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Law Firm of Aaron Bortel

Expunging a DWI from a Criminal Record


DWI convictions often limit the chances for someone to get a job or find approval for housing. In addition, background checks are required for obtaining some mortgages and to get into most colleges. However, you don’t have to worry about a DWI conviction for the rest of your life. By expunging your record, you can deny ever being arrested. To get a DWI record expunged, you have to petition the court and show that you have changed.

The Basics of Expunction

Expunging a record takes time and patience. After a period of time in most states, you can have a record expunged as long as it wasn’t a serious sentence. Here are some other requirements:

  • One year must have passed from your conviction.
  • You must alsohave completed any terms of your sentence, and you cannot be serving any time currently for a criminal offense.
  • If you received a conviction at any time within one year of the first conviction, you are ineligible for expungement.
  • You also must have completed probation.

In addition to eligibility, you need to determine which type of expunction you require. These break down into misdemeanor or felony conviction records. Once you have determined your eligibility and type of necessary expungement, you have to obtain a copy of your criminal record.

Filing Forms for DWI Expungement

You’ll need to complete a few forms to get a DUI expunged. The first two are a Petition for Dismissal and Order for Dismissal. In addition, you need to write a proposal or declaration that states some information about your plans for the future, why you were driving while intoxicated and how you have changed for the better. You also want to write about how the conviction has changed your ability to work and get housing, whether you have received any training and what plans you have made to interact and help the community since your conviction. Finally, you also need to indicate that you went through a rehabilitation or 12-step program and show any religious affiliations as well.

Along with your declaration, you will need copies of letters from employers, religious clergy, community leaders and other people who you have worked with and will write a recommendation for you to receive an expungement based on the changes in your character.

Filing Your DWI Expunction Papers

You’ll need to make five copies of your Petition for Dismissal, Order for Dismissal and declaration. Assemble these into a binder and show that you have paid all fines, fees and any restitution. You’ll also need to file in the county where you were convicted and pay a fee to process your expunction. You can consult a criminal defense lawyer as well to speed along the process and find ways for you to prove your character as well as create the best declaration for your county.

Author Bio

Billy Skinner is a criminal defense attorney located in Houston, TX. Billyhas worked as an Assistant District Attorney for Harris County and knows how the prosecutors go after DWI cases.  He has successfully expunged numerous DWI cases throughout his career.

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About the Author

My name is Aaron Bortel. I practice in the state of California. I primarily handle DUI law and criminal defense. I’ve been practicing for a little more than 20 years. We review about 100 DUI cases every month. We might end up handling 30 or 40 of those DUI cases. If you do the math on that, that’s about 360 to about 400 plus cases that we may represent within that year.