For many people, the conclusion of a criminal case for driving while intoxicated (DWI) arrests does not mean that the experience is completely behind them. One major consequence of a DWI arrest is that the incident is reflected on an individual's criminal record, and the arrest can cause significant problems in employment, housing, or professional licensing matters.
Depending on whether a person was convicted for DWI, he or she may be able to expunge his or her criminal record or possibly obtain an order of nondisclosure (seal his or her record). Expunction and sealing a criminal record are both very complicated procedures, and minor mistakes or oversights can lead to individuals possibly having their cases delayed for several months or even years.
Lawyer for DWI Expunction in Brownsville, TX
If you are hoping to seal or expunge a DWI arrest in South Texas from your criminal record, it is in your best interest to make sure that you have legal representation. The Gracia Law Firm helps clients who were arrested for drunk driving in communities throughout Willacy County, Cameron County, and Hidalgo County.
Brownsville criminal defense attorney Jonathan Gracia can help you get the second chance you deserve. Call (956) 504-2211 to have our lawyer provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free, confidential consultation.
Overview of DWI Expunction in Cameron County
- Who can expunge a criminal record?
- What DWI offenses can be sealed?
- Where can I find more information about DWI expunction in Brownsville?
Expunging a criminal record will result in all records of an arrest and prosecution being actually destroyed. As a result, it can be much more difficult for a person to expunge his or her record than to seal it, and expunction is limited to only a select few cases.
Under Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 55.01, a person who has been arrested for DWI is entitled to have all records and files relating to the arrest expunged if he or she:
- was later acquitted of the alleged offense;
- was convicted of a felony or misdemeanor DWI and was later pardoned by the Governor of Texas or the President of the United States;
- was released and never charged with the alleged offense;
- was charged with an offense and was subsequently released from custody, the charge was dismissed or did not result in a final conviction, and the court never ordered community supervision (except in certain misdemeanor cases); or
- was tried for an offense, convicted of the offense, and subsequently acquitted of the charges by an appeals court.
Governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 3016 (HB 3016), also known as the "Second Chances Bill," on June 15, 2017. The legislation allowed first-time offenders charged with certain nonviolent misdemeanors (such as DWI) to obtain an order of nondisclosure, and the bill applied retroactively, so a person can petition to seal his or her DWI arrest record for an offense committed before, on, or after the September 1 effective date.
Texas Government Code § 411.0731 was the statute created by HB 3016, and established the procedure for community supervision following conviction and certain DWI convictions. Texas Government Code § 411.0731(a) applies only to people placed on community supervision under Chapter 42A following a conviction of an offense under Texas Penal Code § 49.04 (DWI), other than an offense punishable under Texas Penal Code § 49.04(d) (DWI involving blood alcohol concentration [BAC] of 0.15 or more) and under a provision of Chapter 42A of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, other than Subchapter C.
Under Texas Government Code § 411.0731(b), a person described by Texas Government Code § 411.0731(a) whose community supervision is not revoked and who completes the period of community supervision 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 Texas Government Code § 411.0731 and Texas Government Code § 411.074 (the section of the Texas Government Code prohibiting people who were convicted of or placed on deferred adjudication community supervision for certain enumerated violent, sexual, or other enumerated crimes from petitioning for an order of nondisclosure); 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.
Texas Government Code § 411.0731(e) establishes that a court cannot issue an order of nondisclosure of criminal history record information if 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.
The dates that people are able to petition the courts that placed them on community supervision for orders of nondisclosure are only on or after the following lengths of time have elapsed since the dates of their completion of the community supervision:
- Two years if the person successfully complied with a condition of community supervision that, for a period of not less than six months, restricted the person's operation of a motor vehicle to a motor vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device (IID); or
- Five years if the court that placed the person on community supervision did not order the person to comply with a condition of community supervision that restricted the person's operation of a motor vehicle to a motor vehicle equipped with an IID.
TX HB3016 | 2017-2018 | 85th Legislature | LegiScan — View a summary, sponsors, and full text of HB 3016. You can also see votes, review research, and read comments. When viewing actual bill text on this website, underlined green text indicates additions to current law while red strikethrough text denotes removal.
Texas Government Code § 411.0765 — Subchapter E-1 to Title 4, Subtitle B, Chapter 411 of the Texas Government Code concerns order of nondisclosure of criminal history record information. View the full text of the statute listing noncriminal justice agencies or entities for which criminal justice agencies may disclose criminal history record information that is the subject of an order of nondisclosure of criminal history record information. The statute before this one, Texas Government Code § 411.076, establishes that a court can disclose information contained in the court records that is the subject of an order of nondisclosure of criminal history record information only to criminal justice agencies for criminal justice or regulatory licensing purposes, the person who is the subject of the order, or an agency or entity listed in Texas Government Code § 411.0765.
The Gracia Law Firm | Brownsville DWI Expunction Attorney
Do you want to seal or expunge your criminal record because of a DWI arrest in the Rio Grande Valley area? Contact The Gracia Law Firm as soon as possible.
Jonathan Gracia is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Brownsville who represents individuals in Hidalgo County Willacy County, and Cameron County. He can review your case and discuss all of your legal options as soon as you call (956) 504-2211 or submit an online contact form to schedule a free initial consultation.