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League City Expungements

League City Expungements

Put Your Criminal Past in the Past

Put Your Criminal Past in the Past

A criminal arrest never really goes away. In addition to being publicly available, your criminal history will crop up again and again as you go through life. Whether you are applying for a job or an apartment, you’ll need to disclose whether you were arrested or prosecuted for a crime. And don’t be surprised if someone chooses not to hire you or turn over keys to an apartment based on your criminal history.

At the Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates, we work with people to help reduce the stigma of a criminal record. Contact us today, and we will discuss whether expungement is an option. Thousands of people in League City and around Texas have had criminal records deleted or sealed. See if you qualify.

What is a League City Expungement?

When you are granted an expungement, your arrest record is deleted. Paper copies are destroyed, and the criminal information is removed from state databases.

An expungement is different from an Order of Nondisclosure, which seals (but does not delete) your criminal records. Because a record is sealed, the public cannot access it. But others, like law enforcement, can.

Who Qualifies for Expungement in League City?

Not everyone with a criminal record can get it expunged. Generally, you can’t expunge a conviction. Instead, you can expunge an arrest or prosecution if one of the following is true:

  • You were arrested but never charged with a crime.
  • You were charged with a crime but ultimately had charges dismissed.
  • You were prosecuted but acquitted at trial.
  • You received a pardon from the Governor or President.
  • You never committed the crime but were instead the victim of identity theft

You might also be eligible for expungement if:

  • You were convicted of a crime, but a court of appeals later acquitted you.
  • The prosecuting attorney recommends expungement.

Further, you aren’t eligible to apply if you have a felony conviction within the past five years. For example, you might have been arrested for disorderly conduct in 2019 but been acquitted. You then were convicted of felony aggravated assault in 2020. You can’t seek expungement of the disorderly conduct arrest because your felony conviction is too soon.

Additionally, there is usually a waiting period. The length depends on the severity of the crime, but you might need to wait up to three years after an arrest to expunge it.

How Do You Seek Expungement?

You will need to file a Petition to Clear Record with the court that handled the case you want expunged. You must include certain information on the petition, such as personal information and details about the crime. You will also attend a hearing where the judge might question you.

We recommend hiring a League City expungements attorney. At Tad Nelson & Associates, we can draft the petition and prepare you for your hearing, which will improve your odds of success. Many people who handle their expungements get turned down in court and show up at a lawyer’s office seeking help. It’s more efficient to hire an attorney ahead of time.

Benefits of Expungement

Once your record is expunged, it doesn’t exist anymore. This means you can deny ever having been arrested or prosecuted for a crime. This makes getting a job, loan, or apartment much easier. You will also have an easier time applying for college or a technical program.

Of course, there are some exceptions. If you apply for certain security clearances or professional licenses, they might require disclosure of any arrest—even those that were expunged.

Can You Qualify for an Order of Non-Disclosure?

If you can’t qualify for an expungement, a non-disclosure order is the next best thing. As mentioned above, this order seals your criminal record. This means court officials and law enforcement cannot disclose it to members of the public, like an employer or creditor. Your record is still accessible to government agencies like the police.

You are eligible for non-disclosure if you completed deferred adjudication and received a discharge and dismissal. Deferred adjudication usually requires that you plead guilty and then complete probation. The judge defers finding you guilty, however, until the end. If you follow all conditions of probation, you receive a discharge and no conviction. You can have the arrest and deferred adjudication sealed.

You might need to wait, depending on the offense. Although minor misdemeanors have no waiting period, serious misdemeanors usually require at least 5 years and felonies 10 years.

You also must have had no other criminal offenses as you wait to be eligible. Keep your nose clean to avoid disqualifying yourself.

Realize that some felonies—such as murder or sex offenses—are not eligible for a non-disclosure order. Let a League City criminal defense attorney review your record to determine if you qualify.

Can You Get an Order of Non-Disclosure for DWI?

We receive this question a lot. The answer is, “possibly.” You’ll need to satisfy some criteria:

  • This is your first DWI offense, and
  • Your BAC is below .15

If you are eligible, you must wait two years after your probationary period ends and must install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) on your vehicle for six months. If you don’t want to install the IID, you’ll have to wait longer—five years from the date you complete probation.

As you can surmise, not all DWI offenders are eligible. You can’t seek a non-disclosure order if this is your second or subsequent DWI, if you had a BAC of .15 or higher, or your probation was not completed.

Speak with a League City Criminal Defense Attorney

Getting a criminal record expunged or sealed can provide immediate relief to many people. You can now begin taking positive steps forward, such as finding a job or applying to school. You will no longer have the shadow of a brush with the law following you around.

For assistance, contact Tad Nelson today. This law firm will analyze whether you qualify for either expungement or an order of non-disclosure. We can also complete the necessary paperwork.