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How long does DWI stay on public criminal record in Texas?

Plano, TX |

How long does DWI stay on public criminal record?
I was convicted of a DWI 12-07-1990, court date 03-26-1991
Results = Fine, community svc, 2 year probation, no license suspension or jail time. The judge told me this would stay on my record for 7 years or 10 years (can't remember).

I checked and found the DWI listed on under the TX DPS and Denton County where I was arrested. I confirmed with Denton County that the record is still listed in public data.

A friend of mine was convicted of DWI in Dallas in 1996 and her record no longer shows up in

Can you confirm the time the DWI should be on record?

I'm applying for a job and if this ANCIENT charge is listed on my background check I will have zero chance of being hired.

Thanks for your help.

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Attorney answers 3


It sounds like you recieved deferred adjudication. If this is the case, you will need to ask the Court for an Order of Non-Disclosure, which is granted in some cases when a deferred adjudication is completed successfully. The procedure itself is fairly routine, but the qualifications are complex and cannot be listed here. Talk to a criminal attorney - they should be able to tell you if you are eligible, even over the telephone.


A regular probation does not come off your record in Texas. If the judge told you that they were wrong. A deferred adjudication may come off your record via a motion for non disclosure. A lot of people believe that your criminal record is wiped clean after seven years like your credit history, but that is not the case. A while ago a prosecutor was not allowed to go back further then ten years to enhance a DWI. The law recently changed allowing prosecutors to go back further then ten years to enhance cases to the felony level.

Public data is a private company. You should go to the county clerk where you received your probation obtain a copy and go to a lawyer to get clarification.


A DWI stays on your record for the remainder of your life. As Herman said, the law changed and now the State is not limited to 10 years to use an old DWI for enhancement purposes.

You could not have gotten a deferred adjudication for DWI for an offense committed in 1990. They quit having deferreds available for DWI in either 1982 or 1984, thefore you received a straight probation with a conviction. (This avoided having your driving license suspended because you took a special class.)

Some people mistake the number of years a DWI is quote on one's record because of the limited number of years traffic violations are reported on your driving record.

That your friend's DWI did not show up is just luck. It means that either it was overlooked when the data was loaded; or, it was not reported by the county.

The following is not even an effort at legal advice - this is just common sense. You are right that the conviction is quite old. You are likely not the same person you were (not that you were a bad person.) However, if you are deceptive on your job applications and discovered, logically that could be worse because it would mean you are dishonest.


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