Don’t Let Your Criminal Past Cloud Your Future
Old convictions or arrest records can come back to haunt you. Something that happened years ago can crop up on a background check or bar you from even applying for certain jobs.
You may qualify for expungement or nondisclosure to prevent your criminal past from ruining opportunities. I am Perry Thomas, an experienced criminal law attorney who can help you pursue this complex legal process. My Llano law practice helps people throughout Texas Hill Country.
Understanding Texas Record Expungement
Expungement, also called expunction in Texas, is a legal procedure to erase or seal old criminal records. Your case may fall into one of two categories;
True expungement: If you were arrested but not convicted, those records can be expunged (destroyed) as if the incident never occurred. Perhaps charges were never filed after you were detained by police. Perhaps the prosecutor or judge later dismissed the case. Or maybe you were found not guilty at trial.
Nondisclosure: If you were convicted of a crime, you may qualify to have it sealed from public records. The offense would still be visible to law enforcement and the courts. It would still count as a prior offense for future arrests. But it would not show up on a criminal background check by employers, landlords or lenders. Nondisclosure applies to certain plea bargains and deferred prosecutions.
Misdemeanors may be eligible for expunction/nondisclosure after one year from the arrest. Felonies may be eligible after three to five years. Certain convictions are never eligible, including sex offender crimes, family violence, stalking, kidnapping, child endangerment and DWI.
You Must Take The Steps
It is not true that your criminal record is magically cleared after a certain amount of time. You must petition the court to request expungement, and it is not automatically granted. I have nearly 30 years of experience in Texas criminal law, as both a prosecuting attorney and defense lawyer. I can determine if you qualify to erase or seal old records and guide your case through the legal system.