Articles Posted in previous convictions

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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.
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 In Texas,  a person’s  previous criminal convictions may come back to haunt the present.  If you are facing a criminal charge in Texas, you must carefully consider the number and type of any previous criminal convictions.  In some situations, a previous conviction or convictions may be used to “enhance” or raise the punishment level in the charge you are now facing.

Your previous convictions may have no impact, a minor impact or in some cases a major impact with lengthy mandatory minimum terms of imprisonment.  So, how does the law work?

1st degree felony charges:  If you face a first degree felony, one prior non state jail felony conviction raises your statutory range from 5-99 or life to 15-99 years or life.  Two prior sequential non state jail felony conviction raise the minimum punishment to an eye popping 25 years.