New Law Allows Drunk Drivers to Seal Their RecordsPublished: Jun 02, 2017 in DUI
The stark fact is that having a criminal record brings with it great disadvantages when it comes to having access to employment opportunities, rental housing, and other privileges that require a background check. Even a crime you may commit which involves a serious mistake, but does not result in any individuals suffering injury or death, such as a DWI, can considerably impact your life for years to come.
A Houston DWI lawyer may be able to greatly minimize the penalties you face for your crime. However, there are other lasting effects that can significantly hold back first-time offenders from moving forward with their lives after they have paid their debt to society.
Recently, the state of Texas addressed this issue with a new law that gives a second chance to certain DWI offenders.
If you’ve been charged with the DWI in the state of Texas, you need someone who is highly skilled and experienced at dealing with the prosecution effectively and obtaining the best possible results on your behalf. Houston DWI attorney Ned Barnett is just the legal advocate you need at this critical time in your life. Let’s discuss together the best path forward in your case.
Obtaining an Order of Non-Disclosure
On June 15, 2017, the governor of Texas signed HB3016 into law. This legislation modifies the eligibility requirements regarding Orders of Non-Disclosure. In short, it allows certain individuals who have received a DWI conviction to obtain a Non-Disclosure Order.
Briefly explained, an “Order of Non-Disclosure” is an order issued by the court to all agencies that possess a record of your criminal history to seal that record and withhold its disclosure to any third parties. In effect, this Order allows you to conceal from the public the fact that you have a criminal conviction on your record; however, law enforcement will still be able to see the conviction.
The practical benefits of obtaining an Order of Non-Disclosure include preventing potential employers from viewing your criminal record, and concealing your record from landlords and apartment managers from whom you are seeking to rent.
The law does provide for some exceptions to the Non-Disclosure Order that can limit or delay your ability to obtain the Order. However, it represents a superb tool for helping you rebound from the mistake you have made and move forward with accessing economic and other opportunities to improve the quality of your life.
Basic Eligibility Requirements
The bill, which has now become law, was referred to as the “Second Chances Bill” since it truly gives individuals who have been convicted of a single low-level offense a second opportunity.
It allows those who have been convicted of a DWI with a blood-alcohol level below 0.15, as well as nonviolent class C misdemeanor offenders the ability to petition the court for a nondisclosure order after they have served their sentence and satisfied all required restitution payments.
Implementation of the New Law
The law is set to come into effect on September 1, 2017, in a retroactive fashion. That is, it can benefit you even if your first-time DWI occurred prior to that date, even many years ago. As long as you qualify under the law, you’ll be able to seal your criminal record from the public, including from any entity that would normally run a background check.
Contact a Highly-Experienced Houston DWI Lawyer
A DWI charge can leave you feeling helpless about what you are now facing. However, attorney Ned Barnett is a strong advocate who can fight on your behalf vigorously to defend your rights and fight for your future. If you’re facing a DWI charge right now, call the Law Offices of Ned Barnett today at (713) 222-6767 to schedule a free case review.