Can You Get a DWI Off Your Record?

Depending on the circumstances, getting a DWI off of your record can be difficult in Texas.

In Texas, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is formally known as ‘driving while intoxicated,’ commonly abbreviated to DWI. Being charged with a DWI can upend your life. If you are convicted of a DWI in Texas, you will face harsh consequences, including jail time, probation, and the loss of your driver’s license. You will also have a criminal record for the rest of your life. This leads many people to wonder if they can get a DWI off of their record. Below, one of our Travis County criminal defense lawyers explains further.

You Cannot Expunge a DWI Conviction in Texas

Unfortunately, you cannot expunge a DWI in Texas. The only way to expunge a DWI arrest is if you are not convicted of the offense. For example, if you were acquitted at trial or your charges were dismissed, you can have a DWI removed from your arrest record. If you are convicted, meaning that you are found guilty of the offense, you cannot remove the conviction from your record.

Professional licensing boards and post-secondary institutions will conduct a criminal background check if you apply for a license or a renewal. Additionally, even if the charge is your first DWI offense, it is still considered if you are charged with another DWI in the future.

How to Expunge a DWI in Texas

If you were acquitted of the offense, the court dismissed your case with no requirement of probation, or a grand jury issued a ‘no bill,’ you can expunge the arrest from your record. A no bill is issued when a grand jury does not find probable cause that you committed the offense. Essentially, a no bill forces the prosecution to drop the charges.

If your case is resolved in any of the above ways, you do not have to wait a certain amount of time to expunge the arrest. You should work with a lawyer who can file the petition immediately so the arrest is no longer part of the public record.

DWIs and Orders of Non-Disclosure

If you completed a deferred adjudication, you may be able to obtain an order of non-disclosure. Deferred adjudication is a type of probation granted by a judge. Instead of being convicted and serving time in jail, deferred adjudication allows you to remain in the community as long as you meet certain conditions. After meeting these conditions, you can then obtain an order of non-disclosure.

An order of non-disclosure asks the court to seal your record. This means the public will no longer have access to it. If you are convicted of a felony DWI, you cannot expunge the offense, nor can you obtain an order of non-disclosure.

Our Criminal Defense Lawyers in Travis County Can Help with Your Case

If you have been charged with a DWI, your best chance of getting the charge expunged or sealed is by crafting a solid defense in your case. At Granger and Mueller, PC, our Travis County criminal defense lawyers can build that defense for you so you have the best chance of a favorable outcome. Call us now at (512) 474-9999 or contact us online to schedule a consultation and to learn more.