DWI Nondisclosure

The law in Texas recently changed. There is reason to be optimistic for Texas citizens who have been convicted of a DWI. Texas has passed House Bill 3016 which for the first time in a long time in Texas, people who have been convicted of DWI can now move on with their lives. The law goes into effect September 1, 2017. Importantly, it is retroactive. This means it applies to DWI convictions from the past. This was very surprising news. For many criminal defense lawyers, the passage of House Bill 3016 came as quite a shock. The Texas legislature has been increasing the strictness of DWI law, so to see this leniency is very refreshing. The new law that allows nondisclosures for Texas citizens applies to those who have been convicted of a first-time DWI. Of course, the law will only apply in certain specific circumstances, and this page discusses and outlines those circumstances. However, this law will go a long way toward helping a lot of Texas citizens. If you have a DWI conviction, there now may be hope for you. Read on to see if this new law applies to you. If it does, call me for more information about how to nondisclose your DWI conviction.

DWI NONDISCLOSURE

What is House Bill 3016?

House Bill 3016 got through both the Texas House and the Texas Senate, and was signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott. The new law will go into effect on September 1, 2017. Fortunately, the law is retroactive, which means it will apply to driving while intoxicated convictions from the past, provided they meet the other criteria listed below. This bill had much support from legislators and even drew the support of former governor, Rick Perry. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola, said the idea that drove the passage of the bill was to help people recover and rehabilitate from mistakes that create difficulty finding a job or finding a place to live, according to an article in the Austin American Statesman.  

What is the Second Chance Law?

The comments from Bryan Hughes above describe the essence of the new law, and that is to give Texans a second-chance and restore their lives and recover from the setbacks and the stigma of a conviction. The DWI nondisclosure law has been called the second-chance law. A nondisclosure allows a person to keep a DWI conviction from potential employers, provided theses potential employers are private entities. Other benefits of a nondisclosure include keeping the DWI conviction from potential landlords. The only agencies or organizations that will be able to see records that have been nondisclosed are state and federal law enforcement, and state licensing agencies. Police will be able to see your DWI. If you are applying for a law, medical, nursing, or other license, the licensing agency will also be able to see it.   

Are You Eligible for DWI Nondisclosure?

Okay, so is this going to be available for you? If you successfully completed DWI probation, you can get your DWI conviction nondisclosed. Again, the law is retroactive. The law is in Government Code Section 411.0731[i]. If you have not had DWI probation, the law is in Section 411.0736.[ii] To get an DWI nondisclosure, here are the requirements:            

First, you must wait 2 years AFTER completing probation. If you DID NOT get probation, or did not complete probation, the waiting period is 3 years. If you did not have the interlock ignition device in your car while on bond or while on probation, the waiting period is 5 years. Here are the other rules:

  • You are not eligible if you have any prior convictions or any prior deferred adjudications anything other than Class C traffic offenses
  • Your conviction cannot contain a finding with a BAC above 0.15. You can have a BAC above 0.15, but the conviction cannot reflect this.
  • You are not eligible if there is an accident that involves an injury to another person
  • You must have an interlock ignition device in your vehicle for 6 months as a condition of bond or community service
  • You are not eligible if you are convicted or placed on probation or deferred adjudication during the 2-year, 3-year, or 5-year waiting period

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[i] Sec. 411. 0731. PROCEDURE FOR COMMUNITY SUPERVISION FOLLOWING CONVICTION; CERTAIN DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED CONVICTIONS.

