On June 15, 2017 the Governor signed a bill into law that will significantly change eligibility for “Orders of Non Disclosure,” to allow people who have been convicted of Driving While Intoxicated to obtain such an Order. An “Order of Non Disclosure” is a Court Order to any agency in possession of your criminal history record information to seal the record and not disclose it to third parties. In other words, an Order of Non Disclosure allows one to shield the fact of their case from public view and scrutiny. An Order of Non Disclosure prevents the general public from viewing your criminal history. This is helpful in a number of ways, for example an Order of Non Disclosure would prevent prospective employers from viewing your record. This would also apply to apartment complexes that are considering renting you an apartment, etc. The are exceptions to the Non Disclosure order in terms of who may access the record, but it is a fantastic tool to prevent the general public from ever knowing that you have a previous criminal case.
Until now, people convicted of Driving While Intoxicated in Collin County, Texas (or anywhere in Texas for that matter) were prohibited by law from obtaining a Non Disclosure Order. That is about to change. Effective September 1, 2017 people convicted of Driving While Intoxicated will be able to obtain an Order of Non Disclosure even if convicted of DWI. The following conditions must be met in order to qualify.
- The Driving While Intoxicated Conviction you seek to Nondisclose must be a first offense.
- The alcohol concentration must be below .15 (breath or blood)
- There must have been no automobile accident
- The conviction must have resulted in community supervision (probation) as opposed to a jail sentence
- The person seeking Nondisclosure of the DWI conviction must have never previously been convicted or placed on deferred for any offense other than a traffic citation
- You must wait two years after your successful discharge from community supervision before you may apply to seal the record if you had a Deep Lung Device (DLD) installed in your car as a condition of supervision before you may apply.
- You must wait five years after your successful discharge from community supervision before you may apply to seal the record if you did not have a DLD installed in your car as a condition of community supervision.
This law takes effect on September 1, 2017 but it specifically provides that it applies to Driving While Intoxicated convictions occurring before, on or after that date. This is very important because it means that if you or a loved one have been previously convicted of DWI, you may be able to seal your record- even if your Texas DWI conviction took place years ago!