A criminal record is a difficult thing to carry around. It can affect your employment and living opportunities for the rest of your life. Fortunately, Texas allows some individuals with criminal records to request that their records be sealed or expunged so that they will no longer be publicly available.
What’s the difference between expunging and sealing a criminal record?
If you have a criminal record expunged, it means that your records are deleted and destroyed. In fact, if your record has been expunged, you can deny ever being arrested in the first place. You can even deny that you had the record expunged.
In contrast, when a criminal record is sealed as part of an Order of Nondisclosure, your record will no longer be accessible to the general public but will still be available for use by the criminal justice system. In addition, criminal justice agencies will still be able to disclose your criminal record to a list of other agencies or potential employers, such as schools, upon request.
How do you get a criminal record expunged or sealed in Texas?
In order to expunge a criminal record in Texas, a petition for expunction must be filed requesting a judge to sign an order directing all involved agencies to destroy or delete all records relating to your criminal arrest. Generally, in order to qualify for an expunction, your criminal case must have been dismissed. In order to obtain a nondisclosure, a request for nondisclosure must be filed in the court that prosecuted your case. In any case, if you do nothing, even if your case was dismissed, your criminal arrest record will always be available for the world to see unless you take the necessary steps to obtain an expunction or an order of nondisclosure.
Providing Texas residents with new beginnings
If you have a criminal record in Texas and want to get it sealed or expunged, don’t go at it alone. The petitioning process is complex and is best be done by an experienced criminal law attorney. The Law Offices of Keith G. Allen, PLLC protects the rights of its clients with smart and effective representation to get the best outcome possible. Call (832) 230-0075 today for a free initial consultation.