  • This section applies only to a person placed on community supervision under Chapter 42A, Code of Criminal Procedure:
  • Following a conviction of an offense under Section 49.04, Penal Code, other than an offense punishable under Subsection (d) of that section; and
  • Under a provision of Chapter 42A, Code of Criminal Procedure, other than Subchapter C, including:
  • A provision that requires the person to serve a term of confinement as a condition of community supervision; or
  • Another provision that authorizes placing a person on community supervision after the person has served part of a term of confinement imposed for the offense.
  • Notwithstanding any other provision of this subchapter or subchapter F, a person described by Subsection (a) whose community supervision is not revoked and who completes the period of community supervision, including any term of confinement imposed and payment of all fines, costs, and restitution imposed, may petition the court that placed the person on community supervision for an order of nondisclosure of criminal history record information under this section if the person:
  • Satisfies the requirements of this section and Section 411.074; and
  • Has never been previously convicted of or placed on deferred adjudication community supervision for another offense other than a traffic offense that is punishable by fine only.
  • A petition for an order of nondisclosure of criminal history record information filed under this section must include evidence that the person is entitled to file the petition.
  • Except as provided by Subsection (e), after notice to the state, an opportunity for a hearing, and a determination that the person is entitled to file the petition and issuance of an order of nondisclosure of criminal history record information is in the best interest of justice, the court shall issue an order prohibiting criminal justice agencies from disclosing to the public criminal history record information related to the offense giving rise to the community supervision.
  • A court may not issue an order of nondisclosure of criminal history record information under this section if the attorney representing the state presents evidence sufficient to the court demonstrating that the commission of the offense for which the order is sought resulted in a motor vehicle accident involving another person, including a passenger in a motor vehicle operated by the person seeking the order of nondisclosure.
  • A person may petition the court that placed the person on community supervision for an order of nondisclosure of criminal history record information under this section only on or after:
  • The second anniversary of the date of completion of the community supervision, if the person successfully complied with a condition of community supervision that, for a period of not less than six months, restricted the person’s operation of a motor vehicle to a motor vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device; or
  • The fifth anniversary of the date of completion of the community supervision, if the court that placed the person on community supervision did not order the person to comply with a condition of community supervision described by Subdivision (1) for the period described by that subdivision.   

[ii] Sec. 411.0736. PROCEDURE FOR CONVICTION; CERTAIN DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED CONVICTIONS.

  • This section applies only to a person who:
  • Is convicted of an offense under 49.04, Penal Code, other than an offense punishable under Subsection (d) of that section; and
  • Is not eligible for an order of nondisclosure of criminal history record information under Section 411.0731.
  • Notwithstanding any other provision of this subchapter or subchapter F, a person described by subsection (a) who completes the person’s sentence, including any term of confinement imposed and payment of all fines, costs, and restitution imposed, may petition the court that imposed the sentence for an order of nondisclosure of criminal history record information under this section if the person:
  • Satisfies the requirements of this section and section 411.074; and
  • Has never been previously convicted of or placed on deferred adjudication community supervision for another offense other than a traffic offense that is punishable by fine only.
  • A petition for an order of nondisclosure or criminal history record information filed under this section must include evidence that the person is entitled to file the petition.
  • Except as provided by subsection (e), after notice to the state, an opportunity for a hearing, and a determination that the person is entitled to file the petition and issuance of an order of nondisclosure of criminal history record information is in the best interest of justice, the court shall issue an order prohibiting criminal justice agencies from disclosing to the public criminal history record information related to the offense for which the person was convicted.
  • A court may not issue an order of nondisclosure of criminal history record information under this section if the attorney representing the state presents evidence sufficient to the court demonstrating that the commission of the offense for which the order is sought resulted in a motor vehicle accident involving another person, including a passenger in a motor vehicle operated by the person seeking the order of nondisclosure.
  • A person may petition the court that imposed the sentence for an order of nondisclosure of criminal history record information under this section on or after:
  • The third anniversary of the date of completion of the person’s sentence, if the person successfully complied with a condition of the sentence that, for a period of not less than six months, restricted the person’s operation of a motor vehicle to a motor vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device; or
  • The fifth anniversary of the date of completion of the person’s sentence, if the court that imposed the sentence did not order the person to comply with a condition described by subdivision (1) for the period described by that subdivision.

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