Criminal Record Sealing Law in Texas
If you live in Texas, a criminal record can have very negative effects and can injure a person’s reputation. It may interfere with your ability to get a loan, employment, or a home. If you are experiencing such a problem, you may seal or expunge your criminal record to set the record straight.
Expunction, Nondisclosure & Criminal Record Sealing
If you want to prevent your criminal record from being seen by anyone, you can take two approaches.
- You can file a petition for non-disclosure. Nondisclosure seals the arrest record and prevents any interested party such as potential employers and property owners from accessing your records.
- You can also opt for expunction or expungement. This one will clear your record completely as though the arrest never took place. This one is appropriate if you were charged but was not jailed or put on probation. It fully clears your name.
However, even if you succeed in getting a disclosure, there is a certain criminal record that may be exempted from the disclosure under the Public Information Act of Texas. The information can be released to other authorized criminal justice agencies and non-criminal justice agencies as well.
Texas Criminal Expungement
According to the Texas Code of Criminal procedure, people that have been charged with certain criminal offenses may qualify for expungement. However, if you were convicted of the crime, then your record cannot be expunged. To make your record inaccessible, you can have it sealed or file a non-disclosure order.
Record expunction consequently deletes the crime or offense that one is seeking to be expunged. The option of expunction is available for the following individuals:
- Those charged with a crime but late acquitted
- Those accused of a criminal offense mistakenly
- Those whose charges were later dismissed
If you are filing for expunction in Texas, you must follow certain procedure during the petition. For instance, one must provide the following:
- Personal verification information such as date of birth, name, race, sex, social security number, driver’s license number and address
- The crime that one was charged with
- The date of arrest
- The county or municipality where one was arrested
- The arresting agency
- The case number and the court that handled the cased
- Any law enforcement agency that has any info about the crime any criminal records or files pertaining to the individual seeking expunction
The law requires the court to expunge the record if the petitioner is eligible within 30 days of the acquittal of the charges.
Non-Disclosure of a Criminal Record in Texas
If you were placed on deferred adjudication through community supervision or probation in Texas, you can only conceal your criminal record by sealing or requesting a non-disclosure according to the Texas Government Act. Once the record is sealed, they do not have to mention it again in any criminal proceeding or application for employment or anything else for that matter.
Texas Non-Disclosure Eligibility
A felony offender qualifies for a non-disclosure five years after completing their community supervision or deferred adjudication program.
A misdemeanor offender can apply immediately after the term or may be required to wait for at least two years before petitioning for a non-disclosure. The two-year waiting period applies to offenses such as indecent exposure, assault, unlawful carrying of a weapon, harassment, and unlawful possession of a firearm.
Individuals charged with the following offenses do not qualify to file a petition for non-disclosure:
- Sexual assault
- Aggravated sexual assault
- Capital murder
- Indecency with a child
- Family violence offenses
- Violation of a protection[n order
- Aggravated kidnapping
Reasons for Seeking Expunction
- You can state on a job application that you have never been arrested
- You can easily obtain licenses and professional certificates
- It will affect your financial status and credit rating positively
In addition to the above, the record will be kept hidden from the potential employers, college or graduate school authorities, agencies that provide public housing or any other interested parties.
You can also deny having arrested for any crime in Texas.
Need help with criminal record sealing?
Contact A Licensed Texas Lawyer today!
If you have been charged before and you need to expunge your record, you will need an experienced attorney in Texas. Having a criminal record can hinder you from advancing in life. It may hinder you from securing a job, being admitted to a college or even getting loans and acquiring a house. You do not want to live with this for the rest of your life. That is why you need a lawyer in Texas to have your case successfully expunged or disclosed.