How do i clear my criminal record in texas
Although the names are similar, deferred prosecution is very different from deferred adjudication, which is a type of probation. Unlike deferred adjudication probation, a straight probation case does not qualify for expunction or non-disclosure because it counts as a conviction.
If you think you may be eligible for expunction or nondisclosure of a particular charge, and your criminal history contains anything else more serious than a traffic ticket, then you may need to hire an attorney to review your case and the applicable rules to determine your eligibility status. In most cases, if you qualify for an expunction, then you have a legal right to have the records of your arrest and prosecution deleted and destroyed.
There are a couple of paths to expunction eligibility that are within the discretion of the District Judge, but those paths represent a tiny fraction of the total number of eligible cases. Non-disclosure is different in that qualifying for non-disclosure means that a judge will have the authority to order the records sealed from the general public if he or she believes that sealing them would be in the best interest of justice.
In other words, judges are not required to grant non-disclosure to everyone that qualifies. The types of charges that are simply not eligible to be sealed are listed in the exception list above.
Because petitions for expunction are filed in District Court, it is possible to file a single petition for the expunction that covers multiple cases as long as those cases were filed in the same county. The cases do not have to arise out of the same incident nor must they have been filed in the same court. Petitions for order of non-disclosure must be filed in the same court that put the defendant on deferred adjudication probation.
In most cases, a waiting period is required before filing a petition for expunction or non-disclosure. Arrests for lower level offenses generally have a shorter waiting period than those for higher level crimes, but the precise duration depends on the specific offense and the disposition of the case i. The most common route to expunction eligibility requires waiting for the time specified by the statute of limitations to pass.
The limitations period is two years for all misdemeanors and three years for most felonies. The waiting period is five years after the termination of community supervision for all felonies and two years for those misdemeanors defined in the following chapters of the Texas Penal Code:. Eligibility for nondisclosure is forfeited if you are convicted or put on deferred adjudication probation, for any crime worse than a traffic ticket, either while serving community supervision or during the waiting period after probation is terminated.
It typically takes days to get a petition for expunction or non-disclosure before a judge in Travis County due to statutory notice requirements and depending on how quickly you and your attorney can gather the necessary documents and complete the required paperwork. Once the order is granted, you can deny the arrest on employment applications, but the Texas Department of Public Safety may take a few weeks to seal your records after non-disclosure is granted and several months to confirm that records of an arrest were deleted and destroyed pursuant to an expunction order. No, I take cases only in Travis County, Texas.
Although the laws that apply to expunction and non-disclosure are the same across Texas, the local procedures can vary significantly from county to county. Your best bet for a successful expunction or non-disclosure is to hire a criminal defense attorney with experience in the county where you were arrested.
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Expungement and Expunction in Texas
Can I get my criminal record expunged, deleted or sealed? Therefore, the information below is provided as a courtesy to assist the public in obtaining information on these topics and is not intended to be a substitute for the legal advice of a licensed attorney.
If you have questions regarding a particular topic or issue, please seek the advice of legal counsel. Lawyer referrals are available from your local bar association or the State Bar of Texas at www. Expunctions Chapter 55 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure contains provisions for the expunction of arrest records, court records and criminal history record information.
The statute specifically details the requirements and procedures to properly expunge records in Texas. See below for more information on juvenile record sealing.
There are some types of cases that cannot be cleared by non-disclosure even though there was no conviction and someone successfully completed deferred adjudication.
While sealing your record via a nondisclosure is an important step in clearing up your record, there are still some groups and entities that will have access to your record. Agencies that will still have access to your record include:.
It depends on the offense. For most misdemeanors, a nondisclosure can be obtained anytime on or after discharge and dismissal of the case. For misdemeanors involving kidnapping and unlawful restraint, sexual offenses, assaultive offenses, offenses against the family, disorderly conduct or weapons, a nondisclosure can be obtained anytime on or after the second anniversary of discharge and dismissal of the case.
For Felonies, a nondisclosure can be obtained anytime on or after the fifth anniversary of discharge and dismissal of the case. If you or your child have been subject to the Texas Juvenile Justice System, even if the matter was ultimately dismissed, it is still very likely that a juvenile criminal record of the incident still exists.
Contrary to popular belief, juvenile records are not automatically sealed. However, most criminal agencies still have access to these records and can use them against a person in later criminal proceedings unless he or she takes the steps to seal the records. Under the Texas Family Code, Section If a juvenile record is not sealed, anyone with a legitimate interest potential employers, college admissions offices, etc. Getting a juvenile record sealed is an important step to ensuring a bright and successful future.Howto expunge or seal your criminal record in Texas.
Not all juvenile records can be sealed. If a how was moved to an adult criminal court for an offense, that offense cannot be sealed. Certain offenses, including but not limited to sex offenses requiring registration, murder, stalking and family violence offenses, are not record.
If you were convicted, received and successfully completed probation, you may be eligible to have the conviction set aside. If your conviction is set aside, it may still show up in some background checks, but it will appear dismissed with no finding of guilt. Certain offenses, including DUI and certain felonies, are not eligible to be set aside. Additionally, certain counties in Texas are not currently offering or granting set asides, please take the eligibility test for more information.
If you are on probation you might be able to terminate the probation early or reduce the amount of time you have left by petitioning the court to do so. To qualify you must make sure you have paid all fees, fines and restitution and completed all court ordered classes.
The judge will determine if discharging you from probation early will serve the ends of texas. Visit our probation termination page for further information. If your civil rights have been lost in Texas because of a federal crime or a conviction in clear country, you can apply for a restoration of civil rights. Certain offenses, involving violence, drugs or guns, are not eligible. If you were convicted of a federal offense, you must wait 3 years from the date of your conviction to apply.
If you were convicted in another country, you must wait 2 years from the date of your conviction to apply. Texas law allows for you to petition to get your juvenile record sealed. You must have no convictions of a felony or misdemeanor crime of criminal turpitude or adjudications since your discharge. Also, you must have not received a determinate sentence in a juvenile penitentiary.
You must wait two years since you were discharged but if there was no adjudication, there is no waiting period. The first step is this eligibility test to discover your options in regards to clearing your Texas record.
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