Will a DWI affect a background check?

A DWI conviction in Texas will have far-reaching consequences, including showing up on background checks.

A conviction will put you at risk of jail time, a hefty fine, and loss of driver’s license, as ordered by the court. However, the consequences may extend into other areas of your life and, in particular, affect your job prospects.

Will a DWI affect a background check?

The lifelong criminal record that you will have if you are found guilty means that hiring a skilled and experienced DWI attorney is essential to start building a strong defense.

You may then be able to avoid a conviction and the severe penalties that follow.

Can a DWI charge show up even if you’re not convicted?

Unfortunately, yes it can.

If you were arrested and charged with DWI but the case was dismissed or you were found not guilty at trial, it may still show up on a background check.

This may seem very harsh but it is the reality of the situation and you need to be aware of it if you face a DWI charge in Texas.

How will a DWI conviction damage your employment?

A DWI conviction can put your present and future employment at risk. This can be a double blow for people convicted of DWI in San Antonio.

Job hunting

Your criminal record will show up on background checks that prospective employers in Texas will run before committing to hiring you.

Most employers conduct these checks on job applicants. They are part of their due process and may immediately preclude you from being hired for a position.

There are certain rules that employers must follow when conducting a background check:

  • If using a third-party agency, the employer must inform you and you must provide consent.
  • If the employer decides not to hire you on the basis of the background check, you must be informed in writing of the reasons why.

Many job hunters with a criminal background therefore find that their applications for employment are consistently turned down. This is especially the case in tough times of higher unemployment when many applicants seek every available position.

Unfortunately, a criminal conviction can immediately influence an employer’s opinion and will often count against you. 

They may assume that:

  • You are irresponsible and unreliable
  • You may offend again
  • You are a danger to the workplace

Almost certainly, you will be discounted from positions that involve driving or using dangerous equipment. 

The employer will consider it their duty to protect fellow employees and may not want to risk someone with a DWI conviction when other applicants without a criminal record are available.

You will also be disqualified from positions that involve caring for the safety of others.

However, if your DWI conviction was in the distant past, your potential employer is less likely to count it against you.

Is your present job at risk?

Many employers in Texas do not require a valid reason to terminate your employment. 

Employment contracts often favor the employer and include clauses that allow them to terminate at their discretion if you are convicted of a crime.

This puts your job at risk if you are found guilty of DWI.

Of course, a conviction may also result in prison time, especially if it is not your first offense or there were aggravating factors when you were charged.

Any lengthy spell in jail is likely to see your employment terminated by the employer. It is also more likely to happen if the conviction results in:

  • Perceived safety or security concerns
  • Suspended driving privileges deemed necessary to perform your job
  • Inability to retain a specific license required for your job

What are the other longer-term effects of a DWI?

Because a DWI conviction affects background checks, the negative consequences can extend beyond your present and future job prospects.

It can make it more difficult to secure credit and rent an apartment, for instance.

What can you do about a DWI conviction?

Until 2017, there was practically nothing you could do to avoid a DWI conviction in Texas showing up on background checks.

However, a law was introduced that now allows some first-time offenders to “seal” their conviction by applying for an order of non-disclosure.

This means that it will still be on your record but it will not be visible to most people who conduct a background check, such as employers and credit companies. 

However, there are some “sensitive industries” such as employers in education and banking (as well as some government officials), who will still be able to see your criminal record.

The ability to seal a conviction only applies if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was under 0.15 and there were no other people or vehicles involved in your charge (Class B misdemeanors).

If you were charged with a DWI offense but never convicted, it is also possible to get your arrest record expunged with the help of an experienced DWI lawyer.

An experienced lawyer can help with your DWI charge or conviction

A DWI conviction in San Antonio can have far-reaching and life-changing consequences.

It is critical to hire an experienced DWI lawyer to begin taking the steps towards mitigating these serious consequences and keeping your record clean.

If you already have a charge or conviction for a first-time DWI, you may also be able to get it expunged or sealed with the help of a skilled lawyer.

