In the state of Texas, an arrest for driving while intoxicated can have devastating consequences on your life. When you are arrested, charged, and convicted of a driving while intoxicated (DWI) offense, the charge is permanently on your criminal record. The outcome of the case determines whether an expunction might be available to remove the crime from the record.

 

An expunction is an official court order that requires law enforcement agencies and government organizations with records related to an arrest to fully destroy the documents and delete all existing data pertaining to the crime. It is available in certain limited circumstances under Texas law. 

 

In order to have your criminal record expunged of any crime(s), you must qualify to file a petition for an Order of Expunction under Texas state law. For DWIs, the requirements that must be met for eligibility to file an expunction petition for a DWI are outlined in Chapter 55 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.

 

One reason you might be eligible occurs if charges were never officially accepted by the prosecutors after getting arrested.  This comes up more often in counties like Galveston, Montgomery, Fort Bend or Waller where the District Attorney’s Office typically does not accept charges the same day of the arrest.  There is a waiting period of one year for a misdemeanor and three years for a felony DWI in this type of scenario.  

 

Another situation where a DWI is eligible for expunction is if the charges were filed and then dismissed. You also might be eligible if the grand jury found that there was no probable cause in your case to prosecute you for the DWI, if your case went to trial and you were found not guilty (outside of certain exceptions), or if the court of appeals decided to overturn your DWI case. You also might be eligible to make a petition for expunction if your charges were reduced or the offense was refiled as a Class C misdemeanor.  Additionally, if you successfully completed a pre-trial diversion program, you are eligible to file for an expunction of a DWI charge.

 

An attorney experienced with expungements can provide more details regarding your eligibility to file a petition with the court. If your DWI qualifies and you receive the Order of Expunction, the records of your DWI arrest, charge, and prosecution will be destroyed.  You will be able to move on as if the crime never occurred, but there are additional steps to make sure that criminal background check companies get notified about the expunction and update their records.

The process of petitioning the court for an Order of Expunction can be very tedious and time-consuming, not to mention confusing. If you want to be sure that your DWI case qualifies for expunction, your best bet is to hire a criminal defense attorney with experience and success in such cases. It is important to speak to a legal professional like Collin Evans who will help determine your eligibility for an expunction of your DWI. If you or a loved one has had a DWI arrest on your record in Houston, Texas, or the surrounding area, contact Collin Evans Law online or by phone at 713-225-0650 for a free and confidential legal consultation to discuss the details of your DWI expunction case.