In 2017, the Texas legislature signed into law the Texas DWI Non-Disclosure Statute that would allow first-time DWI offenders who have a BAC of .08 to .14 to apply to restrict who can see their criminal records.
According to the Texas Office of Court Administration, a nondisclosure is
“An order of nondisclosure is a court order prohibiting public entities such as courts and police departments from disclosing certain criminal records. If you have a criminal record, you may benefit from obtaining such an order. An order of nondisclosure also legally frees you from disclosing information about your criminal history in response to questions on job applications. You do not need to mention information related to the offense that is the subject of an order of nondisclosure.”
Requirements of DWI Non-disclosure Statute
For those charged with DWI, the “non-disclosure” requires that:
- You install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for 6 months during the non-disclosure period or
- You wait 5 years after your probation to apply for Non-Disclosure if you decide not to install the interlock device
- You apply for a non-disclosure two years after your probation ends
Benefits of DWI Non-disclosure Statute
Overall, the Non-Disclosure Statute provides first-time DWI offenders a great way to get a fresh start–especially for people charged with DWI since they are not eligible for deferred adjudication in Texas. Keep in mind that a non-disclosure order applies only a specific offense, not all of the offenses you may have on your criminal record. However, you can apply for multiple non-disclosures for each offense.
However, you are NOT eligible for non-disclosure if you’ve been convicted of sex charges where you are required to register as a sex offender, aggravated kidnapping, family violence, murder, child endangerment, child abandonment, stalking and other charges.
The Non-Disclosure Statute does have some gaps. Some state agencies can still obtain information about your offenses, so call us to find out more about those issues and how you can deal with them.