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If a DUI case is dismissed, how long do you have to wait till the arrest record may be expunged in the state of Texas?

Dallas, TX |

How long can it take to completely erase a DUI arrest from someone’s record? I've heard to expunge an arrest from a permanent record can take 7 years and I've heard 2 years. I've heard, “until the statute of limitations expires.” So, which period of time to completely remove a charge from your record is correct in Dallas?

Additionally, is the arrest record the only thing to worry about? If one is innocent and the arresting body dismisses the case, what needs to be accomplished to ensure that the incident never shows up on a permanent record? What about my driving record? Can the suspension of my license be expunged as well?

Thank you in advance for the knowledge...

Attorney Answers 3


If a DWI case is dismissed and you want to file an expunction you must wait out the statute of limitations. Earlier this year the legislature in Texas passed a law to allow you to expunge after the dismissal but the Governor vetoed that bill. So if you have a DWI 1st or 2nd the SOL is 2 years. If you are charged with a felony DWI, the statute is 3 years.

The expunction will only remove the arrest, it WILL NOT remove any driver license suspension. That can only be done if you went to trial and you were found NOT GUILTY.

One issue in the dismissal is if the DWI was dismissed but the person plead guilty to another offense like reckless driving, many District Attorney's will object to an expunction and the case law is on their side.

Good luck.

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You must have the district court order an expunction of the arrest records. This is possible after the passage of the "statute of limitations" or sooner if the district attorney is willing to "waive the statute". Misdemeanor statutes [dwi 1 & 2] are 2 years, so you can petition for expunction immediately after the passage of 2 years. DPS will be listed on the expunction and you want to be sure that an order is served on them.

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Mr. Hamilton's advice as usual is correct. I would only add that if the reduced charge on the DWI was a deferred adjudication probation instead of a final conviction or regular probation, you may eligible to expunge the DWI arrest. You need to discuss this case in detail with a criminal defense attorney to get specific advice.

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