At Trey Porter Law, DWI in San Antonio and the surrounding area is my sole focus. I’m experienced in all aspects of DWI cases.

If you’re facing a DWI charge in Texas or want to pursue expungement or order of non-disclosure for a conviction, call or text 210-920-1281 today for a free case evaluation or complete our online contact form.

Resources & information

Frequently asked questions

Glowing Client Reviews

Trey is the man! I hired him because I had overheard a county court judge mentioning how awesome of an attorney he is, so if an endorsement from a judge won’t convince you then I’m not sure what will. I sure do hope I never find myself in a pickle ever again but if I do, I would hire Trey in a heartbeat. He’s honest, transparent, doesn’t beat around the bush, and will work tirelessly so that your clean record stays clean and unblemished. 5 stars, highly recommend!


I recently hired Trey Porter Law to help our teenage daughter with a drug charge. In the state of Texas she was being charged as an adult which carried a much stiffer penalty. Trey is very responsive, helpful, knowledgeable and is always available to answer any questions or concerns via phone, text or email. He was able to negotiate on her behalf so it was a pleasant experience. I would highly recommend Trey Porter Law.


Trey really helped me out. He was straight forward and professional, and really helped me in my case. I thought i was going to lose my job, but trey did everything in his power to help me keep my way of life, and still keeps up with me any details on my case.

I really appreciated all he did for me.


Trey is a phenomenal attorney that gets the job done right! He is dedicated to help his clients.

He made himself available and answered all my concerns immediately! I had faith in him and he continued to prove his expertise by helping me. I highly recommend Trey Porter!!


Trey Porter fought for me! I am a nurse and thought my career was over.

Very thankful I got Trey Porter involved. He responds to messages regularly and was very thorough.

He saved my career. Forever grateful!


Mr Porter is the real deal. You get what you pay for these days. I know that from my personal business dealings. Attorney Trey Porter was no different.

He was prompt, professional and poised. I was charged with DWI, and Mr Porter got the charge dismissed. I could not be more pleased or thankful. If you get a DWI, hire the best — hire Trey Porter.


Read More Reviews

San Antonio DUI Lawyer

Successful Cases



Driving facts involved failing to maintain a single lane and speeding. Client refused breath test and forced law enforcement to obtain search warrant for blood. Blood test result was not used after challenge from Defense, and State waived and abandoned charge.



Client was a college student, worried about the collateral consequences of an alcohol offense. After negotiation and review of the traffic stop, the case was dismissed. Client received no criminal conviction. The charge was later expunged and deleted from client’s record.



Client was involved in minor accident. Client was at fault in accident. A young executive, client was concerned that a criminal conviction for DWI would result in termination. After review of the traffic stop, it was clear the officer lacked probable cause for arrest. State eventually dismissed DWI charge. Client received no criminal conviction.


DWI 2nd

Client, a military veteran, was facing up to one year in jail. State could not prove intoxication by alcohol, and was prepared to proceed on loss of use by marijuana. After challenging the State to prove that marijuana was ingested at or near time of driving, and that marijuana impaired client’s driving, the State dismissed the case on the day of trial.



Driving facts involved a false claim by police that taillight was out. After challenging the reasonable suspicion for the traffic stop, the State was forced to dismiss the case when video did not match police report. Client has since expunged arrest, and has no criminal record.



Client is a public school teacher and faced immediate termination upon conviction. The facts of the case were bad. State was unwilling to budge in negotiation, and matter was set for trial – the last shot at avoiding a conviction and preserving client’s livelihood. State was forced to dismiss on day of trial. Client has no criminal record, and has since expunged the DWI arrest.

Contact Trey Porter Today

Request a free consultation

The stakes are high. Criminal charges can have devastating, lifelong consequences. During the free, confidential consultation, Mr. Porter will answer questions surrounding your legal matter, and discuss and identify potential defenses.

If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, the State is working on your conviction. It’s time to start building your defense.

Google Rating Avvo Rating