Having to answer “yes” to questions about a past criminal record can make it difficult to find a job. Even if you were not convicted, the discovery of a public arrest record can be embarrassing. More public records are searchable today than ever before, and information that used to require hiring a private detective to discover may now be an internet search away.
If you desire to have a criminal conviction or arrest record set aside, or expunged from your record, utilize the services of an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
Expungement is a complex process
Different jurisdictions handle expungement in different ways. Texas provides for expungement when an arrest did not lead to a conviction. For some misdemeanor offenses where you may have pled guilty or no contest and the court gave you certain requirements, you may receive expungement after satisfying those requirements.
This arrangement, known as deferred adjudication, is often negotiated with the help of a criminal defense lawyer and provides a further incentive for defendants to plead guilty, and perhaps to serve community service or enter rehabilitation.
An Order of Nondisclosure is not expungement, but may limit your exposure
For some cases ineligible for true expungement, Texas allows an Order of Non-Disclosure. Commonly known as “record sealing,” an Order of Non-Disclosure keeps information about your criminal conviction out of the hands of employers and other members of the public. However, your conviction will still be on record, and some government agencies will be able to view it.
Even felonies are eligible for an Order of Nondisclosure in some cases after five years. However, the court will not seal records of convictions for many violent crimes, including domestic violence charges.
Expungements are most commonly granted for arrests that never led to convictions, juvenile offenses, reversed or pardoned convictions and the like. But if you are in doubt about your eligibility, the best thing to do is to contact an Austin criminal defense lawyer to discuss your options.
ALEJANDRO MARTINEZ CAN HELP.