Moving On From A DWI: What HB 3016 Means For You
HB 3016 is a new law that states that if someone is convicted of a nonviolent misdemeanor, like a DWI, they can ask the court for an order of nondisclosure. Whether or not they receive the order of nondisclosure depends on their unique situation.
For example, under the law, someone can petition for the order of nondisclosure if they could not get an automatic order; in that situation, a judge determined that doing so wouldn’t be just. Someone can also ask for an order of nondisclosure as soon as their sentence is over if they were convicted of a misdemeanor and asked to pay a fine. If they received another punishment in addition to the fine, though, they have to wait two years in order to ask for an order of nondisclosure.
Defining An Order Of Non-Disclosure
When you have an order of non-disclosure, your criminal record is essentially hidden from the public and you do not have to admit to the charge in the vast majority of cases. The exception here is that government employers, state and federal authorities, and members of law enforcement can still see the charge on your record.
Keep in mind, though, that your conviction is still a part of your record. The only thing an order of non-disclosure does is keep others from seeing it. As was noted above, there are still certain entities that can view the conviction, like police officers. In addition, there are certain professional licensing agencies that can see it as well.
However, an order of non-disclosure is helpful in several ways. It essentially gives you another chance; if you made a mistake but learned and moved on from it, that mistake is not doomed to haunt you forever. When your conviction is hidden from the public, you will have an easier time getting a job or even obtaining a loan. You can move forward with a clean slate.
Who Is Eligible For Non-Disclosure?
You must meet the following conditions in order to have your DWI sealed. To start, you must not have had any prior convictions of driving while intoxicated. Your alcohol concentration could not have been at or greater than .15. In addition, you must not have caused a car crash as a result of your intoxication.
Furthermore, you must have been given community supervision (not jail time) and you must not have other convictions on your record. A traffic citation is fine, but any other offense makes you ineligible.
When Can You Apply For Non-Disclosure?
Once you have finished community supervision, you have to wait at least two years to apply for non-disclosure. At that time, you can try and seal your record only if there was a Deep Lung Device put on your car.
If you did not have a Deep Lung Device put on your car, you have to wait five years following the completion of community supervision.
What Does This Mean For You?
The new law means that if you have a nonviolent offense on your record, like a DWI charge, it will not be as difficult for you to move on with your life and find a job. If you want to find out more about non-disclosure, get in touch with the most experienced DWI defense lawyer Houston has to offer as soon as possible, and we will help you figure out if you are a good candidate. We are happy to give you a consultation at no charge to you to help you understand how you can seal your record.