How to Get a DWI Expunged in Texas

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Texas is pretty tough on those charged with DWIs. If you've been arrested, you know the penalties can be pretty stiff-even for a first offense. Whether you were convicted of the crime or not, just the charge of a DWI on your record can make your life more difficult.

But if you weren't convicted of the crime, why should you suffer the consequences of an arrest?

You might not have to. A criminal attorney with Hines & Holub can show you how to get a DWI expunged in Texas. You must satisfy certain requirements to file a petition for expunction. Continue reading for more information, or contact an attorney.

Expunctions and Nondisclosure Orders Defined

Legal terms can sometimes be confusing, but expunctions and nondisclosure orders are easy enough to understand:

An expunction-also known as getting your record expunged-is when an order is given by a judge to have a criminal charge removed from your record. When it is removed, no one will be able to see it, not even law enforcement. You are even allowed to deny an arrest ever took place.

A nondisclosure order is also known as getting your record "sealed." Basically, a judge signs an order stating that a criminal charge on your record cannot be shared with the public. This means employers and the general public won't be able to see the charge during a record check.

The main difference between expunction and nondisclosure orders is that, when a record is expunged, the charge is removed. With a nondisclosure order, the charge is hidden; government officials will still be able to view the charge, however.

Steps for Filing a Petition

For a Texas judge to order your criminal record be either expunged or sealed, you must follow these steps:

    • File a Petition - Depending on whether you qualify to have your record expunged or sealed, you will file a petition called an order for expunction or an order for nondisclosure. The petition will need to contain very specific, detailed information about you, the case, and the other parties involved.
    • A Hearing Is Set - After you file the petition, the judge sets a hearing to allow related parties to give statements as to whether your record should be expunged or sealed.
    • The Judge Decides - Following the hearing, the judge will decide whether to grant your petition to have your Texas record expunged or sealed. You likely have a much better chance of a positive outcome if you have a Texas criminal attorney speaking on your behalf.
    • File the Order - If the judge grants your request, you must then file the order with the proper agencies. If the filing is not done correctly, the expunction or record sealing won't go through as ordered.


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