Having a criminal record can be detrimental to your credit, finding employment, and your general reputation. Getting your records out of the public eye is a big step toward putting past mistakes behind you.
Individuals are often rejected for a job or denied an apartment and call our office wanting to obtain an expunction. Expunctions are for individuals who were either never charged, had their case dismissed, or obtained an acquittal following a trial. Most individuals who call will not qualify for an expunction but often times will qualify for an order of nondisclosure.
An order of nondisclosure prohibits the courts and criminal justice agencies from disclosing your criminal history information to all except certain state agencies. The order also allows you to deny the existence of criminal history information that is the subject of the order when completing an employment or licensing application.
In recent years the Texas legislature greatly expanded the availability of orders of nondisclosure. Prior to 2015 only individuals who successfully completed deferred adjudication could petition the court for an order of nondisclosure. In 2015 the legislature expanded the availability of orders of nondisclosure to include individuals with one conviction for driving while intoxicated and certain misdemeanors. The 2015 changes were made retroactive in 2017 so as to include offenses occurring prior to 2015.
Unfortunately, the expansion of availability of nondisclosures increased the complexity of determining who qualifies for a nondisclosure. There are various waiting periods and disqualifying events that might prevent one from obtaining an order of nondisclosure. Many lawyers are still unaware of the changes in the law and will mistakenly tell individuals they do not qualify for an order of nondisclosure.
If you have been arrested, there is a public record related to your arrest. Even if you were not convicted of the offense the arrest record remains unless you petition the court to have your arrest record expunged. Individuals who were arrested and never had charges filed, had the case dismissed, or obtained an acquittal at trial should qualify for an expunction. Unfortunately, there is often a wait to obtain an expunction.
Having a criminal record can be detrimental to you credit, finding employment, and your general reputation. Getting your records out of the public eye is a big step toward putting past mistakes behind you. Contact Edward today to see if you qualify for an expunction or order for non-disclosure of your criminal records 361-489-3414.