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 certain individuals with criminal records to request that their records be sealed or expunged so that they will no longer be publicly available. Here are a few things you should know about sealing or expunging a criminal record in Pearland, Brazoria County, or the surrounding areas.
What’s the Difference Between Sealing and Expunging a 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; however, it will still be available for use by the criminal justice system. This means that 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 Can I Expunge or Seal My Criminal Record in Texas?
In order to expunge a criminal record in Texas, you must file a petition for expunction asking for 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. To obtain a nondisclosure and have your records sealed, you need to file a nondisclosure request in the court that prosecuted your case. In either scenario, 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 People with New Beginnings.
If you have a criminal record in Texas and want to get it sealed or expunged, don’t try to go it alone. The petitioning process is complex and requires the expertise of a knowledgeable criminal law attorney. The Law Offices of Keith G. Allen, PLLC protects the rights of its clients with smart and effective representation to secure the best outcome possible. Call (832) 230-0075 today for a free initial consultation.