Erasing or expunging your criminal record is a privilege offered under the law only for specific situations. It is not available in every case.
The Collateral Consequences Resource Center explains in Texas, the court will not erase your record but will put in place an order of nondisclosure, which stops the public from having access to the information within the record. You must meet specific criteria to secure an OND.
You will not be eligible for an OND if you have a charge of violence against you or a sexual offense in most cases. The state has a list of specific convictions for which you cannot seal your record, which include misdemeanors and felonies.
If you have a felony record and do not have a conviction for an ineligible offense, then you can petition the court for an OND if you receive a discharge after deferred adjudication community supervision. You will have to wait for a period of five years to apply.
If you have a misdemeanor, you may be eligible for an automatic OND, which the court will handle without you having to petition. Once 180 days pass since your sentence of community supervision.
Most misdemeanors are eligible for an OND, but if you have previous convictions, you may be ineligible or have to wait two years to petition. If your sentence was for community supervision or just a fine, then you can petition right away.
The state treats DWI charges differently. If you have a first offense and your blood alcohol content was under .15%, you may be able to get an OND. However, this will not apply if you caused an accident as part of the incident. The waiting period to petition ranges from two to five years.
An OND is not something the court must give you unless you qualify for an automatic application. In most cases, a judge can deny your petition, so you need to ensure you complete the proper paperwork and meet the requirements.