Texas Second Chance Law for First-time DWI Offenders

In Texas, a DWI is a life changer. Besides having your license suspended, you face costly fines and even jail time. As a result, educational and employment opportunities may suddenly dissolve and your ability to obtain a professional license will also suffer greatly. If you are arrested for drunk driving in Harris County, you need professional legal help. With an experienced lawyer by your side, you can ensure your rights are protected. Additionally, an attorney can review your case and determine if you qualify under the state’s Second Chance Law.

Governor Abbott signed HB 3016, the Second Chance Law, into effect on September of 2017. The law significantly limits who can view a DWI offenders criminal record, including non-governmental agencies such as colleges and employers. However, the law does not apply to serious or repeat DWI offenders. Rather it is intended for first-time offenders only.

How to qualify for the Second Chance DWI Law in Texas

To find out if you can take advantage of the Second Chance Law, consult with a skilled Kingwood criminal defense attorney. Your lawyer can explain that only people with a first-time DWI offense can apply for non-disclosure of their record. Here are requirements you must meet to be eligible for non-disclosure under the law:

1. DWI must have been first offense

2. Classified as a misdemeanor

3. BAC less than .15 at the time of arrest

4. Cannot have an unrelated conviction on your record

5. Must not have hurt anyone while driving under the influence

Keep in mind that there is a waiting period of 5 years for non-disclosure of your record. You can reduce this period to 2-3 years by installing an ignition interlock device in your vehicle for 6 months. The waiting period begins after the completion of your sentence.

Texas DWI defense attorney helps you get a fresh start

At the Law Office of Andrew J. Williams, we understand that a DWI can have devastating consequences on your personal and professional life. Let us review your case, protect your rights, and fight for your reputation. To schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney, contact our firm online or call 281-358-9111.

Andrew Williams, an experienced attorney who can challenge evidence in a DWI case
About the Author: Andrew Williams
I am a criminal defense lawyer with over 20 years experience defending people accused of wrongdoing. I am board certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Only ten percent of attorneys in Texas are board certified in their respective field. I practice criminal law exclusively in both state and federal court including appeals of criminal cases.