How Long Does a DWI Stay on My Record in Texas?

car keys and beer glass

After a night out drinking with friends, the last thing you expect is to be pulled over by an officer for driving while intoxicated. Unfortunately, DWI is a common charge in Texas. However, despite the number of offenders, many are unaware of the intense consequences they can face for this charge. Additionally, there is a misconception regarding how long a DWI will stay on a record. If you’ve been charged, it’s in your best interest to connect with Houston DWI defense attorneys as soon as possible. Not sure why? The following blog explores what you should know about these circumstances.

What Are the Penalties for a DWI?

If you have been charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) you can face intense charges for these actions. Generally, this offense is charged to those who are discovered operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. However, those with a BAC less than this legal limit who still have alcohol in their system that the officer has determined inhibits their ability to drive can face these charges.

When charged with a DWI for the first time, you can spend a year behind bars and a license suspension for up to two years, plus the installation of an ignition interlock device if you wish to pursue an occupational license.

How Long Will a DWI Stay on My Record?

When you are arrested and convicted for a DWI, it’s important to understand that this will remain on your record forever. As a result, you may be unable to find employment or housing because of its presence.

Additionally, you may find that receiving an expungement, meaning the charge is removed from your record, is incredibly difficult to receive. Even if you did receive an expungement, you must wait between two and five years before you can petition to have the charge expunged from your records.

If you cannot have your DWI expunged, you may be able to have the case sealed, meaning only certain individuals, like government employees, will have access to these records. However, like getting an expungement, having your record sealed is a complex process in which you must meet strict requirements before you are considered for this option.

How Can I Beat the Charges?

If you want to prevent a DWI from showing up on your record permanently, it’s important to take the necessary steps to protect yourself. Despite the possibility of having your record sealed or the charged expunged, these are unlikely. As such, the easiest way to keep your record clean is to fight the charges from the start. However, doing so without the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney can be incredibly challenging. That’s why you should contact the Gonzalez Law Group.

Our dedicated firm understands how overwhelming these charges can be and the impact they can have on your life. As such, we will do everything in our power to represent you and help you fight for the best possible outcome for your circumstances. Connect with us today to learn more.