DWI Lawyers in Harris County and throughout Texas were happy to see the legislature pass the “Second Chance Law” (House Bill 3016) in September 2017. Under the law, first-time DWI offenders whose case did not involve an accident and meet other eligible criteria have been given the opportunity to petition the court for a Non-Disclosure Order, which seals the arrest and conviction from public view. Because of the strict guidelines someone who has a history of criminal cases, including misdemeanors and felonies, may not be eligible to take advantage of the change in our law. For those that do meet the requirements, law enforcement agencies and other government entities will still be able to view one’s records when needed.
Under HB 3016, those with a DWI conviction could potentially obtain a court order of nondisclosure upon completing six months of successful use of an ignition interlock device within three years of the date of the conviction or after 5 years of completing the sentence with no interlock device.
While the Second Chance Law does provide some with the opportunity to begin fresh, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is still a criminal offense with severe consequences according to Texas state law. The law involving drunk driving is found in Texas Penal Code Title 10, Chapter 49 and defines “intoxicated” as the following:
Not having the normal use of your mental and physical faculties due to the consumption of drugs or alcohol; and/or having a BAC of 0.08 or more.
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