Temple Expunction & Non-Disclosure Attorney
Many people make mistakes in the past, and these lapse of judgement shouldn’t cause problems for the rest of your life. Unfortunately, criminal records tend to last forever, which means you will need to disclose arrests and convictions whenever you apply for a job, apartment, or loan.
In Texas, helpfully, some criminal defendants can clear their criminal records using either expunction or non-disclosure. Many people would benefit from the assistance of a Temple expunction attorney, however, so contact The Law Office of Katie L. Gomez, PLLC today.
Expunction versus Non-Disclosure
Expunction is also called “expungement” in Texas. With this process, your criminal conviction will be wiped from all criminal databases in the state. This means that if someone searches the database for your name, the expunged arrest or conviction will not show up.
Non-disclosure is a little different. If you receive a non-disclosure order, you are not legally required to disclose the criminal offense. The offense remains in databases and is not wiped; however, government agencies are not required to provide this information even if requested. Although less strong than expunction, a non-disclosure order can benefit a person greatly as they try to get themselves established after a dust-up with the law.
Are You Eligible for Expunction?
Texas doesn’t let just anyone request expunction. Instead, you are eligible if you meet the following:
- Arrested but never formally charged with the crime
- Acquitted of the charge
- Completed a pretrial diversion program
- Convicted but then pardoned
- Convicted but then exonerated
There is also a waiting period in many cases, which will depend on whether you were charged with a felony or a misdemeanor. Some defendants will need to wait up to three years.
Are You Eligible for Non-Disclosure?
You may seek an order of non-disclosure only if you received deferred adjudication probation, where you complete probation before a judge dismisses the charge. You also can’t have received any other criminal charges (apart from traffic tickets).
Texas has recently changed the law regarding non-disclosure. Previously, anyone seeking it must have filed a petition with a court. However, some defendants can now automatically receive an order for non-disclosure depending on the offenses they were charged with. Those not automatically eligible can still file a petition in court seeking relief.
How an Attorney Can Help
Seeking expunction or non-disclosure is often harder than many people realize. With expunction, a defendant makes a request to a civil court, which will notify certain parties (such as the prosecutor) and hold a hearing. The prosecutor might agree with the expunction request or object, in which case a defendant must present compelling evidence to the judge.
By contrast, a non-disclosure proceeding takes place in the criminal court that handled your criminal case, unless you are automatically eligible for non-disclosure. The process still can be confusing for defendants.
We also encourage you to seek out legal advice if you are applying for a professional license, even if you receive expunction or non-disclosure. Many agencies can get at criminal records, even when sealed, and applicants must disclose their criminal histories under oath.
Contact Our Temple Expunction Attorney to Review
Lean into your future today by meeting with our firm to discuss clearing criminal arrests and convictions. We offer a free consultation to those who call or send an online message.