Bruce Kaye Criminal Defense Attorney Dallas, TX, Personal Injury, Entertainment Law


Often, the worst punishment for being charged with an offense is the lingering criminal record that follows you every time you apply for a new home or job. However, there are ways to seal your past convictions from the public. The most common avenue is through an Order of Non-Disclosure, otherwise known as “record sealing.”
Historically, record sealing only applied to a limited number of crimes and did not include DWI convictions, one of the most common infractions. Fortunately for many, Texas recently changed state law to allow first-time DWI convictions to be sealed, providing they meet certain criteria. Beyond DWI convictions alone, there are, of course, other types of crimes which can be sealed from your record. Let’s discuss the regulations in more detail below.


We all make mistakes, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn and grow from them. Don’t allow others to judge you for your past — focus on showing them who you are today. I can potentially assist you in moving forward by sealing DWI, misdemeanor, and felony charges from your record, under specific situations enforced by the Texas legislature. Schedule a complimentary consultation to see if your charges qualify for sealing.


Does Your DWI Conviction Qualify for Sealing?

Here are the three main points to consider: 

  • It must be your first DWI offense.
  • Your blood-alcohol level must have been under 1.5, which is fairly lenient considering the legal limit is .08.
  • There must not have been an accident or coexisting charges alongside your DWI conviction. 

At this time, these are bright line stipulations that cannot be crossed. Texas is new to allowing DWI offenses to be sealed at all, so for now, their regulations are relatively strict. In the future, there is always a chance that the law may change. 

What Types of Misdemeanors are Permitted?

In Texas, only Class C misdemeanors in which there was deferred adjudication can be sealed. When there is a deferred judgment, the judge agrees to postpone ruling a verdict on your case until after you have met certain conditions, such as paying a fine and completing probation.

Typically, the agreement is that your charges will be dropped once these requirements have been satisfied. Still, the case will continue to be documented on your record unless you have it sealed. For further information about sealing your misdemeanor, contact my office for a no-cost consultation.

Can a Felony be Sealed?

Though a felony conviction cannot be sealed if you were found guilty, there are certain exceptions that permit you to seal a felony from your record. Here are some examples: 

  • You were merely arrested, never charged.
  • Your case was dismissed. 
  • The grand jury returned a “no bill,” meaning they did not find significant cause to forward your case to a criminal court for trial. 
  • You were found not guilty.
  • The conviction was the result of identity theft. 

Additionally, if your felony case qualified for deferred adjudication and you successfully completed the requirements, you may be able to seal the felony from your record. While a limited number of government agencies will still be able to see your charges, the information will not be accessible to landlords, hiring managers, and other members of the general public. 

Moving Toward a Bright Future

Having a conviction sealed from your record can feel like a new beginning. A clean record gives you the opportunity to live in your chosen neighborhood, pursue your dream job, and enroll in college without worry. There’s nothing I enjoy more than seeing my clients go on to live successful lives.

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