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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:
Expunctions are only available if the above qualifications are met.
A person convicted of any offence, whether a misdemeanor of 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.
For cases which 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:
Any charge with a finding of Family Violence, does NOT qualify for a nondisclosure.
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.