A criminal record has many ramifications that will haunt you for the rest of your life. It may keep you from getting the job you want or it may prevent you from leasing an apartment. With the explosion of the Internet, your criminal record is there for everyone to see. In Texas you may be eligible to have your record expunged or sealed if you meet certain criteria.
Most people think that once a case has been dismissed or if they have been acquitted by a Judge or Jury their arrest record for that offense will go away without having to do anything. However, in Texas, even if you are acquitted of a criminal offense, your arrest record does not automatically go away. Instead, it stays on your record until you file a petition with the Court to erase or expunge your record.
If you have been acquitted of an offense, you are eligible for an immediate expunction of your arrest record. In fact, if you file a Petition for Expunction within 30 days of your acquittal, there is no filing fee. If you had your case dismissed, you are eligible for an expunction as soon as the Statute of Limitations expires. If your petition is granted, not only will your arrest record be erased, but you can legally say that you never were even arrested for that particular offense. It’s as though it never happened.
Sometimes, the law doesn’t allow you to fully expunge your record, instead in certain instances you can have your record sealed from the public by having a Petition for Nondisclosure granted by the Court. If you have successfully completed deferred adjudication probation, you may be eligible to have your case sealed. For most misdemeanors, there is no waiting period for filing a Petition for Nondisclosure. For certain misdemeanors, such as Obstruction of a Roadway, there is a two year waiting period before you can file the petition. For Felony offenses, there is a 5 year waiting period after you have successfully completed deferred adjudication probation before you are eligible to file a Petition for Non-Disclosure. If the petition is granted, your arrest and probation record will be sealed and will not be available for public disclosure.
Unfortunately you are not eligible for a Nondisclosure if you were placed on deferred adjudication probation or have been previously convicted or placed on deferred adjudication for the following offenses:
- An offense requiring you to register as a sex offender
- Aggravated Kidnapping
- An offense involving Family Violence
- Murder, Capital Murder
- Injury to a Child, Elderly Individual or Disabled Individual
If you need to get your record erased or sealed, contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. Dallas attorney Neil Pask is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and has been successful in getting criminal records erased or sealed.
Contact Pask Law today for a free consultation. You can contact Neil or Harrison at 214-360-9700 to schedule an appointment to talk to Neil or Harrison about your case.