A Fresh Start for First-Time Offenders
– By David Chambers
It’s no secret that a criminal record will hold someone back. I have heard countless stories of how an arrest has caused job losses, failed relationships, and various roadblocks. You may have heard that a conviction for certain offenses will always be on a person’s record. That is no longer true. HB 3016 (Second Chance Bill) gives first-time offenders the opportunity to erase this conviction from their record under certain circumstances.
If you don’t want to figure this out on your own. Call us at 512-474-1404 and we will see if you qualify.
What is an Order of Non-Disclosure?
You may have heard the word “sealed” used to refer to cleaning up a person’s record but may have not seen the phrase “non-disclosure,” which is the legal process of sealing their record from public view. Orders of non-disclosure seal a criminal record from the eyes of the general public and allows a person to deny such record in most situations. While HB 3016 does not seal the offense from the eyes of certain government entities such as law enforcement, a successful non-disclosure will allow you to continue your career path, further your education, and move forward with your life.
What is HB 3016?
The Texas Senate approved “second-chance” legislation that would let those convicted of one-time, nonviolent misdemeanors to ask a court to seal their criminal record from public view — no matter when it happened. House Bill 3016 applies to class C misdemeanors and driving while intoxicated with a blood alcohol level below 0.15 but not for crimes the judge determines to be sexual or violent in nature.
Offenders with a first-time DWI who meet the following criteria qualify:
- Has never been convicted of or placed on probation for another offense—this does not include a traffic offense (punishable by fine only)
- Has successfully completed any community supervision and any term of confinement
- Has paid all fines and costs related to the charge
- The waiting period has surpassed two years if the person successfully completed a period of at least six months of driving restricted to a motor vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device as a part of the sentence; or five years if there was no interlock requirement as part of the sentence.
Someone will not qualify if the DWI:
- Was a second or third offense
- Blood-Alcohol Content was greater than 0.15
- Involved an accident involving another person
- Was within the last two years since the completion of their sentence (five years if there was not interlock requirement)
A waiting period may apply to know when you might be eligible. Fill out the form below to determine if you have to wait a certain amount of time for your non-disclosure.
At Chambers & Associates, we believe everyone deserves to move past mistakes. We have an excellent team, but I personally work on every case.
See If You Qualify