Understanding the Texas Expungement and Nondisclosure Process: Clearing Your Record for a Fresh Start


Understanding the Texas Expungement and Nondisclosure Process: Clearing Your Record for a Fresh Start

At Potter & Marks, we believe that everyone deserves a second chance. In Texas, individuals with past criminal records may have the opportunity to achieve a fresh start through the expungement and nondisclosure processes. These legal mechanisms enable qualified individuals to seal their criminal records or have them completely erased, offering a pathway to a brighter future. In this post, we will delve into the Texas expungement and nondisclosure processes, providing essential information to help you understand your rights and the steps involved in seeking a clean slate.

1. What is Expungement? Expungement, often referred to as “expunction,” is the process of completely erasing a person’s criminal record from public view. Once an expungement is granted, it is as if the offense never occurred. This allows individuals to truthfully deny the arrest or charge when questioned by potential employers, landlords, or other parties.

2. Who is Eligible for Expungement in Texas? Not all criminal offenses are eligible for expungement. In Texas, you may qualify for expungement if:

  • You were arrested for a crime but not formally charged.
  • Your charges were dismissed, or you were acquitted at trial.
  • You completed a pretrial diversion program successfully.
  • Your conviction was overturned on appeal.
  • You received a pardon from the Governor of Texas.

It’s important to note that individuals convicted of certain offenses, such as sex crimes involving minors, cannot obtain an expungement.

3. The Nondisclosure Process: Sealing Your Criminal Record If you do not qualify for expungement, you may still have the option of seeking a nondisclosure order. Nondisclosure allows you to seal your criminal record from public view, but it does not result in a complete erasure like expungement.

4. Eligibility for Nondisclosure in Texas: To be eligible for nondisclosure in Texas, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You successfully completed deferred adjudication probation for a misdemeanor or felony offense.
  • A waiting period has passed after completing your probation (ranging from 2 to 5 years, depending on the offense).

It’s important to consult with an experienced attorney to determine your eligibility for expungement or nondisclosure, as each case is unique and involves complex legal considerations.

5. The Process: The expungement and nondisclosure processes typically involve the following steps:

  • Consultation: Begin by consulting with an experienced attorney. They will evaluate your case and determine your eligibility.
  • Filing the Petition: If you qualify, your attorney will file the appropriate petition with the court and serve the necessary parties.
  • Court Hearing: In some cases, a court hearing may be required, during which your attorney will present arguments supporting your eligibility.
  • Granting the Expungement or Nondisclosure: If the court grants your request, your criminal record will either be expunged or sealed, depending on the type of relief you sought.

Conclusion: Seeking expungement or nondisclosure in Texas can be a life-changing decision, opening up new opportunities for employment, housing, and other aspects of life. At Potter & Marks, our dedicated team of attorneys is here to guide you through the process with compassion and expertise. We understand the importance of starting anew, and we are committed to helping you pursue a brighter future. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step toward clearing your record and reclaiming your life. Remember, a second chance can make all the difference.