Everyone makes mistakes, but some of us end up with one that follows us everywhere we go in the form of a criminal record. But if you have a criminal record in Texas, you may be eligible for one of two options that can limit the impact of that record on your life: expunctions and non-disclosures.
Expunction: wiping your record clean
Expunction means a crime is completely erased from your criminal record. If you qualify for expunction, your record will be deleted from government databases and will not show up on background checks.
Common eligibility criteria for expunction includes:
- being found not guilty
- successful completion of a pre-trial diversion program
- being arrested but not charged with a crime
Non-disclosure: sealing your criminal record
Non-disclosure means sealing your criminal record from public view. While your record will not be completely erased, it will not be accessible to the public. This means the average person cannot google your name or search a publicly accessible court record database and find your information. Non-disclosure is available to those who have successfully completed a deferred adjudication probation for certain offenses, but some offenses are not eligible, such as sex offenses and family violence offenses.
When and how can I apply for expunction or non-disclosure?
In the state of Texas, both expunction and non-disclosure criminal records require a certain period of time to have passed depending on the nature of the crime.
It’s important to note that not all criminal records are eligible for expunction or non-disclosure. Both expunction and non-disclosure are complex legal processes that require careful consideration and planning. If you are considering pursuing either one, it’s important to do your research on your rights and options.