In Texas, there are options for most criminal cases that are disposed of without a conviction to either be expunged or eligible for non-disclosures. It’s important to understand the difference between these two types of sealing.
Expunction removes all trace of a criminal charge from a person’s record. If a charge is expunged, a person can legally deny they have ever been arrested or charged with an offense. No law enforcement agency will have a record of the case. Applying for an expunction usually involves a waiting period depending on the type of case involved, whether misdemeanor or felony, and will also depend on how the case was disposed of without a conviction. No convictions are eligible for expunction.
If you think you might have a case eligible for expunction, contact me for a free consultation to see if you are eligible. Expunction requires filing of documents with the court and paying a filing fee. Attempting to get a case expunged before it is eligible will mean having to pay those fees and file those documents again when it becomes eligible.
Non-Disclosure is not as clean as an expunction. A non-disclosure is an order that tells reporting agencies that a case cannot be disclosed to private entities. Government agencies, licensing bureaus and numerous other organizations are excluded from the non-disclosure and will still be able to see the case and its resolution. Applying for a non-disclosure is not as complicated as an expunction but still requires filing of documents with a court. There are waiting periods and the types of offenses eligible is much broader. It does give some relief to individuals who have cases that are ineligible for expunction. There’s even some limited circumstances where a person with a DWI conviction may be eligible for a non-disclosure. Importantly, an affirmative finding of family violence made by a judge at a plea will negate any possibility of non-disclosure of that case or any other.
Understanding how family violence findings and other case resolutions affect your ability to seal your case in the future is important. Before pleading, contact me to discuss your options. I will fight hard for the best resolution for your case and your future.
If you think you may be eligible for a non-disclosure, contact us for a free consultation.