What is the difference between expunction and nondisclosure in Texas?

Expunction and nondisclosure are two legal processes that can help limit the impact of a criminal record. Expunction completely erases eligible criminal records from public access, as if the arrest or charge never occurred. Nondisclosure, also known as an order of nondisclosure, seals eligible records from public view but does not entirely remove them. Law enforcement and certain government agencies may still access sealed records in specific circumstances.

Who is eligible for expunction in Texas?

Expunction eligibility in Texas typically includes individuals who were arrested but not charged, had their charges dismissed, were acquitted at trial, or completed a pretrial diversion program for certain offenses. Some cases involving a conviction may be eligible for expunction under specific circumstances, such as if the conviction was later overturned or the defendant received a pardon.

How do I request an expunction or nondisclosure in Texas?

To request an expunction or nondisclosure, you must file a petition with the court where the case was handled. The process generally involves completing the appropriate forms, submitting them to the court, and attending a hearing where a judge will determine your eligibility. It's recommended that you consult with an attorney experienced in expunctions and nondisclosures to ensure your petition is properly prepared and filed.

What is the waiting period for expunction or nondisclosure in Texas?

The waiting period for expunction or nondisclosure varies depending on the type of offense and the outcome of the case. Generally, for a Class C misdemeanor with no conviction, the waiting period for expunction is 180 days from the date of the arrest. For a felony with no conviction, the waiting period is three years. Nondisclosure waiting periods depend on the specific offense and whether the individual completed deferred adjudication probation or received a regular conviction. However, these waiting periods may change based on the unique circumstances of each case.

Can all criminal records be expunged or sealed in Texas?

Not all criminal records are eligible for expunction or nondisclosure in Texas. Generally, convictions for most offenses cannot be expunged, except in cases where the conviction was overturned or the individual received a pardon. Some convictions may be eligible for an order of nondisclosure, depending on the offense and the completion of specific requirements, such as deferred adjudication probation. An experienced attorney can help you determine your eligibility for expunction or nondisclosure based on your specific circumstances.

 Expunctions in Texas offer individuals the opportunity to clear their criminal records of certain arrests, charges, or convictions. This process can help individuals restore their reputations and move forward in life without the burden of a criminal record negatively impacting their employment, housing, or educational prospects.

In Texas, expunction eligibility depends on several factors, including the type of offense, the disposition of the case, and the passage of a certain amount of time. The process can be complex, and navigating the legal requirements can be challenging.

At The Law Offices of John Green, PLLC, we understand the importance of a clean record and are experienced in guiding clients through the expunction process, ensuring that all necessary steps are taken to maximize the chances of a successful outcome. If you believe you may be eligible for an expunction in Texas, our skilled legal team is ready to help you take control of your future.