Now that it is law, those accused and convicted of a DWI for the first time are getting somewhat of a break. After much debate and a waiting period for the Governor’s signature, this second chance bill is now the law. Critics are coming in from different angles, but overall, the new law is being received favorably as a great way to provide people with a second chance.
While this law will apply to DWIs, it will also apply to other criminal convictions that are not terribly serious. As long as those with minor convictions comply with certain details in the law, they can have their conviction sealed and hidden from public view. This will allow a person to open up new opportunities that may have been closed previously.
Details of the Law
Though the new law will apply to most misdemeanors, in order for a person with a first-time DWI to take advantage of it, there are certain things that the convict must do. Following is a typical scenario that will apply to those with a first-time DWI conviction, and how to get the conviction sealed from public view. Keep in mind, a person can only take advantage of this law one time for DWI.
For example, say you went to a party and had a little too much to drink. On the way home from the party you fail to use your blinker and a police officer pulls you over. Once pulled over, the officer suspects you of drinking and driving, and before you know it you are convicted of misdemeanor DWI, a record of a misdemeanor conviction you will have to report on every job application going forward.
Under the new law, there will be a way to have this conviction sealed from public view. You can apply for sealing the view if you:
- Have no previous DWI convictions;
- Had a blood alcohol content level of .14 or less;
- Pay court fines and other costs associated with the DWI convictions;
- Were not involved with striking someone as a result of the DWI;
- Complete a six-month interlock ignition program, or go five years without a DWI.
As long as you can complete these steps and have these details, then you can apply to have the conviction sealed from public view.
Why the New Law is Necessary
There was a big need for this law because of the stigma that comes with someone who has a conviction of DWI. After being convicted of DWI, a person has to disclose that fact on job applications, lease applications, and for most other interactions with the state, private parties, or companies seeking to know more about him or her. So, something as simple as a misdemeanor DWI could set someone back years, and prevent him or her from getting a job, home, or other opportunity. Now a convict with a simple DWI will be able to apply and put it int he past and get a second chance.
If you are facing charges of DWI, whether for the first time or not, contact us at The Wilder DWI Defense Firm. Our name says it all, and we are dedicated to ensuring that each client who contacts and retains us gets the very best DWI defense available. When you contact us, we will provide you with a free case evaluation.
(image courtesy of Nino Ubezio)