Expungement Law in Texas
Expungement and Sealing
There are some distinct differences between expungement and sealing.
Expungement, which is also referred to as expunction, means that a criminal record is completely eliminated. Thus, it’s as if a record never existed.
Record sealing, also known as non-disclosure, is where the access to a record is limited, which in turn, makes it more difficult for anyone to find out about an individual’s criminal history. A court order or governmental agency may still gain access to the record or review.
Am I Eligible?
It is wise to seek advice from an Austin Expunction lawyer.
You are eligible for an expunction if:
- You have been arrested but not charged
- Your charge has been dismissed
- Your offense is alcohol-related and also minor
- Your offense was a misdemeanor juvenile which qualifies
- You’ve been arrested on account of identity theft but another individual was arrested,
- Charged, and then convicted of the crime
- You’ve been convicted for Failure to Attend School
- You’ve received a U.S. presidential or governor’s pardon
- The Criminal Court of Appeals has acquitted you
Your record may also be sealed from public view. Given this scenario, only a government agency could view your record or it may also be viewed if a court order is served. A non-disclosure is only available should you be on deferred adjudication and have completed the process successfully without any convictions since then. It is still, however, entirely at the judge’s discretion.
Requirements for Expungement and Non-disclosure
You need to apply for offenses separately to have records restricted. Further, it might not be possible for all the records to be restricted as the request may be denied.
When applying for expungement or non-disclosure, you should provide personal information: date of birth, Social Security number, as well as case and arrest details.
How to File for Both
Before attempting to file for both, you should quickly read through the Texas Criminal Code which details how records are expunged. Either this, or obtain an Order of Nondisclosure. The process is relatively similar for both:
· Make an application for the Petition for Expunction or Nondisclosure. Complete the form and get it notarized.
· The court schedules a hearing and notifies all pertinent parties.
· The hearing is conducted by the court and all respondents are invited to contribute.
· Your petition should be granted and filed if you meet the requirements.
· If any information is missing it can result in a denial. It’s worth noting that the judge has more discretion with respect to a nondisclosure than with an expunction.
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