Expunctions and Petitions for Non-disclosure
Anytime you are arrested in Texas, the resulting events are permanently placed on your criminal record and are made accessible to the general public, which can be detrimental to your employment, education, housing, loans and overall reputation. Even if you beat your case and declared “not guilty” the arrest will still be on your record. Texas law permits people to remove or seal their record from public view by filing a Petition for Expunction or Non-Disclosure. Paul Doyle has successfully cleared and sealed records for clients across Harris County and many other counties across Texas.
Generally speaking, if your case was dismissed, declined, no-billed, or you received a not guilty, it is eligible for an expunction. This means that every government organization is ordered to destroy all the records related to your arrest. Typically there are no waiting times to get an expunction. An exception is whether or not you were convicted in a different case related to the same arrest or that your case was reduced to a lesser offense. In these cases, you may have to wait to expunge your records until after the statute of limitations for the dismissed case has passed.
An expunction is a suit filed in the civil courts that orders the destruction of the records related to your arrest. The suit takes approximately 3 months. Once the expunction is granted it may take another 3-4 months until your record is clear.
The main difference between an expunction and a non-disclosure is that law enforcement will still have access to your arrest. However, the public will not be able to access your records.
Typically, after you have completed a deferred adjudication you can get the case non-disclosed. In order to get a non-disclosure, a petition is filed with the court that placed you on deferred adjudication and then the judge decides whether or not to grant the petition. Common reasons for courts to reject the petition is that there was a mandatory wait period or that the petitioner has picked up a new case since completing the deferred.
Most misdemeanors permit a person to immediately petition for a non-disclosure, while others require a two-year wait. Felonies, however, require a person to go five years after the person is let off deferred before filing a non-disclosure.
Certain types of cases are not eligible for non-disclosure. These include:
- Abandoning or endangering a child
- Aggravated kidnapping
- Aggravated sexual assault
- Burglary of a habitation with intent to comment any of the above offenses
- Capital murder
- Compelling prostitution
- Indecency with a child
- Injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual
- Possession or promotion of child pornography
- Prohibited sexual conduct
- Sexual assault
- Sexual performance by a child
- Unlawful restraint, kidnapping, or aggravated kidnapping of a person younger than 17 years of age
- Violation of protective order or magistrate's order
- Any other offense involving family violence
If your case resulted in a final conviction then you are not eligible for either an expunction or a non-disclosure.
Contact Paul Doyle today and get your record cleared.
It is important to get your record cleared as soon as possible. Paul will review your criminal records and determine whether or not you may be able to request an Order of Nondisclosure right away or if you may qualify for record sealing or an expunction.