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New Texas Law Lets You Seal a Prior DWI Conviction

Updated: Jan 30, 2019

The new non-disclosure laws in Texas, which took effect on September 1, 2017, allow you to clear or seal a prior DWI on your record. This used to be impossible under Chapter 411 of the Texas Government Code regarding Petitions for Nondisclosure. Before the new laws, only people that successfully completed a deferred adjudication could apply to have their record sealed. In Texas, deferred adjudication is prohibited for DWI's, whicpeoople who either took probation or jailtime for a DWI. Thanks to the new legislation, you may be eligible to file a petition for nondisclosure even if you didn’t complete a deferred adjudication. In sum, the new legislation creates four additional situations in which you can seal your record which were previously not eligible under the old law:

(1) discretionary non-disclosures after completion of a straight probation;

(2) discretionary non-disclosure after a conviction not involving probation (i.e. jail time served);

(3) first time DWI in which probation was completed; and

(4) first time DWI in which a jail sentence was served.


The easiest way to determine whether you are eligible for a non-disclosure in Texas is to contact a knowledgeable Houston Expungement Attorney or Non-Disclosure Lawyer.


411.074-General Requirements to be Eligible for a Non-Disclosure

All persons seeking a nondisclosure, regardless of which type, must meet some basic requirements:

· no convictions or deferred adjudications on any other cases during the probation served on the case you are trying to get off your record OR during any applicable waiting period after that probation;

· the following offenses are not eligible for nondisclosure: registration as sex offender, aggravated kidnapping, murder, and trafficking offenses, injury to a child, elderly or disabled, abandoning/endangering a child, violation of a protective order; stalking; family violence cases.

· additionally, anyone who has plead guilty to any of the offenses listed above in their past is not eligible to file for a nondisclosure of any future case, whether or not a deferred was completed.


411.073-Misdemeanor convictions following straight probation

Before this section was enacted, only people who successfully completed a deferred were eligible to have their record sealed. Under Section 411.073 of the Texas Government Code, people who completed a straight probation for a misdemeanor (excluding DWI’s and organized crime offenses) can petition the court for a discretionary nondisclosure if they meet the following requirements:

(1) satisfy 411.074;

(2) no prior convictions or deferred adjudications.

There is a 2 year waiting period from the date the probation was discharged for the following offenses: kidnapping, trafficking, sex crimes, prostitution, indecent exposure, public lewdness, assault, deadly conduct, terroristic threat, disorderly conduct, harassment, interference with a 911 emergency call, animal cruelty and weapons charges.


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411.0735-Misdemeanor convictions not involving probation

Under this section, persons who were convicted of a misdemeanor (excluding DWI, organized crime, sexual offenses and violent crimes other than misdemeanor assault) and who served a jail sentence (as opposed to a straight probation) can apply for a discretionary nondisclosure. The person must satisfy Section 411.074 of the Texas Government Code and cannot have any prior convictions or deferred adjudications. There is a 2 year waiting period beginning on the date you complete your jail sentence.


Section 411.0731-DWI Convictions involving straight probation

Persons who served a straight probation for a DWI conviction are now eligible to file for a discretionary nondisclosure as long as they meet the following requirements:

(1) less than .15 blood alcohol content;

(2) no accidents involving another person;

(3) meet requirements of 411.074;

(4) no prior convictions or deferred adjudications.

A 2 year waiting period applies if an interlock device was required for at least 6 months during the probation. A 5 year waiting period applies if no interlock device was required.


Section 411.0736-DWI convictions not involving probation

411.0736 applies to persons convicted of DWI who served a jail sentence instead of completing a probation. The person must meet the following requirements:

(1) less than .15 blood alcohol content;