How Long Does a DWI Stay on Your Record in San Angelo?

April 30, 2024 | By David M. White
How Long Does a DWI Stay on Your Record in San Angelo?
San Angelo criminal defense attorney

A DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) conviction in Texas can affect your record for the long haul. The reality is that a DWI can stay on your record permanently if you received a conviction. If you do not have a conviction, avoiding one is the best chance you have to remove the DWI arrest and charge in the future.

You'll need a competent legal defense, whether it's your first offense or a subsequent violation. Never wait to seek the help of a San Angelo criminal defense attorney following a DWI arrest. They can explain your rights and guide you while creating a defense that allows you to avoid a conviction whenever possible. A DWI defense lawyer can also explore options to clear your record.

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The Consequences of a DWI

With a DWI on your record, you might find getting hired, renting an apartment, or receiving certain driver’s licenses more challenging. Therefore, exploring options for its removal can be important.

Getting Your DWI Conviction Sealed

Government Code § 411.0765 allows you to petition the court for an order of nondisclosure for certain eligible offenses, one of which is DWI. This will enable you to have your DWI conviction sealed, removing it from public view. Anyone checking your criminal history, including landlords and employers, can't access the information.

Eligibility Requirements for Nondisclosure or Sealing a DWI

You can petition the court and file for nondisclosure in the following instances:

  • The DWI was a first offense and did not involve any aggravating circumstance.
  • Your blood alcohol concentration (BAC)) was below 0.15 percent.
  • You have served your entire sentence and paid the related fines and penalties.
  • You haven't been in deferred adjudication for a second crime or received any convictions since your DWI arrest.
  • You have gone through the required waiting period (typically two years).

Getting Your Record Expunged

The charge will still appear on your record if you are not convicted of DWI. Therefore, you'll need to have your record expunged. You can do this immediately - no waiting time is necessary. You can petition the court for an order of expunction if your lawyer successfully pleads down your DWI to reckless driving.

A DWI charge can put your future in jeopardy. That's why it's essential to seek the help of a lawyer. They can perform several duties to support you in building your case.

First, your defense attorney can check to see if your DWI arrest and charge was lawful. For example, they might question whether the arresting officer had reasonable cause to stop you for DWI. They can evaluate whether officers conducted the blood test or breathalyzer correctly and determine the accuracy of the results, as well as review the nature of the arrest to ensure authorities did not violate your rights during the interrogation or processing.

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They can collect evidence that will support your defense and challenge the prosecutor’s case against you. This evidence might include dashcam footage or eyewitness testimonies. They can also represent you during court hearings, including bail and/or plea agreement negotiations.

A DWI charge is a serious matter in Texas. The state takes driving laws seriously. If authorities catch you breaking this law of the road, you can face jail time and sizable fines. Charges range from misdemeanors to felony convictions.

What Makes Up a Criminal Record?

In Texas, a criminal record is a collection of details about arrests, charges, convictions, and outcomes related to criminal activities. Even a first offense can stay on your record permanently. That is why speaking to an attorney about your DWI's circumstances is essential. If you have multiple offenses, it's highly unlikely you'll get the offenses removed, so they may stay on your record indefinitely.

The Consequences of Having a DWI on Your Record

As noted, having a DWI on your record can impact your lifestyle, so if you can expunge the record or have the DWI sealed, you should take the necessary steps for removal. Below are more specifics about how a DWI can affect your life.

Job Opportunities

Specific licenses or certifications are mandatory in healthcare, transportation, and law enforcement. A DWI offense can jeopardize your ability to attain and keep these credentials.


Landlords and property management firms often conduct background checks when selecting tenants. Having a DWI history can pose challenges in securing housing, as some landlords may view you as a higher-risk tenant.

Travel Restrictions

Depending on the seriousness of the conviction, authorities may impose travel limitations and deny entry into other countries.

Increased Insurance Costs

DWI convictions are considered high-risk factors by insurance providers, leading to premiums for auto insurance and other types of coverage.

Sealing Your DWI After Deferred Adjudication

You may seal your DWI record after completing a type of community court-ordered supervision called deferred adjudication. They typically offer this program to first-time offenders. If the offender successfully meets the conditions of the court-ordered term, a conviction (finding of guilt) will not show on their record.

 DWI record

However, that doesn't mean their record won't show they were arrested for DWI and had to complete the program. To successfully seal the record from public view, a lawyer must file the paperwork for an order of nondisclosure.

A jury does not grant deferred adjudication; the judge typically grants it. If you choose to go to trial, this option for punishment will no longer be available to you.

If the offender does not comply with the probation conditions, the DA may request the judge to "adjudicate" the offender or find them guilty of DWI. In turn, they may have to serve their jail or prison term.

Straight probation, in Texas, can't be erased or sealed, as it results in a conviction. If you complete deferred adjudication, your charges, technically, are dismissed.

A DWI conviction in Texas can essentially shadow you throughout your life. Enlisting a lawyer's assistance can enhance your prospects of attaining the most favorable result possible, regardless of the circumstances of your case.

Contact a San Angelo DWI Lawyer to Schedule an Appointment Today

Talk to a criminal defense attorney immediately to learn more about your rights regarding DWI charges and records in San Angelo. Getting legal help is the most positive thing you can do when facing a DWI in the Lone Star State.

David M. White Author Image

David M. White


David M. White is an attorney with offices in Abilene and San Angelo, Texas. His practice is focused on Personal Injury cases and Criminal Defense. Mr. White attended Texas Tech University where he earned a B.B.A. in Finance in Honors Studies in 2002, graduating magna cum laude. He received his Doctor of Jurisprudence from the Texas Tech University School of Law in 2006.

If you, a friend, or family member need legal advice, please feel free to contact our firm for a free consultation with David White, a Personal Injury attorney in Abilene, Texas.

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