In certain cases in Texas, individuals are able to have their criminal record expunged through the process of expunction. Expunction can clear the record to permanently remove entries from an adult’s recorded criminal history.
Filing a petition for expunction will allow for the removal of an offense from an individual’s criminal record, compelling state agencies and private companies to remove references to the arrest in their electronic files, and destroy any hard copies of documents related to the arrest. A reputable attorney can guide people regarding the process of expunging records in Texas.
How to Expunge Your Record in Texas
Chapter 55 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure contains provisions for the expunction of arrest records, court records and criminal history record information. The statute specifically details the requirements and procedures to properly expunge records in Texas.
~ from “Criminal History Records,” Texas Department of Public Safety
If you have been convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI), the conviction cannot be expunged; a DWI conviction is permanent. However, a DWI charge that did not result in a final conviction can be expunged in some circumstances. A DWI arrest and charge can be completely cleared if your case meets certain conditions; the first step is to find out if the DWI is eligible.
There are a few different ways for a DWI case to be eligible for record expungement in Texas. It is usually required that the case in question was dismissed or the individual charged was acquitted (i.e., found “Not Guilty”) in court. Other circumstances that can establish eligibility are if the driver was a minor at the time of the arrest, if the driver was a first-time offender whose case was deferred, or if the driver appealed a DWI conviction and won.
Note: In cases where the DWI is not eligible for expunction, the charge cannot be removed from the criminal history record but may be eligible to be sealed by way of an Order of Nondisclosure. Such an order effectively seals the conviction so it is not part of the public record. A qualified Texas attorney can examine the details of a DWI case to determine whether or not to seek an Order of Nondisclosure.
If a person is found guilty and convicted of a DWI in the State of Texas, it will remain on his or her record forever. That said, contacting an experienced DWI defense attorney immediately upon being charged with a DWI is the best way to stop a conviction in its tracks in the first place, so an expunction can be sought and granted as soon as a case ends.
If you or a loved one find yourself in need of help for DWI criminal record expungement services in Austin, Texas, or the surrounding area, reach out to the professional legal counsel at Erskine Law. Brian Erskine is a board-certified DWI attorney who understands the impact DWI charges can have on you. He will fight to have the charges cleared or sealed, depending on your eligibility. With years of successful experience handling cases like yours, Brian Erskine can help you understand the details of your case and provide the skilled legal representation you need. Contact Erskine Law for a free consultation today.