In Texas, an arrest and a conviction for driving while intoxicated (DWI) will remain on your criminal record long after a judge or jury’s verdict. The impact that your DWI may have on your life may not be fully apparent until it shows up during a background check when you are seeking college admission, applying for a job or renting a property.
A DWI arrest will remain in your record unless you take steps to have it expunged. However, not all DWI cases are eligible for expunction. Here are the conditions you must meet to qualify for a DWI expunction in Texas.
If you were a minor at the time of arrest for DWI
Suppose you were arrested for DWI while under 21 and were not found guilty of any other violation under Texas law. In that case, you could potentially request for the expunction of your DWI arrest and conviction.
You may be granted an expunction in such an instance based on the understanding that kids make mistakes. Texas law approves of rehabilitation rather than punishment for certain offenses. Officials might not see punishing you as an adult for a mistake you made as a child as serving any rehabilitative purpose.
If you weren’t ever charged with DWI
Your DWI arrest will always be on public record. Thus, a potential employer or landlord running a background check on you will be able to see the details of your run-ins with the law as well as the specifics surrounding your DWI arrest. However, if you were arrested but not formally charged with DWI, you may seek to have your arrest expunged from your record.
If your DWI charge was dismissed
As already indicated, a record of your DWI arrest and a charge will remain in place regardless of your case’s outcome. And this arrest and charge will not automatically “vanish” from your record unless you petition to have it expunged. You are generally eligible for an expunction if your DWI charge was dismissed and you haven’t been convicted of one since.
If you have been arrested, charged or convicted of DWI in Texas, it is important to find out of you are eligible for expunction. A successful expunction can help clean your record and make your professional and personal life easier in the long run.