Expunge Criminal Record
You may be eligible to expunge a criminal record in Texas or seal a criminal
record in Texas. If you do this, you can deny in almost all applications for
employment, information, or licensing to state that you have been the
subject of any criminal proceeding related to the criminal record that was
expunged or sealed.
Are you ready to erase a criminal record in Texas? Would you like to clear a
criminal record in Texas?
The legislature has wisely established laws that enable an eligible citizen to
seal a criminal record in Texas by first filing a petition for nondisclosure. If
these citizens do not exercise their right to seal the criminal record in Texas,
then employers, apartment managers, school admissions committees, and
private individuals will be able to see the record. If you are eligible, you have
many reasons to take advantage of the opportunity to seal your criminal
record in Texas by first filing a petition for nondisclosure.
You may have heard this also described as expunging a record, expunction
of a record, or expungement of a record. But these three terms all refer to a
different procedure in Texas - to expunge a criminal record in Texas.
Expunging a criminal record is not the same thing as a petition for
nondisclosure that can seal a criminal record in Texas.
Rachel M. was arrested for possession of marijuana under 2 oz. in March,
2008. Her defense attorney filed a motion to suppress the evidence against
her, arguing that the officer did not have reasonable suspicion to detain her.
Her case was dismissed. Two years later Rachel applied for an apartment
near her university. Her application was denied because of her criminal
arrest record in Texas. She contacted her attorney who filed a petition to
expunge the criminal record in Texas. The court expunged her criminal
record. Three months later Rachel applied for the same apartment complex and her application was accepted. You, too, can benefit when you clear a
criminal record in Texas. You can be helped immediately when you erase a
criminal record in Texas!
Expunctions and Non-Disclosures
Expunctions and non-disclosures differ from each other. Expunctions destroy
any criminal records so that not even law enforcement can see the record.
Non-disclosures essentially seal the record from public view, but law
enforcement can view it.
Again, once your record is expunged or sealed, you are not required in any
application for employment or licensing to state that you have been the
subject of any criminal proceeding related to the information that is the
subject of your non-disclosure order. Texas Gov't Code 411.081(g-2)
You may also deny the occurrence of the arrest and prosecution related to
the information, unless the information, in the case of a non-disclosure, is
being used against you in a subsequent criminal proceeding or is a special
exception for certain professional licenses. Texas Gov't Code 552.142
You have the right to an expunction if you have been acquitted by a trial
court, or Court of Criminal Appeals, or you have been pardoned. You also
have the right to an expunction if you were arrested but a) the case was not
filed, was dismissed or "no billed" and either 1) no indictment or filing by
information occurred and the waiting period has passed (180 days for class
C misdemeanors; 1 year for Class A and B misdemeanors; 3 years for all
felonies), or 2) indictment or filing by information was dismissed for mistake
or fraud, or 3) the statute of limitations has expired. If you receive a
deferred disposition for a class C misdemeanor, you may expunge the record
after a successful completion of the deferred adjudication and the dismissal
of the charge.
James N. was indicted for negligent homicide when his vehicle struck and
killed a man on the highway. The DA argued that the excessive speed and
careless driving of James caused the death. The defense presented evidence
supporting their claim that James was driving within the speed limit and
exercising reasonable caution. The jury found James not guilty. Still, when
James applied for a job in his field a company denied him employment when
they saw he had been arrested for a serious charge that had resulted in the
death of a pedestrian. James contacted his attorney who filed a petition for
expungement of the record of the arrest and indictment. Within months
James had a job in the field of his choice.
Two Ways to Clear Criminal Record
We can clear a criminal record in Texas in two different ways. Some parts of
your record may be eligible for expungement. Other parts may be eligible to
be sealed after successfully filing a petition for non-disclosure. Either way
you may be eligible to completely or substantially erase your criminal record
You have the right to a non-disclosure of your offense after a successful
discharge and dismissal of a deferred adjudication. In some cases there is a
waiting period after the successful completion of the deferred adjudication.
You must wait five years for felonies; 2 years for misdemeanors under Penal
Code Ch. 20, 21, 22, 25, 42 and 46 (these include unlawful restraint,
offenses, assaultive and disorderly conduct and weapons offenses); but you
are immediately eligible for almost all other misdemeanors.
However, a person is ineligible for a non-disclosure if ever convicted or
placed on deferred adjudication for: indecency with a child; aggravated
kidnapping with intent to abuse victim sexually; burglary of a habitation with
intention to abuse victim sexually; compelling prostitution; possession or
promotion of child; unlawful restraint; kidnapping or aggravated kidnapping
of person younger than 17; capital; abandoning or endangering child;
stalking; aggravated sexual assault; sexual assault; incest; sexual
performance by a child; indecent exposure (2nd conviction); attempt,
conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of the previous offenses; online
solicitation of a minor; continuous sexual abuse of young children; injury to
a child or elderly; violation of a protective order; any offense involving family
Robert M. was arrested for misdemeanor A criminal mischief when he and a
group of high school friends damaged property at a bar the night of
graduation. He waived his right to a trial and entered into an agreement with
the state for two years of deferred adjudication probation. "Adjudication"
refers to the determination of guilt or innocence. Since the adjudication was
deferred there was no determination of guilt or innocence - no conviction.
Robert successfully completed his probation period, including working
diligently to repay the cost of the damage he had caused. Yet when a woman
he met on a social networking site looked up his background, she discovered
he had a criminal record and declined to meet him. Robert contacted his
attorney who filed a petition for non-disclosure to seal a Texas criminal
record. Three months later Robert met another woman on the Internet. She
also did a background check. Finding nothing, she accepted his invitation to
Isn't it time for you to clear a criminal record in Texas?