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Published on October 31st, 2020 | by Bibhuranjan

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Are you Eligible to Expunge Your Criminal Records in Texas?

If the case is dismissed, all types of criminal charges can be dropped. But in some cases, judges or courts can only dismiss certain types of charges.

Expungement is a procedure through which the court orders to clear someone’s criminal history. It is also known as “non-enforcement.” After deleting the record, at least according to Texas’s law, the arrest record will disappear.

Likewise, expungement will delete the allegation record. An arrest will not appear during background checks, which are essential for those looking to rent a home or in the job market.

Expungement/Criminal Record Sealing

Most of the time, we learn from our mistakes and move on in our lives. But sometimes, wherever we go, our mistakes will follow us.

When you are arrested, charged, or convicted of a crime, it will be displayed in your criminal record, and anyone can view it.

No matter how you change and improve your life after the “mistake” occurs, your criminal history may continue to affect your employment, education, housing, and economic opportunities for years to come.

So how can you finally leave your past behind and start a new, fresh phase of life?

Depending on the crime and the circumstances surrounding that crime, you may be eligible to seal or delete records. The sealed record means that the public will not be able to see it.

However, law enforcement officials and other government agencies can still access it. After deleting the record, the record will be completely erased as if it did not exist in the first place.

Let us look at the requirements for sealing or deleting criminal records and how to initiate the procedure if eligible. Get a San Antonio expungement lawyer to get proper help in this matter.

Seal Texas Criminal Record

If you want to seal a criminal record in Texas, you need to seek a non-disclosure order.

As mentioned above, the confidentiality order prohibits law enforcement agencies or courts from disclosing criminal records related to the order.

It also saves you from disclosing criminal records related to the order on any application. If you have a confidentiality requirement, you don’t even have to mention it.

Although all of this sounds great, the undisclosed sequence only applies to certain illegal acts and situations. To qualify, you need to meet six conditions:

  • You need to accept a deferred decision, which means you are not considered a criminal.
  • You need to complete the deferred decision successfully.
  • Your crime cannot be murder; kidnapping; injury to children, the elderly, or the disabled; abandoning or endangering children; stalking; violation of court orders or guarantees in cases of domestic violence, sexual assault or abuse, stalking or trafficking; crimes that require registration of sex offenders, or crimes involving domestic violence.
  • Even if you did not seek a confidentiality order for the crime, your criminal record would not include any of the above crimes.
  • You must wait for the required amount of time for your offense. You must wait five years after you are discharged from a crime; two years for offenses under Chapter 20, 21, 22, 25, 42, or 46 of the Texas Criminal Code; and there is no waiting period for other offenses.
  • You may not be convicted or put in a deferred trial for any other offense from the day you were sentenced to deferred judgment until the date you are released.

Delete a Criminal Record in Texas

Appearing in court means to permanently delete information and detailed information related to the arrest, charge, or conviction from your criminal record, and you can refuse the occurrence of the incident.

You may be eligible for an exemption in the following situations:

  • You have been arrested for a crime but have never been prosecuted;
  • You face criminal charges, but the case was eventually dismissed.
  • You have been convicted of certain eligible juvenile crimes;
  • You have been convicted of drinking as a minor;
  • You have been convicted of failing to attend school;
  • You have been arrested, charged, or convicted due to identity theft;
  • You were found guilty and later acquitted by the court of the first instance or court of criminal appeal; or
  • You were convicted of a crime and later pardoned by the Governor of Texas or the United States President.

In addition to the above requirements, you cannot seek compensation if you meet the following conditions:

  • You have received an extended sentence or suspended sentence;
  • You will be convicted of a felony within five years after being arrested;
  • The crime was part of the heavy criminal incident; or
  • The statute of limitations for felony charges has not yet expired.

Hire a Texas Attorney

Although you can prepare and submit the necessary petitions yourself to seal or delete your records, it is strongly recommended that you hire a knowledgeable Texas attorney who can ensure you are qualified and your paperwork is handled correctly and on time.

Please contact an experienced Texas attorney to answer your questions regarding sealing and seizure issues and start the process today.

In Short

The following crimes in Texas

Can be Expunged:

  • Your charges were rejected in the proceedings/trials
  • The court acknowledged you as not guilty
  • You have been apprehended but not prosecuted
  • You have been arrested and charged but later declared innocent or forgiven
  • Infractions
  • Juvenile offenses
  • Arrest records
  • Low-level misdemeanors.
  • Charges that were dropped or dismissed
  • Non-violent crimes
  • Case dismissal
  • Trial acquittal
  • Pretrial diversion
  • Deferred prosecution
  • Grand jury issues a “no bill”

Cannot be Expunged:

  • Manslaughter
  • Murder
  • Capital Murder
  • Violation of a Protective Order
  • Rape
  • Aggravated Kidnapping
  • Stalking
  • Pedophilia

Conclusion

Laws regarding judgments and seals vary from state to state. The best way to make sure you know all the facts is with your local criminal defense attorney.

It is important to have a lawyer to help you determine the laws that apply in your area. Typically, it depends on the verdict or the outcome of your case whether a record can be deleted.

It does not matter if your case is a misdemeanor or a crime. Learn more about cleaning. Possible outcomes include judgments other than being declared guilty. In some cases, your records may not be deleted.


Photo by Bill Oxford on Unsplash

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About the Author

Bibhuranjan

Editorial Officer, technofaq.org I'm an avid tech enthusiast at heart. I like to mug up on new and exciting developments on science and tech and have a deep love for PC gaming. Other hobbies include writing blog posts, music and DIY projects.



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