Getting arrested has the potential to cause negative effects for the rest of your life, even if the criminal charges against you are dropped. Your future employers, landlords, and loan officers will all have access to your public criminal record, not to mention the stigma and embarrassment you and your family may feel as a result of it.
An expunction is the process of removing arrests and convictions from your public record. Having your record expunged will allow you to start anew with a clean slate. While the process may take several months, it is well worth the wait. You must, however, hire an experienced Texas lawyer who understands the law governing expunction of criminal records. Learn what you can do to wipe the slate clean again by getting your charges sealed or expunged from your past.
The Difference Between Sealing a Criminal Record and Expunction
There are two methods of removing charges from your criminal record: nondisclosure and expunction. While they both clear your criminal history, there is a difference in who is allowed access to your file.
Nondisclosure (Sealing): Sealing your record does not remove charges from your criminal record, but it does limit access to your criminal record. Private entities must delete your record but public entities, such as the State of Texas, will still have it on file. A government agency or a court order can still open your record.
Expunction (Expungement): Expunction (also known as Expungement) completely removes arrests and charges from your public criminal record, meaning the file is destroyed and it is as if it never existed. You can legally and truthfully tell employers and others your record is clean.
Expunction: Requirements to Remove Your Criminal Record
Under Texas state law, you may be eligible for an expunction if:
- You were arrested but not charged
- You were found not guilty
- Your charge and/or criminal case was dismissed
- You had your case dismissed after serving deferred adjudication (a “Guilty” or “No Contest” plea deal in exchange for meeting certain requirements laid out by the court) probation for a class C misdemeanor
- You were acquitted or found not guilty by a judge or jury of a misdemeanor or felony charge
- Your offense was a qualifying misdemeanor juvenile
- Your offense was minor alcohol-related
- You were convicted of Failure to Attend School
- You were arrested for a crime but another individual was found guilty of it
- Your pretrial diversion (probation) was successfully completed
- You were later acquitted by the Criminal Court of Appeals
- You received a pardon from the governor or the U.S. president
Contact a Skilled Expunction Lawyer in Houston
Rubin Law Firm, PLLC handles expunction for charges that were pending in Harris, Fort Bend, Galveston, Montgomery, and Brazoria counties. If you were arrested in one of those counties and would like to have records pertaining to that arrest expunged, please contact our team of experienced expungement lawyers for a free consultation.
Rubin Law Firm, PLLC has successfully represented defendants of all ages and stations in life in criminal courts. Don’t wait — clear your record before it limits your opportunities. Call (713) 354-4915 for a free consultation.