When you’re convicted of a DWI in Texas, you’re not just dealing with the possibility of fines and jail time: You’ll also have a mark on your record that could affect your ability to drive, get a job or rent an apartment in the future. Here’s how a DWI conviction could affect your life years after the conviction.
How long does a DWI charge stay on your record?
In the state of Texas, a DWI conviction stays on your record for the rest of your life. You’ll also get two points added to your license that expire in three years. If you accrue more points on your license, you could be facing license suspension. Your insurance premiums might also skyrocket, especially if you already have past offenses on your record.
In some states, a DWI charge will eventually fall off your record. Since this isn’t the case with Texas, it’s important to avoid getting a DWI conviction. You can move to another state, but the charge will likely stay on your record. You might also have trouble getting a job, renting an apartment or qualifying for a loan with criminal charges on your record. If you’re applying for a job that requires a lot of driving, like a delivery driver, employers are particularly reluctant to hire people with DWI charges.
On top of these disciplinary measures, you might also have to pay hundreds of dollars each year to get your license reinstated after the suspension. Your vehicle could even be taken away if you rack up multiple DWI charges. Some offenders are required to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle to keep them from driving under the influence.
How can you avoid a DWI conviction?
A DWI is one charge that doesn’t come off your record. If you’re facing DWI charges, you’ll need a DWI defense attorney to fight the issue in court and potentially get the charges reduced or dropped altogether. If nothing else, your attorney might be able to argue for lighter penalties like mandatory drug counseling instead of jail time or long-term license suspension.