Nondisclosure of DWIs in Texas

In 2017, Texas changed the nondisclosure law to allow for the nondisclosure of DWIs in Texas. The statutes governing DWI nondisclosures are Government Code Sections 411.0716 and 411.0731. The law applies retroactively, so to any first-time DWI in Texas.

The DWI nondisclosure law has been dubbed the “Second Chance Law.” Once a record has been nondisclosed, it is hidden from private employers, banks, apartments etc. The only people that can see a record that has been nondisclosed are state licensing agencies and law enforcement agencies.

Are You eligible for a DWI nondisclosure in Texas after probation?

  1. Have you had any prior convictions for any offense?

  2. Was the conviction for a DWI BAC >/= .15?

  3. Did you successfully complete probation and pay all your fines, costs, and restitution?

  4. Was there an accident involving any other person, including a passenger in your own vehicle?

  5. Have you ever been placed on community supervision for a violent crime or an offense involving sex offender registration?

For purposes of DWI nondisclosures, “violent crime” means one of the following:

  • murder;
  • capital murder;
  • aggravated kidnapping;
  • trafficking/continuous trafficking of persons;
  • abandoning or endangering a child;
  • violation/repeated violation of certain court orders or conditions of bond in a family violence, sexual assault or abuse, stalking, or trafficking case;
  • stalking; or
  • any other offense involving family violence.
Eligibility for DWI Nondisclosure

Are you eligible for a DWI nondisclosure in Texas after a jail sentence?

  1. Have you had any prior convictions for any offense?

  2. Was the conviction for a DWI BAC >/= .15?

  3. Did you complete your jail sentence and pay all your fines, costs, and restitution?

  4. Was there an accident involving any other person, including a passenger in your own vehicle?

  5. Have you ever been placed on community supervision for a violent crime or an offense involving sex offender registration?

DWI Nondisclosed but not Forgotten

A nondisclosure seals a person’s criminal conviction from public view, but it does not remove the conviction from their record like an expunction would. Therefore, although nondisclosure would restrict who can see a criminal conviction, the conviction would still be accessible to law enforcement and could still be considered a prior offense if any future charges were brought. That means regardless of whether a DWI is nondisclosed or not, a subsequent DWI will be enhanced based on the prior. 

Keep in mind, the DWI nondisclosure law applies retroactively. That means if other conditions are met, including the waiting periods, individuals who have a first-time DWI on their record may be eligible for a nondisclosure. 

Cases Eligible for Nondisclosure

Not all DWI convictions are eligible for nondisclosure, and certain conditions must be met before an order of non-disclosure can be granted. To be eligible:

  • It must be a first-time misdemeanor DWI offense.
  • The conviction cannot have been for DWI BAC >/= .15
  • The applicant must have successfully completed probation for the offense and have paid all fines, costs, and restitution OR received a jail sentence and paid all fines, costs, and restitution imposed.
  • There must not have been an accident involving another person – including passengers in the applicant’s own vehicle.
  • The offense must not have been boating while intoxicated or flying while intoxicated.
  • The applicant must not have any prior convictions other than this DWI.
  • The application cannot have been placed on deferred adjudication probation for certain violent crimes or any crime requiring sex offense registration. Prior traffic offenses punishable by fine-only are not considered.
  • The nondisclosure will only be granted if the judge determines that granting the nondisclosure will be in the best interest of justice.

Waiting Periods After a Probated Sentence

For eligible DWI convictions, a person can petition the court for an order of nondisclosure only after an established waiting period is met.

  • This period is two years if an individual complies with their probated sentence and has an interlock device on their vehicle for at least six months as a condition of probation.
  • If a person does not use an ignition interlock device as a condition of probation, the period is five years.

Waiting Periods After a Jail Sentence

For eligible DWI convictions, a person can petition the court for an order of nondisclosure only after an established waiting period is met.

  • This period is three years if the individual had an interlock for six months as part of their sentence. Presumably, this means the judge order the suspension of their license, and the person had to have interlock as a condition of getting an occupational license. Because the statute refers a sentence, having interlock on as a condition of bond will not suffice.
  • If a person did not use an ignition interlock device as a condition of probation, the period is five years.

DWI Nondisclosure Possible if you have no other criminal history

You cannot have a DWI nondisclosed in Texas (after deferred, probation, or a conviction) if (excluding the DWI) you have ever been previously convicted of or placed on deferred adjudication for anything other than a Class C traffic offense. (See 411.0726(b)(3) and 411.0731(b)(2)).

Contact Us About DWI Nondisclosure in Fort Worth

Do you think you might be eligible for the nondisclosure of a DWI in Fort Worth? Reach out to our dedicated attorneys for assistance.

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About the Author Board Certified Lawyer Benson Varghese

About the Author

Benson Varghese is the managing partner of Varghese Summersett. He is a seasoned attorney, highly esteemed for his comprehensive knowledge and expertise in the field. He has successfully handled thousands of state and federal cases, ranging from misdemeanor driving while intoxicated cases to capital offenses, showcasing his commitment to preserving justice and upholding the rights of his clients. His firm covers criminal defense, personal injury, and family law matters. Benson is also a legal tech entrepreneur. Benson is a go-to authority in the legal community, known for his ability to explain complex legal concepts with clarity and precision. His writings offer a wealth of in-depth legal insights, reflecting his extensive experience and his passion for the law. Not only is Benson an accomplished litigator, but he is also a dedicated advocate for his clients, consistently striving to achieve the best possible outcomes for them. His authorship provides readers with valuable legal advice and an understanding of the complexities of the criminal justice system. CriminalPersonal InjuryFamily Law Contact
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