Criminal arrests last forever in Texas, even if you are not convicted of the crime. Having any type of criminal record often frustrates your ability to obtain a job, secure an apartment, or gain admission to college. You will have to disclose any criminal convictions, even arrests—and someone can find this information with a simple click of the mouse.
Fortunately, Texas allows some records to be wiped out. This is called expungement or expunction. Even if you can’t expunge a record, you might be able to secure an Order of Non-Disclosure, which means no one can reveal it to the public. Contact Tad Nelson & Associates to speak with our Galveston expungement attorney today if you are interested in putting your criminal history behind you.
Qualifying for Expungement
You can seek an expungement in the following cases:
- You were arrested but charges were never filed
- Your criminal charge was dismissed
- You were acquitted at trial
- You were arrested for certain misdemeanor offenses as a juvenile
- You were convicted of specific alcohol offenses as a minor
- Someone else committed the crime due to identity theft, and they are eventually arrested, charged, or convicted of the crime
- You were convicted but later acquitted by the appellate court
- You were pardoned by the President of the United States or by the Governor of Texas
Unfortunately, you cannot seek expungement in the following situations:
The following situations do not meet the eligibility requirements for seeking expungement in Galveston TX:
- You have received probation or deferred adjudication as an adult.
- You have a felony conviction in the past 5 years.
- The offense you want expunged was part of a criminal episode and you were found guilty of another crime in the same episode.
- The statute of limitations for the crime has not expired
You should also know that we have seen that generally, you can only expunge one criminal offense. After that you most likely won’t be able to expunge another.
How to Request Expungement
Most people will benefit from hiring an experienced Galveston expungement lawyer. Your attorney can gather all necessary records and complete the paperwork before submitting it.
You begin the process by filing a Petition to Clear Record in the courthouse where your case was originally handled. This might not be the county where you currently live. The court will schedule a hearing within 90 days.
The hearing is usually uneventful. The judge will confirm with you that the information in your petition is correct and, if they agree with you, the judge issues an Order to Clear Record. Your criminal record is then destroyed and removed from databases.
Difference Between Expungement and an Order of Non-Disclosure
The major difference is what happens to your criminal record:
- Expunction: your records are deleted/destroyed permanently.
- Non-disclosure: your records are sealed, which means the public cannot access them, even though they continue to exist.
If you don’t qualify for expunction, you might still qualify for non-disclosure. Talk about both options with your lawyer. Although expungement is better, non-disclose has many of the same advantages.
One reason people seek an Order of Non-Disclosure is that they were convicted of the offense. That disqualifies you from expungement. Our Galveston expungements lawyer can help file a Petition for Non-Disclosure with the necessary court.
Eligibility for an Order of Non-Disclosure
This is a good option for those who can’t obtain expunction. You should know that some crimes have a waiting period. Serious misdemeanors like domestic violence require at least five years, and felonies typically require 10 years.
Nonetheless, some felonies are not eligible, such as:
- Family violence offenses
- Injuring a child, elderly person, or disabled person
- Aggravated kidnapping
- Abandoning or endangering a child
- Sex offenses that require registration as a sex offender
DWI Offenses & Non-Disclosure
The good news is that Texas allows non-disclosure of some DWI offenses:
- This must be your first DWI offense
- Your BAC cannot be over .14
- You must wait until 2 years after the end of your probationary period
- You must install an ignition interlock device (IID) for six months or else wait for 5 years
You also must keep a clean criminal record during the waiting period.
Deferred adjudication involves deferring a guilty judgment until you complete probation. At that point, the court usually dismisses the case. Many first-time offenders receive deferred adjudication, and the good news is that you can expunge the criminal record if you otherwise qualify.
Tad Nelson is the Right Lawyer for You
The hardest part of expungement is finding out if you qualify in the first place. Tad Nelson has decades of experience as a Galveston criminal defense attorney. He can review your criminal history and identify whether you are eligible for expungement or an order of non-disclosure.
From the moment you contact our office, you will receive compassionate legal advice based on an up-to-date understanding of the law. Texas has regularly revised their expungement law over the past 10 years. We always stay atop of changes and can make sure you take advantage of any expansion in the ability to eliminate a criminal record.
Can I expunge my juvenile record?
Yes. They are sealed, which means the public cannot gain access to them. The juvenile court handles the process.
Do I have to reveal my arrest if my records are expunged?
No. You can answer truthfully on any job application that you do not have a criminal history. This is a great advantage of getting records expunged.
Can I expunge an arrest in a different state?
You will have to check with that state. Texas courts only handle Texas criminal charges. If you were arrested for a crime in Illinois or California, you should consult an attorney in those states who can provide legal advice.
Can I expunge a conviction?
Very rarely. Expunction is not an option for an adult who is convicted of a crime. Only minors convicted of certain offenses can seek expunction. However, you might be eligible for an Order of Non-Disclosure if you were convicted of a crime. Contact our Galveston expungements lawyer to find out more.
Call to Speak with Our Galveston Expungements Lawyer
Now is the time to move on with your life. Criminal arrests and charges cast a shadow over upstanding members of the community. Please reach out to Tad Nelson & Associates to see how we can help.
Contacting us will only take a moment of your day
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