How long will a DWI arrest or a DWI conviction in Texas stay on my record? How will it affect my automobile insurance rates?
A DWI conviction produces a permanent record. It is also important to note that a DWI probation, which is also a final conviction, will remain permanently on your criminal record. If, however, your DWI conviction case results in a dismissal, then the arrest record can be expunged, which is a proceeding whereby all records of the event are destroyed. Depending on the facts, some expunctions occur in the DWI court while others occur in another court. As for insurance rates, if you are not convicted, there will not be an increase, whereas if you are convicted, you can expect an increase.
Surcharge Fees for a DWI Conviction
Furthermore, if you are convicted, Texas will assert a mandatory annual surcharge fee to be paid to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). This fee will be paid every year for 3 years as a condition of maintaining your driver’s license. Below is a list of the fees you will be expected to pay:
- DWI first offense – $1,000 annual surcharge ($3,000 total)
- DWI second or subsequent conviction within a 3-year period – $1,500 annual surcharge ($4,500 total)
- DWI with a BAC 0.16 or more (first or subsequent conviction within a 3-year period) – $2,000 annual surcharge ($6,000 total)
Some counties offer a pretrial intervention program for first offenders when certain other conditions are met. The requirements of these programs vary from county to county, and can vary even within the same county depending on the circumstances.
When you enter into a pretrial intervention, you are entering into a contract with the district attorney’s office, which typically mandates that you perform several probation-type requirements. If these are successfully completed, then the district attorney’s office will agree to dismiss the case. It is worth noting that most district attorney’s offices are highly selective about whom they allow to enter these programs.