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What Is a DWI Non-Disclosure?

The Law Firm of Andrea M. Kolski

In 2020, nearly 1,000 people died in Texas in a DUI-alcohol-related traffic crash. Thousands more suffered injuries. DUIs and DWIs are serious offenses in the eyes of the law. They cause the loss of life.

Yet, mistakes happen. But, having a DWI on your record could make it harder to get a job or cause other challenges for you. So, what if there was a way to avoid this hassle?

The good news is you may be eligible for a non-disclosure order, which will seal part of your criminal record. Keep reading to learn all about DWI non-disclosures.

Consequences of DWI Charges

There are many consequences when you get a DWI. First, there is a monetary fine. The amount is between $2,000-$10,000, depending on prior offenses. Then, on top of this, there are state fines.

Next, if you’re convicted, you have a minimal jail sentence.

First-time offenders can receive up to 180 days in jail, with three mandatory days. A second offense receives one month to a year in jail, while a third offense receives two to ten years in prison.

Additionally, you will lose your license for up to two years. These are the criminal and administrative punishments.

Collateral Consequences

A DWI will also lead to collateral consequences. A DWI can affect your professional life and your reputation. Most employers have a zero-tolerance policy for DWI convictions. Thus, your employer can fire you just for being arrested for a DWI.

You don’t need to be convicted for them to fire you.

Further, the DWI will go on your record. This means if an employer or landlord runs a criminal background check on you, it will show up. The employer can choose not to hire you, and the landlord can decide not to lease to you upon seeing the DWI.

A DWI conviction can also affect your custodial rights. The other parent can use the conviction against you in any custody hearings.

Often, professional licensing organizations have rules prohibiting certain conduct. A DWI conviction falls in that category. You could face a disciplinary hearing and suspension or loss of your professional license. Some examples include:

  • Medical license
  • Nursing license
  • Pilot’s license

Also, a felony DWI conviction leads to losing your right to own a firearm or vote.

What Is a Non-Disclosure Order?

When you receive a non-disclosure order, the court seals part of your criminal record. As a result, public entities, law enforcement agencies, and prosecutorial offices cannot share information about the sealed offense.

The order also prevents courts and clerks of the court from sharing this information. But, of course, there are a few exceptions. For example, some certain state agencies can still access the information.

But, employers and most other agencies will not be able to see the conviction on your record. The conviction doesn’t go away. It simply doesn’t appear on a background check.

Basic DWI Non-Disclosure Eligibility

There are many different DWI non-disclosures available in Texas that you can petition or file an application for with the court. However, despite the various options, they all have some basic requirements you need to meet initially.

If you don’t meet the three basic requirements, you cannot petition for any non-disclosure order unless you completed a veterans reemployment program. First, you are not eligible if you were previously convicted or placed on deferred adjudication for these offenses:

  • Any offense requiring sex offender registration
  • Aggravated kidnapping
  • Murder
  • Capital murder
  • Trafficking of persons
  • Continuous trafficking of persons
  • Stalking
  • Injury to a child, older person, or person with a disability
  • Violation or repeated violation of court orders or conditions of bond related to family violence, sexual assault or abuse, trafficking case, or stalking
  • Family violence under Section 71.004 Family Code

Second, you are not eligible if the court found the offense involved family violence. Third, you do not qualify if you were convicted or placed on deferred adjudication for another crime during the waiting period. Other crimes don’t include fine-only traffic violations.

Moreover, your DWI must be a Class B offense, which means you’re a first-time offender. And, you must not have had a blood alcohol concentration of .15 or more. If you don’t meet these qualifications, you can ask the court to reduce your DWI to Class B to be eligible.

Plus, each specific non-disclosure will have its own additional stipulations to follow.

How to Petition for a Non-Disclosure Order

Each case is different, so the required documentation varies from person to person. It’s best to contact a DWI lawyer to help you navigate the law with your case. However, to help identify if you are eligible for a non-disclosure order, there are some documents you can begin to view.

First, you need a copy of the judgment in your case. You also need a signed order showing the judge reduced or granted early termination of your period of deferred adjudication community supervision, probation, or confinement.

You will need a signed order or document showing you finished your deferred adjudication or probation. Additionally, you need a signed order showing the judge dismissed the proceedings and discharged you.

Then, you must get a signed order showing the judge set aside the verdict in your case. The order can also state the judge permitted you to withdraw your plea and dismissed the accusation against you. The accusation could also be a complaint, information, or indictment against you.

Finally, you need a signed order showing any affirmative findings made by the judge. Even if the results are not in the best interest of justice for you, the judge must document them.

Once you gather these documents, it will be clearer what type of non-disclosure order you can petition for.

Find a DWI Attorney Today

A DWI doesn’t have to follow you around for the rest of your life. It’s time to consider petitioning for a non-disclosure so you can get your life back on track.

If you’re looking for a DWI lawyer to handle your DWI case, call us at Non-Stop Justice. Attorney at Law Andrea M. Kolski is there to help you with your matter.

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8505 Technology Forest Pl #104

The Woodlands, TX 77381

Phone: 832-381-3430

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