Can You Get a DWI Charge Removed From Your Record?
Our Austin DWI defense lawyers may be able to help you get your charges removed from your criminal record.
Drunk driving is a leading cause of car accidents throughout Texas. To help protect the general public and reduce the number of people injured in these crashes, law enforcement officials take an aggressive stance in apprehending drivers who are under the influence. Once you face DWI charges, you will find prosecuting attorneys equally aggressive in making these charges stick. Unfortunately, having a DWI on your record can increase your insurance premiums and make it difficult to get certain types of jobs.
Our Austin DWI defense lawyers may be able to help you get these charges removed from your record.
According to statistics from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), someone is killed or injured every 20 minutes as a result of driving under the influence. Drivers who are pulled over and found to be operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08 or greater can be charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). Penalties for even a first offense include fines up to $2,000, up to a 180-day jail sentence, and loss of driving privileges for up to a year.
In addition to the criminal penalties you face for a DWI conviction, these charges remain a part of your permanent record. This results in skyrocketing insurance premiums while having any type of criminal record can prevent you from obtaining a job, being eligible for certain social services, or even getting a lease for an apartment. It can also result in even more serious penalties in the event you get another DWI in the future.
With certain types of criminal charges, you may be able to get them expunged or removed from your criminal record after a period of time. For years, this was not applicable to DWIs. However, in 2017, changes to the law made it possible for some DWI offenders to get their charges sealed from their criminal record.
Under Section 411.0731 of the Texas Penal Code , you may be eligible for this program if you meet the following requirements:
● You are a first time DWI offender;
● You were driving with a BAC level of 0.15 or less;
● Your charges did not involve a traffic accident or injuries to another person;
● You completed all requirements of your original DWI criminal sentence.
Having these records sealed can give you a fresh start after a DWI, lowering insurance premiums and helping you pass a background check. The only other alternative for getting a DWI removed from your record is to get a pardon, which is a complex process and exceedingly rare.
You should not have to pay forever for a one time mistake in judgment. If you have previously been convicted on a DWI charge, contact Granger and Mueller PC and request a consultation to discuss the possibility of having your record sealed.