When Can You Expunge a DWI Arrest from Your Record?
An arrest and conviction for driving while intoxicated will stay on your criminal record long after any court ruling or punishment. You may not realize the effect that a DWI record can have until it shows up during a background check when you are applying for a job. This may be particularly frustrating if you were never convicted of DWI. A DWI arrest and charge remain on your record unless you take steps to expunge them. However, your case must meet specific conditions in order to be eligible for expunction in Texas.
What Is Expunction?
Criminal charges and convictions are normally visible to anyone who conducts a criminal background check on you. With DWI convictions in Texas, you can petition to have your conviction sealed from everyone except for law enforcement and employers in sensitive fields, such as education. Texas allows record sealing for some first-time DWI offenders whose conviction did not include aggravating charges. Expunction removes the charge and conviction from your record so that it does not appear in any searches of official public records (Your arrest may still appear in an internet search if a story about your arrest was published and is archived on a private media company’s website).
Qualifying for Expunction
You cannot expunge a DWI conviction from your criminal record in Texas. Even if you were convicted of a lesser charge, you cannot remove the DWI arrest from your record. If you were a juvenile convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol, your juvenile record may be eligible for expunction if you completed your punishment and do not have any other alcohol-related charges on your record. Otherwise, you can expunge your DWI arrest and charge from your record only if you were not convicted, such as:
- Charges were never filed.
- The court dismissed the case.
- The court found you not guilty of the charge.
- Your conviction was overturned on appeal.
Contact a San Antonio DWI Defense Attorney
Your reputation should not remain tarnished if you were never charged or convicted after your DWI arrest. However, Texas requires you to be proactive if you want to clear your name of any wrongdoing. Do not assume that the state will simply grant your expunction request. They may try to contest your request to expunge the arrest or make the process frustrating. You need to work with a San Antonio DWI defense lawyer at the Law Offices of Sam H. Lock to determine whether your record is eligible for expunction and to prepare an argument for expunction. Schedule a free consultation by calling 888-726-5625.