Expunction & Record Sealing in TX: Am I Eligible?
Everyone makes mistakes—that’s the way of life. But when past mistakes threaten your future, you deserve an opportunity to fix your mistakes. If your criminal record makes it difficult to find a new job, obtain a professional license, or even apply for an apartment or loan, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you clear your name.
In Texas, there are two different processes: expunction and record sealing (under an order of nondisclosure). The difference between the two is that expunction results in the destruction of your criminal record, while sealing means only criminal agencies can access it—not the public. Once your record has been expunged or sealed, you do not have to disclose any of that information.
Eligibility for Expunction
Your criminal record may be eligible for expunction if you were arrested for a misdemeanor and felony and:
- The crime was never charged
- The criminal charge was ultimately dismissed
- The criminal charge resulted in a not-guilty verdict
- The criminal charge resulted in acquittal
- The arrest was caused by identity theft
- The conviction was later acquitted by the trial or appeals court
- The conviction was pardoned
Keep in mind, if you were arrested and not charged with a crime, you must wait a certain period of time prior to applying for expunction. For instance, you must wait 180 days—from the date of your arrest—if the charge was a Class C misdemeanor. For Class A or B misdemeanors, you must wait one year. For felonies, you must wait three years.
Eligibility for Record Sealing
Not all crimes are eligible for expunction. Fortunately, your criminal record may still be eligible for sealing under an order of nondisclosure if you pled guilty or no contest to a crime and were placed on deferred adjudication community supervision. This means that the judge deferred proceedings without finding you guilty, you were placed under court supervision, and your proceedings were dismissed at the end of the supervision period.
For serious misdemeanors, you must wait two years after your successfully completed your sentence to apply for record sealing. For felonies, you must wait five years instead of two.
Unfortunately, some crimes are not eligible for record sealing in Texas, such as:
- Aggravated kidnapping
- Human trafficking
- Child endangerment
- Any crime that requires you to register as a sex offender
- Any family violence offense
At The Crowder Law Firm, P.C., our McKinney criminal defense attorney is ready to help you put the past behind you once and for all. We are committed to making sure your criminal record stays away from the public eye, so you can get your life back on track.
For more information, contact us to discuss your situation today.