Collin County Expunction and Non-Disclosure Lawyer
Client-Focused and Relentless Legal Counsel in McKinney, TX
Both expunction and non-disclosure are procedures that can clean up criminal records, which could impact future job searches, professional licenses, and even your ability to obtain credit. If you have been charged or arrested for an offense and seek to remove this from your record, contact Underwood & Associates for next steps. Attorney William Underwood takes a client-focused approach to every case, and you can trust him to fight relentlessly for your right to a second chance – and a better future.
What Is Expunction?
In Texas, expunction can permanently remove all records and files relating to an arrest from your criminal history. As a result, you will not be required to mention any instance of the offense on job applications or anywhere else.
Eligibility for expunction depends on the type of offense and the outcome of the case. . With few exceptions, offenses ending in conviction or regular community supervision probation are not eligible for expunction or nondisclosure. In Texas, expunction applies to:
- Class C misdemeanors resulting in deferred adjudication (you are not found guilty after the completion of your sentencing requirements), or
- offenses not resulting in conviction where charges were not filed, charges were dismissed, or the person was acquitted or pardoned.
Be aware that even if there were no charges filed, there is still a minimum waiting period (the “Statute of Limitations” for the alleged offense) before you can file an application for expunction. For Class C misdemeanors the Statute of Limitations is 180 days; for Class A and B misdemeanors you must wait 1 year; and for most felonies the Statute of Limitations is 3 years. Other than obtaining an acquittal at trial or having your charge dismissed due to fraud or identity theft, the applicable statute of limitations typically must expire for anycrime for which you were arrested before you can seek expunction.
To apply for an expunction, you must file your petition in the arresting county. The clerk will then set a court hearing no earlier than 30 days from the date of filing.
If you were convicted of a nonviolent misdemeanor such as a DWI or Possession of Marijuana, non-disclosure may be the next best option since you are not eligible for expunction. The qualifications for non-disclosure are a little less stringent and similarly allow individuals the opportunity for a fresh start.
What Is Non-Disclosure?
Non-disclosure hides certain offenses from public disclosure. However, be aware that non-disclosure does not erase everything on a criminal record as an expunction does, and offenses, as well as the probation sentencing, will still be visible to criminal justice agencies, licensing agencies, and certain government entities. The benefit of filing for non-disclosure, as with an expunction, is that you will not be required to disclose the offense information to employers, landlords, lenders, or colleges. After a non-disclosure, an ordinary background check will no longer reveal the case information, and only law enforcement and certain state agencies will have access to the data. Nondisclosure seals off all records pertaining to the individual’s criminal charge and allows them to deny it ever happened.
An individual is not eligible for nondisclosure if they’ve ever been convicted or received deferred adjudication for any of the following:
- offenses requiring sex offender registration;
- murder and capital murder;
- aggravated kidnapping;
- injury to a child, elderly, or disabled person;
- abandoning or endangering a child;
- assault cases with an affirmative finding of family violence; or
- violation of bond conditions of certain family violence, sexual assault or abuse, or stalking offenses.
There are two methods of non-disclosure in Texas:
- automatic non-disclosure for first-time misdemeanors; and
- non-disclosure with petition.
In the case of an automatic non-disclosure, if you meet all legal requirements at the end of the period of deferred adjudication, the judge must order nondisclosure. You do not have to take action to file anything, and there is no waiting period. Be aware that automatic non-disclosure applies only to first-time misdemeanors (other than traffic fines) occurring after September 1, 2015 that resulted in deferred adjudication ending in discharge or dismissal.
In a case of non-disclosure via petition, a petition is required for eligible offenses and for misdemeanors that don’t qualify for an automatic order. The minimum waiting period for filing runs from the date of dismissal of the case or discharge from probation:
- 2 years for certain specified misdemeanors, such as Smuggling of Persons or Unlawful Restraint (Penal Code Ch. 20); Sexual-related offenses (Ch. 21); Assaultive Offenses (CH. 22); Offenses involving family members (Ch. 25); Offenses against Public Decency, such as Disorderly Conduct or Harassment (Ch. 42); Public Indecency, such as Prostitution or Possession of Child Pornography (Ch. 43); and Offenses against Public Health, Safety, and Morals, such as Unlawfully Carrying a Weapon (Ch. 46);
- 5 years for felonies;
- no waiting period for everything else.
You must file the petition for non-disclosure in the same court your actual case was filed. The clerk will then notify the state prosecutor, who has XX45 days from notification to request a hearing. If you meet all the requirements, the judge shouldgrant an Order of Nondisclosure.
Seeking to Seal Your Criminal Record?
Whether you seek to permanently erase your criminal record through an expunction or seal your record via non-disclosure, you should contact an experienced attorney for legal counsel. Underwood & Associates can evaluate the facts of your charge or arrest and determine the next best steps to seal your criminal record. Everyone deserves a second chance; let Attorney William Underwood fight for your rights – and your future.
Contact Underwood & Associates at (972) 449-7091 or online here to schedule your free phone consultation today.
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