drunk driving case.