October 24, 2017

Clearing Your Record

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Criminal Record Expungement
Clear Your Criminal Record


If you are looking to clear your record, contact Brittany Carroll Lacayo at 713-504-0506 to schedule a free initial consultation and case evaluation.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A NON-DISCLOSURE AND AN EXPUNCTION

It is important to understand the difference between an Expunction of a criminal record and the Non-Disclosure of a Criminal Record.


EXPUNCTION (ERASING THE RECORD)

Typically, you may be eligible for an expunction if you were arrested for a crime, but:

  • The charges were dismissed;
  • You tried your case to either a Judge or Jury and you were acquitted (found not guilty);
  • Your case was No Billed by the Grand Jury;
  • You appealed your conviction and you were acquitted by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals;
  • You were convicted and subsequently pardoned;
  • You completed deferred adjudication for a Class C Misdemeanor;
  • Another person pretended to be you when they were arrested;
  • You were never charged with an indictment or information, the charge is no longer pending, and you have not been convicted of a felony in the 5 years preceding the date of the arrest to be expunged.

Once your record is expunged, the release, maintenance, dissemination or use of the expunged file is prohibited. Additionally, after an expunction you may deny the occurrence of the arrest and the existence of the expunction order (except in certain criminal proceedings).


NON-DISCLOSURE (SEALING THE RECORD)

If you pled guilty to a crime and you were placed on Deferred Adjudication, your record could be sealed if you successfully completed it. Your offense record will not automatically go away upon successful completion of Deferred Adjudication, a non-disclosure order is required in order to seal your record.

Non-disclosure is not as beneficial as an expunction. An expunction basically erases a criminal record, while a non-disclosure seals your record. Once your record is sealed only certain designated entities can view your record. After sealing your record you will not be required to disclose that offense on an employment application, and you may deny the arrest and prosecution of the offense (except in certain criminal proceedings).

DISQUALIFICATION

A person is disqualified from sealing their record even if they successfully completed Deferred Adjudication for the following offenses:

  • Any type of family violence
  • Stalking
  • An offense requiring sex-offender registration
  • Murder
  • Capital Murder
  • Aggravated Kidnapping
  • Injury to a child, elderly person, or disabled person
  • Abandoning or endangering a child
  • Violation of a protective order or a magistrate’s order

WAITING PERIOD

Felony: An individual must wait five years after they completed Deferred Adjudication before they can petition for non-disclosure for a felony offense.

Misdemeanor: Generally, an individual can immediately petition for non-disclosure of a misdemeanor offense after they have completed deferred adjudication. However, certain misdemeanors require a two-year waiting period. Misdemeanors that require a two-year waiting period include offenses against the family, kidnapping and unlawful restraint, sexual offenses, assaultive offenses, disorderly conduct and related offenses, and weapons offenses.

If a waiting period applies to your case, you cannot be convicted or put on deferred adjudication for another offense during that period (except traffic tickets).

“BEST INTEREST OF JUSTICE”

Unlike with an expunction, the trial judge must decide whether a petition for non-disclosure is in the “best interest of justice” and should be granted.


ELIGIBILITY FOR EXPUNCTION OR NON-DISCLOSURE

Under Texas law, if you completed straight probation or if you have a final criminal conviction, you are not eligible for expunction or non-disclosure. If you ineligible, you can try to win a pardon from the governor or the president (unlikely), or you can file a writ of Habeas Corpus.


The information contained on this site is for general informational purposes only. The information you obtain at this website is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult a Houston criminal defense attorney for advice regarding your own individual situation. We invite you to contact Brittany Carroll Lacayo at 713-504-0506 to schedule a free initial consultation and case evaluation. Use of this website or submission of an online form, does not create an attorney-client relationship.


Brittany Carroll Lacayo, Houston Criminal Defense Attorney Areas of Practice
DUI/DWI/Drunk Driving Defense Illegal Drug Charges Defense Marijuana Charges Defense
Meth Charges Defense Violation of Probation Charges Defense Assault Charges Defense
Domestic Violence Charges Defense Clear Your Record/Expunge Your Record Criminal Mischief Charges Defense