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Sealing Your RecordSealing or Cleaning Your Record

In the State of Texas, there are two different methods of cleaning or sealing one’s record.


The first, and most desired, is an expunction. An expunction does more than seal your records, it completely destroys them. If you receive an expunction there will be no record of the offense. As you will see below, however, expunctions are very difficult to get.


On the other hand, a non-disclosure merely seals your record. If you receive a non-disclosure, your employer will not be able to see the offense, but government agencies and police will. In other words, there are a few legally excepted entities that may still see your record even if a non-disclosure is granted (i.e., school districts, police departments, etc.). Texas Government Code § 411.0765 contains full list of agencies that can still see your record even if the court grants the nondisclosure.


It is very helpful to seal or clean your record, because everyone makes mistakes. The Coffey Firm is here to help you legally put those mistakes behind you.


The specific facts of a case will always be a factor when determining eligibility for either an expunction or nondisclosure. However, both have their own specific eligibility requirements.



An expunction is the most desirable way of getting your record clean. At the same time, obtaining an expunction is very difficult and very rare.

If you meet one or more of these criteria you may qualify for an Expunction:

  1. A finding of Not Guilty by either a judge or a jury.
    1. A reduction of a charge (for example, a DWI reduced to an Obstruction) is not the same as a finding of Not Guilty of the greater charge.
  2. No charge for an offense after arrest.
  3. Arrest, charge, or conviction on a person’s record due to identity theft by another (actually charged) individual.
  4. A conviction pardoned by the Governor of Texas or the US President.



Non-disclosures are far more common than expunctions because the eligibility requirement are less strict. However, that does not mean that non-disclosures are easy to obtain. Rather, the eligibility requirements, while less strict, are much more complex than those for expunctions. For example, the requirements for non-disclosing a DWI conviction are different than if placed on deferred adjudication for the same offense.

Basic Eligibility for ANY Non-Disclosure

Starting with some good news, the current non-disclosure law is retroactive. That means it applies to ALL offenses regardless of when the offense occurred.

There are three basic requirements to be eligible for a non-disclosure. You are ineligible if:

  1. You have ever been convicted of or placed on deferred adjudication for a wide range of offenses, including (but not limited to):
    1. Murder
    2. Aggravated Kidnapping
    3. Stalking
    4. Trafficking of persons
    5. ANY offense involving family violence
  2. The offense seeking nondisclosure featured an affirmative finding that the offense involved family violence
  3. You are convicted of or placed on deferred adjudication for an offense during probation, deferred adjudication, or the applicable waiting period (discussed below).


DWI Non-Disclosures

Though each disposition has its own particular requirements when it comes to filing, they all share some basic eligibility requirements:

  1. Must be a Class B offense. In other words, it must be a first-time DWI and you must not have a alcohol concentration of .15 or more.
    1. A reduction to a Class B is fine for eligibility.
  2. The DWI must not have involved an accident involving another person (including a passenger).
    1. Injury to another person is not a requirement, only that it involved another person.
  3. You are INELIGIBLE for a nondisclosure if you have EVER been convicted of or placed on deferred adjudication for ANY offense other than a traffic ticket punishable by fine only.



Non-Disclosure for DWI (Deferred Adjudication)

On top of the basic requirements above, there is one additional eligibility requirement:

  • You are INELIGIBLE if, at the time of the offense, you held a commercial driver’s license or commercial driver’s permit.

The applicable waiting period to petition for a Non-Disclosure is two years after discharge and dismissal, regardless of whether interlock was a requirement.


Non-Disclosure for DWI (Probation)

On top of the basic requirements, there are a couple additional requirements:

  • Must have fully completed DWI probation (including serving any time of confinement and paying any fines)
  • Must not have probation revoked

There are two applicable waiting periods depending on interlock status:

  • TWO YEARS after completion of probation IF a condition of probation required installation of an interlock device for AT LEAST 6 months
  • FIVE YEARS after completion of probation IF there was no interlock requirement OR if the interlock requirement lasted LESS than 6 months.


Non-Disclosure for DWI (Conviction)

Similar to the probation requirement, you must fully complete any term of confinement imposed and pay any fines imposed. However, there is one small difference:

  • If you lose eligibility due to revoked probation you MAY be eligible under this section (depending on the facts of the case).

There are two applicable waiting periods depending on interlock:

  • THREE YEARS after completion of sentence if a condition of the sentence required installation of an interlock for AT LEAST 6 months.
  • FIVE YEARS after completion of sentence if there was no interlock requirement OR if the interlock requirement lasted LESS THAN 6 months.


More about Mimi Coffey

When people look for a Top DWI Attorney or Best DWI Attorney, they look for experience, certification, and respect in the legal community. Mimi Coffey is a nationally-renowned trial attorney, board-certified in DWI by the NCDD. She has been practicing for over 24 years and is an author of multiple DWI Defense textbooks. She is also a national and state-wide lecturer on the law.

The Coffey Firm handles a wide variety of cases, including Unlawful Carrying Weapon (UCW), Assault (including family violence), and Possession charges.

Mimi is also listed on several “top” directory listings such as DWI Lawyers for Wise County, DWI Lawyer Tarrant CountyDWI attorney Dallas County, DWI attorneys Collin County and DWI attorneys Parker County. Mimi is a caring DWI Lawyer in DFW, She is also involved in the Texas Tech School of Law foundation and enjoys using the skills she has developed to give back to the community.