Being charged with an alcohol-related driving offense in the Lone Star State can lead to very serious consequences. Having such a charge can lead to a conviction that results in significant financial penalties, a requirement to enroll in alcohol education and/or defensive driving classes, an increase in car insurance rates, and more. Have you or someone you know been charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI)? Do you have questions about how to get a DWI off your record in Texas? Here is a place to start; read on.
HOW LONG DO ALCOHOL-RELATED DRIVING OFFENSES STAY ON YOUR RECORD?
A DWI or DUI cannot be automatically cleared from your Texas criminal record. A DWI stays on your record permanently in Texas, unless expunged or sealed. You will need to petition the court for an Order of Expunction–expunction (also called expungement) means that your arrest record is destroyed such that the drunk driving arrest and associated charges never happened. So, how long does a DUI stay on your record? How long does a DWI remain there? In short, after any required waiting period or following the completion of any required deferred adjudication program (commonly called “probation”), it will remain as long as you don’t fight to have it removed.
NOTE: While DWI and DUI are defined as the same crime in many states, they are considered separate and distinct offenses in the State of Texas. DWI, which stands for driving while intoxicated, is a criminal offense charged against someone who operates a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs; while DUI, or driving under the influence, refers to charges against a minor who is caught operating a motor vehicle with any detectable amount of alcohol in their system.
HOW TO GET A DWI OFF YOUR RECORD IN TEXAS
It is important to understand that alcohol can affect people based on the amount they’ve consumed, their body weight, and even their gender. The best way to avoid having a DWI on your record in Texas is to consider this and avoid drinking and driving in the first place. If you do end up facing DWI charges, however, there are ways to mitigate the impact on your record. Your first, best step should be to reach out to a DWI attorney who has experience with cases like yours. He will be able to determine if you are eligible for an expunction or other option for clearing or sealing your DWI, then help you reach that goal.
Another Common Question:
How long does a DWI stay on your insurance record in Texas?
In Texas, a DUI or DWI charge will affect auto insurance rates for up to 10 years, according to WalletHub. “Most insurers look back at the past 3-5 years of a driver’s motor vehicle record when calculating premiums, but some look even further for major violations like DUI.” Note further that DUI/DWI convictions make it more difficult to get auto insurance, and they can result in significantly increased premiums (depending on the insurer).
The consequences that follow from being charged with DWI or DUI in Texas are significant. If you are facing alcohol-related driving charges, it is important to seek assistance from a reputable attorney with experience handling such cases. In the McAllen, Texas area, consider reaching out to Guerra Law Firm, P.C. when you need a lawyer you can trust. Manuel “Manny” Guerra and the rest of his caring and competent team at Guerra Law can help! Contact Guerra Law Firm, P.C. at any time online or by calling 956-277-9497.