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Information on Clearing Your Criminal Record in Texas

 Posted on March 13,2024 in Post Conviction

Conroe criminal defense lawyerUnder Texas law, those with certain qualifying criminal offenses may be eligible to clear their record through either an expunction or a non-disclosure. These legal processes can provide a clean slate and open up jobs and other life opportunities that a criminal history may have otherwise restricted. A Texas lawyer can help determine if you have the potential to clear your record.

What is an Expunction?

An expunction, also called an expungement, is the destruction of arrest records. It treats the arrest as though it never occurred. To qualify for an expunction in Texas, you must have been arrested but not charged with an offense, had charges dismissed, acquitted, or pardoned. Also, the statute of limitations cannot have expired if no charges were brought.

If granted an expunction, agencies and entities with your arrest records must destroy them. Your records are removed from public access, and you may legally deny that the arrest ever happened or that records exist. Certain types of records, such as records of your arrest held by federal agencies, are not subject to expunction.

What is a Non-Disclosure?

non-disclosure order in Texas seals eligible criminal records from public view and access. It treats the offense as confidential. You must have completed probation or deferred adjudication to qualify for a non-disclosure. Certain offenses are not eligible, such as violent crimes, sex offenses, and DUIs.

A criminal record still exists if granted a non-disclosure, but access to it is severely limited by law. Most entities holding records, like courts and police, are restricted from releasing information about non-disclosed offenses. Some agencies, like criminal justice agencies, may still access non-disclosed records for limited purposes.

Eligibility and Process

Eligibility for expunctions or non-disclosures depends on the type of offense and other case factors. The process begins by consulting with a criminal lawyer to assess qualifications and options. Required forms, affidavits, fees, and other supporting documents must be filed in the originating court. A judge then reviews and grants or denies the request based on the merits. The court handles delivering orders to remove records.

Benefits of an Expunction or Non-Disclosure

Clearing a criminal record through expunction or non-disclosure lifts barriers to obtaining housing, employment, financial aid, loans, and more. An expunction offers the cleanest slate since records are erased. However, non-disclosure also provides many benefits, such as concealing information from the general public and sealing it from most entities. Removing past offense records helps qualify for jobs, enter rental housing, restore gun ownership rights, and fully take part in civic life.

Contact a Conroe, TX Criminal Defense Attorney

For qualifying criminal offenses, expunctions erase arrest history, and non-disclosures seal records from public access. These legal processes open opportunities otherwise limited by a person’s criminal past. Consulting with a Montgomery County, TX criminal defense lawyer is beneficial to determine eligibility and legal process requirements. Call Pullan & Young at 936-647-1540 for a free consultation with our team, which has 20 years of experience.

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