New Texas DWI Conviction Legislation

If you’ve been arrested for DWI in Montgomery County, Texas or one of the surrounding counties, what can you do to minimize the conviction? A new Texas law will allow first time offenders to make an application for nondisclosure. However, there are some ground rules. You must wait two years after your probation has ended and have an ignition interlock in your vehicle for at least six months during your probation. If you decide to opt out of the ignition interlock, then you will have to wait five years after the completion of your probation to apply for the petition of nondisclosure. So, if you pick up a DWI in Conroe, Huntsville, Madisonville, Centerville, or any of the cities in between, call us for your options, because it could make a huge difference in your future. The law is retroactive and will apply to an offense before or after September 1, 2017 when the new law takes effect. The law also modifies other existing offenses for which you may be eligible for a nondisclosure.

What does not change under the new law? You still cannot receive a nondisclosure in Texas if you have been convicted or received a deferred for any of the following offenses: Murder, Capital Murder, Aggravated Kidnapping, Injury to a Child or Elderly Person, Abandoning or Endangering a Child, a Bond Violation on a Family Violence Conviction, Stalking, any reportable Sexual Offense Conviction, or any case with a Family Violence Finding.

Under the new law for nondisclosure offenses prior to September 1, 2015 you must have:

  • Completed a deferred adjudication probation where the court dismissed the case
  • Wait your statutory time of five years for any qualified felony charge
  • Wait your two-year period for any qualified misdemeanor offense
  • Have no convictions or have received a deferred probation for anything other than a traffic offense while you are on probation during the waiting period

What does this mean for you and your DWI? Under the new Texas government code regarding DWI probation and nondisclosure you may be eligible if:

  • You are convicted for DWI under the Texas Penal Code Section 49.04 and
  • Were placed on community supervision and
  • Have successfully completed the probation, including if you have a term of confinement as a condition of your probation and
  • Have never been convicted of or placed on a deferred adjudication probation except for a traffic offense

The limiting factors that may prohibit you from getting a nondisclosure on your DWI are: you cannot have had a blood alcohol of over a 0.15, if you were involved in an accident, or have not waited the proper amount of time following your conviction. Even if you meet all the above criteria please be aware the court still must determine if your nondisclosure is in the best interest of justice.

The effects of your DWI or another nondisclosure is that you won’t have to disclose the subject of your offense on any employment application. The government can and will still use this sealed evidence against you in a subsequent criminal prosecution.

Although this new legislation offers hope to first time offenders, it is complex and full of pitfalls. Don’t try and navigate this new law on your own. Contact an experienced criminal defense or DWI lawyer. We can evaluate your situation and provide the help you need.

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