Texas Second Chance Bill And Nondisclosures
Everyone makes mistakes. Usually, we try and learn from those transgressions and move on. When the mistakes involve breaking the law and result in a criminal record, it is more difficult to move forward in life. That criminal record will impact your life now and in the future, hindering job searches, future education, and other opportunities. Thanks to a new law in Texas, HB 3016 – coined the “Second Chance Bill” – first offenders that meet certain criteria and complete the terms of their sentencing may now have the opportunity to have their criminal record sealed from public view, paving the way for a new, fresh start on life.
How the program works
The “Second Chance Law” permits certain first-time offenders of low-level crimes to request an order of non-disclosure to have their record sealed once they have completed their sentencing and fulfilled all the court orders. The law is designed to punish those offenders only once for their crime – not again in the form of a criminal record that negatively impacts the offender for years to come. The new legislation allows first time DWI offenders to apply for an order of nondisclosure after a six-month period using an ignition interlock device or if no device is installed, after five years following completion of the sentence. In cases of DWI, record of the offense is still accessible by law enforcement officers and the offense is still counted in terms of future DWI offenses.
Who is eligible?
Under the new law, those individuals with a first-time DWI who meet the following criteria are eligible:
- Blood alcohol level at the time of the arrest was under 0.14
- Offender was not involved in a car accident at time of DWI arrest
- No others were hurt in conjunction with the DWI
- Offender successfully completed court-ordered sentence
- Offender satisfied payment of all costs, fines, and restitution related to the charge
In addition, first-time offenders who were charged with nonviolent Class C misdemeanors are also eligible for relief. First offenders who committed violent crimes and those whose crimes involve a sexual component and not eligible for nondisclosure under the new law.
Law is retroactive
The law became effective September 1, 2017 but applies to offenses committed prior to that time providing the eligibility requirements are met.
Contact leading Texas criminal defense attorneys and leave your past behind you
Your criminal past does not have to hinder your future. If you are a first-time offender, you may be eligible for relief under Texas’ new Second Chance Bill. Contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys at The Law Offices of Kyle Whitaker in Fort Worth to see if you are eligible. Our dedicated team is knowledgeable in all areas of Texas criminal law and is available to meet with you for a consultation at no charge. Schedule your appointment today 817-332-7703 or online.