If you’ve been arrested or charged with a crime, you may be wondering if there’s anything you can do to clear your criminal history. Were you not hired for the job you really wanted, because you’ve been arrested or placed on probation? Possibly, the career path you might have otherwise chosen for yourself has been blocked, due to your criminal record. Having trouble renting an apartment or condo, due to your past? Unfortunately, even if you’ve successfully completed deferred adjudication probation, or even if your case was dismissed or you were acquitted at trial, these events remain as part of your criminal history information. Your case may have ended years ago, but its effects can last a lifetime. Fortunately, in some cases, there is a solution.
In Texas, there are two ways in which you can clear your criminal record: expunction (also known as expungement) and nondisclosure. The outcome of your case determines which of these can be used to clear your record. Also, the legal effect of each of these remedies differs slightly.
If you successfully completed deferred adjudication probation, your case has been dismissed. You’re record does not reflect that you were convicted. However, potential employers, apartment leasing agents, and, in fact, anyone who has a computer and an internet connection (or even a smart phone!) can readily learn about your criminal charges. However, you may be eligible for an order of nondisclosure. An order of nondisclosure seals your record from public view. Once granted, an order of nondisclosure allows you to deny that you were ever arrested or charged with the crime, even when filling out applications for jobs or apartments. Even under oath, in a civil deposition, you can then deny that you were ever arrested or charged. Certain governmental agencies will still be able to obtain this information (e.g., law enforcement, the State Bar of Texas, etc). For most purposes, an order of nondisclosure can free you from the burdens with which your criminal case has saddled you.
An expunction destroys any record of the charge to which it pertains. To be eligible for an expungement, you must have been arrested but never charged, acquitted at trial, no billed by the grand jury, or had your case dismissed outright. Once granted, an expunction destroys any record of the arrest or charge. As with an order of nondisclosure, you can then deny the existence of this criminal case. No one, not even law enforcement, will be able to access this information.
Have you been arrested, or charged with a crime? Did you successfully complete deferred adjudication probation? Call the Dallas expunction and nondisclosure lawyers at Berlof & Newton, P.C. Our attorneys have vast experience assisting clients with expungements and orders of nondisclosure. We can advise you as to whether you’re eligible for either of these remedies, and assist you in obtaining them. Free consultation. Call us today at 214.827.2800, or contact one of our lawyers directly using the “Get Legal Help Now!” form in the left margin of this web page. Se habla español.
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