The new Texas law is giving first-time offenders the opportunity to turn things around.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott recently signed the “Second Chance” bill which will let first-time offenders of low-level crimes seal their criminal backgrounds. If a person has a low-level offense on their record that is not of a sexual or violent nature, and demonstrate a willingness not to reoffend, he or she will not have to disclose their offense on a job application. The offense would appeal invisible to the public, but they would still have a record viewable by law enforcement. Additionally, a sealed DUI offense would still count towards a third DUI being considered a felony.
This is extremely important to those individuals with first time DUI/DWI offenses. If the first-time offender had a BAC of .14 or lower, and there was no resulting crash or injury to another, the DUI/DWI would be sealed from public view. Of course, there may be other court ordered requirements that the person would have to go through as well. This may include things like treatment programs or community service. The person would also have the option to get their records sealed quicker if they were willing to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle.
State Representative Senfronia Thompson was the sponsor of the House bill because she believes that individuals with low-level offenses should not have to face lasting punishments. Those handed out by the court are enough. The benefits of the “Second Chance” Bill include giving first time, low-level offenders:
- The chance to get a job and make a living;
- The opportunity to secure a place to live; and
- The opportunity to start on a new and better life path.
The weight of any criminal offense on your record can prevent all of the above from happening. Talk to trusted criminal defense attorney Scott Brown about alternate sentencing opportunities such as first time offender programs.
If you are facing criminal charges, contact Scott M. Brown and Associates today. Attorney Brown is dedicated to fighting for his clients. His thorough understanding of the criminal justice system allows him to mount successful defenses to all charges. With three convenience office location, Scott M. Brown & Associates proudly serves Angleton, Pearland, Houston, and League City.