Expunctions and Record Sealing Lawyer
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Clear Your Criminal Record In Texas
Texas Order of Expunction
A criminal record can have a significant impact on one’s life. Many people don’t realize that their criminal records are available to everyone, including prospective employers, neighbors, or anyone else who wants to view their criminal history. For this reason, many people seek the assistance of an expungement lawyer in an attempt to clear their criminal records.
Texas law does allow individuals to remove information about an arrest or charge from their records under certain circumstances. This is called an Expunction. An expunction allows for all information to be removed from the person’s criminal record as if it never occurred.
To qualify for an expunction, a certain criterion MUST be met. Records eligible for an expunction include:
- NAn arrest for a crime that was never charged.
- NA criminal charge that was ultimately dismissed.
- NAn acquittal (not guilty) at trial.
- NStatue of limitations for the crime has expired.
**The statue of limitations is the amount of time that the state or county must pursue an action against a person after that person has been arrested for an offense. The statue of limitations may vary depending on the crime. **
Expunctions are only available if the above qualifications are met.
A person convicted of any offense, whether a misdemeanor or a felony, is NOT eligible for an expunction regardless of the length of time that has passed since the conviction. If the charge/case was not dismissed, the offense does not qualify.
Texas Order of Non-Disclosure
For cases that do not qualify for an Expunction under Texas law, there is another option available.
A nondisclosure is a court order prohibiting public entities, such as courts and police departments, from disclosing certain criminal records to the public. A nondisclosure does not completely remove a criminal arrest from a person’s record, but it will keep the records available only to the courts and law enforcement agencies.
To qualify for a nondisclosure, a certain criterion MUST be met. You are entitled to file a petition if the following conditions are met:
- NYou must have been place on deferred adjudicated community supervision (probation)
- NYou must have successfully completed the deferred adjudicated probation with no violations or revocations
- The court has issued an order of dismissal and discharge on your case
- NFor a misdemeanor offense, you cannot have any new offenses (arrests) during a period of two (2) years from the date of dismissal
- NFor felony offenses, you cannot have any new offenses (arrests) during a period of five (5) years from the date of dismissal
It is important to keep and maintain any records regarding an arrest/case, especially if the case was ultimately dismissed. When petitioning for an expunction or nondisclosure, accurate information will be needed. Good record keeping will be extremely beneficial as it will help minimize any potential delays during the petition process.
You can request copies of court documents via the County and District Clerk offices. Copies of dismissals and discharge documents from probation will be required as part of the petition process.
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