What happens after “Not Guilty” in a Texas DWI arrest?
While the best outcome in a DWI case is a not guilty, you need to know that a DWI arrest record never goes away, unless you request an expunction of your record. An expunction allows the State of Texas to erase all the related DWI records to your case that were generated by the arrest. It’s like a legal time machine that brings your records back to the time before you were arrested making sure they are permanently and completely removed.
Texas DWI Arrest Records
How many records? Let’s say a police officer in the City of Houston arrests you, the City will have a record that they will file with the Police Department. The Sheriff’s Office will have one when you are jailed and the Clerk’s office will have one when your case is filed. The District Attorney’s Office will have another record when they prosecute your case and, finally, the Texas Department of Public Safety will have one in relation to your driver’s license and criminal history.
Non-Disclosure v. Expunction
Unless you file under the Texas DWI Non-Disclosure Statute allowing first-time DWI offenders with a BAC of .08 to .14 which restricts the visibility of their criminal records, your other option is expunction.
Without Non-Disclosure or Expunction, a future employer can conduct a background search and those records can be discovered and cause you a great deal of embarrassment or, worse, a lost job opportunity. A criminal defense attorney who is a DWI Specialist knows how to correctly and thoroughly file for for a non-disclosure or an expunction and bring your criminal history back to where it was before your arrest.