Sealing a DWI Charge

By Jeff Kennedy

Fort Worth DWI Record Sealing Lawyer

A DWI conviction can follow you for years, but a Fort Worth DWI record sealing attorney can set you on a better path.

Driving while intoxicated or under the influence (DWI or DUI) is a serious criminal offense. Once the charge hits your criminal record, it can be difficult to get rid of. Drunk driving charges can limit your employment opportunities, publicly embarrass you, or make it difficult to carry a gun or even vote.

In many cases, if you’ve been charged with a DWI, you can petition to have the court expunge or seal your criminal record. Expunge means to destroy your record entirely. Sealing your record is when certain people can’t view your record, such as employers or the general public.

If you’ve been charged with a DWI or DUI and it has been negatively affecting your life, now is the time to try to get the charge or conviction removed.

A Fort Worth DWI record sealing lawyer from the Law Offices of Jeff C. Kennedy can investigate whether you are eligible for an expunction or to have your records sealed. Then, we can fight for the outcome you need.

Nondisclosure Orders and Expunctions

A nondisclosure order is a legal term for hiding your record from public view. When the judge grants your request for a nondisclosure order, that means employers won’t be able to view your DWI arrest, nor can others who may conduct background checks, such as housing officials.

With a nondisclosure order, most government agencies will still be able to view your arrest record. Conversely, with an expunction (the expunging of your record) your arrest and subsequent court proceedings will be completely destroyed. In many cases, you will even be authorized to deny the charge or conviction ever took place.

Am I Eligible?

Unfortunately, Texas law makes it difficult to expunge or seal your record, so you’ll likely want to speak with a Fort Worth drunk driving record sealing attorney who can determine your eligibility and help you file the necessary paperwork.

In Texas, there are certain restrictions on which types of offenses and related circumstances will qualify to be expunged or sealed. The following are some of the types of cases that might qualify:

  • You were arrested for a felony or misdemeanor but later acquitted.
  • You were convicted of a felony or misdemeanor but later pardoned by the Texas governor or president of the United States.
  • You were arrested for an offense, but charges were never filed.
  • You were arrested and charged with an offense, but the charges were later dismissed or never finalized.
  • You were charged with and convicted of an offense, but you were later acquitted on appeal.
  • You were charged with or convicted of certain juvenile offenses.

The Process of Filing a Petition for an Order of Non-Disclosure

To get an order for non-disclosure of your DWI charge, you must file a petition in court called a Petition for Order of Nondisclosure. You will also provide documentation or any other evidence you have that shows the court you’ve been an upstanding citizen since the DWI.

The process is pretty simple; however, the judge doesn’t always grant these petitions. Your chances of successfully obtaining an order of non-disclosure can greatly increase with an attorney by your side. Your lawyer can argue your case during the hearing and show the court why you deserve for your drunk driving conviction to be sealed.

Time Frames for Expunctions and Orders for Nondisclosure

In addition to your DUI arrest meeting the necessary criteria, you must meet criteria regarding mandatory time frames. Your attorney can review your case to see whether you have met the minimum time limits that must pass before your petition for expunction or record sealing in Fort Worth can be made.

The following are the mandatory minimum time frames for nondisclosure orders in Texas:

  • Five years following the discharge and dismissal of a felony offense
  • Two years following the discharge and dismissal of a misdemeanor listed under chapter 20, 21, 22, 25, 42, or 46 of the Texas Penal Code
  • Immediately following the discharge and dismissal of any other misdemeanor

The following are the mandatory minimum time frames for expunction orders:

  • For Class C misdemeanor arrests, 180 days must have passed before filing.
  • For Class A or B misdemeanor arrests, one year must have passed before filing.
  • For any felony arrests, one year must have passed before you can file.

Benefits of Getting Your DUI Record Expunged

One of the best things about being granted a DWI record expunction in Fort Worth is that there will be no reason for anyone to suspect that you have been arrested for, charged with, or convicted of a drunk driving offense, and your expunction order won’t be on public display.

Then, when you apply for a job or complete an application for housing, education, or other government programs, you can legally deny the arrest ever happened. Even if you are questioned under oath, by law, you only need to say the arrest was expunged. You don’t have to give any additional details about the incident.

Filing for an Expunction or Nondisclosure Order

If your DUI attorney determines that you are eligible to have your records either expunged or sealed, you must then file the paperwork with the court. Certain steps must be followed to give your petition the best chance of being approved by a judge. Those steps are as follows:

  • Write up a petition that includes your personal information, details about the incident in question and the arrest, the date of the offense and the arrest, the name of the county where the offense occurred, and the names of all involved law enforcement agencies.
  • The judge will set a hearing so all involved agencies may give their recommendations as to whether your expunction or nondisclosure order should be granted.
  • The judge will make a decision on whether to grant your petition. If the judge grants it, a written order must be presented to the judge for his or her signature. The order must then be filed with all the proper agencies and involved courts.

Speak with a Fort Worth DWI Record Sealing Attorney

If your DWI or DUI arrest has impacted your life, you’re not alone. But there is hope for getting your criminal record expunged or sealed.

For the judge to approve your petition, however, you may need to have an experienced attorney on your side. The laws surrounding expunctions and nondisclosure orders are complicated, but an attorney can effectively and quickly navigate them on your behalf.

To work with a Fort Worth DWI record sealing lawyer, contact the Law Offices of Jeff C. Kennedy today. Enter your contact information in the form below or call 817-605-1010 to start working toward a better future.


Jeff C. Kennedy was the light of hope at the end of very dark storm. He was not only able to defend my case swiftly, but had the alleged charges dismissed completely. His calm and empathetic demeanor offered emotional succor to myself and those I care about most. My children and I are eternally grateful for his excellent service and I hereby recommend Jeff C. Kennedy without reservation.


Jeff Kennedy truly cares. He and his staff kept me informed all the way throughout my case and provided me with all my options and the potential outcomes for my case. When the day finally arrived to resolve my case, Jeff was able to negotiate a reduction to a lesser charge. He was well prepared and coordinated everything perfectly. Jeff is not only a good lawyer, but a good man.


I hired Mr. Jeff Kennedy to handle a DWI charge. From day one, I knew I had picked the right attorney. Jeff always took the time to answer any of my questions, treated me very professionally, and truly cared about my case. I have never been in any kind of trouble before and I was very nervous about the thought of going to trial. Jeff thoroughly explained the entire process to me and made me feel at ease. Jeff took my case to trial and the jury found me NOT GUILTY!


Jeff Kennedy is a professional, intelligent, easy-to-talk-to lawyer with an excellent understanding of how the system works. Jeff was able to get my twice the legal limit BAC thrown out and he kept me from having an interlock device put on my car. This has been my only big mistake in life so far (hopefully the last) and I am glad he was there to walk me through it. You will not regret hiring him.

9133 Belshire Dr
North Richland Hills,
Texas 76182
301 W Vickery Blvd Suite #101
Fort Worth, Texas 76104
303 W Abram St
Texas 76010
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