If you have reached a favorable result in a criminal case, you may qualify for an expunction or nondisclosure of your records. Because many criminal records are available to the general public, prospective employers, and landlords, the records may adversely impact your ability to do the following:
• Find employment or change jobs
• Qualify for a car loan or a house mortgage
• Rent an apartment or house
• Obtain a professional license
• Apply for acceptance to a college, university, or trade school
• Apply for a scholarship
• Obtain citizenship
If you are eligible, you owe it to your good name, your future, and your family to obtain an expunction to permanently erase your criminal records, or enter into a non disclosure agreement (NDA) to keep your records private. An experienced criminal defense attorney will help you with this process.
What is Expunction?
An expunction is a civil petition filed in a criminal district court to erase, destroy, or delete all traces of your arrest records and criminal charges. If granted, you have a clean slate and can legally deny that you were ever arrested or charged with the crime that was expunged.
You May Be Eligible for Expunction if:
Your case went to trial and you were found not guilty; or
The charges against you were dismissed and you were not placed on deferred adjudication for a felony or a Class A or B misdemeanor; or
You successfully completed pretrial diversion; or
You received deferred adjudication for a Class C misdemeanor; or
You were convicted and later pardoned by the Governor of Texas
What is a Non Disclosure Agreement?
Nondisclosure is an order found under Tex. Gov. Code Sec. 411.071 to prohibit criminal justice agencies from disclosing to the public your criminal history record. A successful completion of a deferred adjudication does not always erase an arrest from your record. You have to file a petition in many situations to get your records sealed by a judge. Nondisclosure is often possible in cases where expunction isn’t.
You May Be Eligible for an NDA if:
You were placed on deferred adjudication and successfully completed it, and the offense did not qualify for an automatic nondisclosure order under Tex. Gov. Code §411.072; or
You were placed on regular probation or received jail time for an offense after September 1, 2015 for a nonviolent misdemeanor and you have no other criminal record.
Note: A person who received deferred adjudication for an offense involving family violence cannot obtain an order of non-disclosure at any time. (This is an assaultive or sexual offense against a spouse, family member or person in an intimate dating relationship.)
Additionally, a person who was convicted of DWI cannot obtain an order of nondisclosure, unless one of the following conditions are met:
The person received a probated sentence, had a breath or blood test result of less than 0.15, successfully completed the probation without it being revoked, paid all fines, costs and restitution, has never previously been convicted of or placed on deferred adjudication and the DWI did not involve an accident. If there was a successful compliance with a condition of community supervision that required the use of an ignition interlock device for six or more months, the waiting period for a nondisclosure petition is two years after completion of the community supervision period and five years if no ignition interlock device was required. (Gov. Code Sec. 411.0731)
Alternatively, a person who received a non-probated sentence for DWI may obtain an order of nondisclosure if all the conditions set out above for a probated DWI sentence are met, but must wait three years after the sentence is served if the sentence required the use of an ignition interlock device for six or more months, and five years if no ignition interlock device was required. (Gov. Code Sec. 411.0736)
While a nondisclosure does not completely conceal a record of past criminal offenses, it may be helpful when gaining employment. Once the order is granted, your record is not available for anyone seeking to hire you or to check your criminal history unless they are law enforcement personnel or one of the agencies and entities listed in Texas Government Code § 411.0765.
Call a Criminal Defense Attorney Justin Sparks
Have offenses on your criminal record that you would like removed or concealed from potential employers? Sparks Law Firm can offer you the expertise you need to work towards an expunction or non disclosure agreement. Call 817-334-0300 today to set up a free consultation.
Justin Sparks has been defending clients across Fort Worth and Dallas for over ten years. Our firm helps you through the criminal process, from investigation to appeals, if need be. Free consultations for all new cases.