The consequences of an arrest can linger for years even if you successfully complete a deferred adjudication or have your case dismissed, or are acquitted at trial. Fortunately, Texas law provides for expunction and non-disclosures for many cases, which can allow you to “clean your record” and truly put an arrest behind you.
If you successfully completed a deferred adjudication for most felonies or misdemeanors, you may be eligible for a non-disclosure (also known as “sealing” your records). To apply for a non-disclosure, your attorney must file a motion and present it to a judge. If granted, the order will circulate to any agency having a record of the arrest along with an order to not disclose information relating to the arrest. After a non-disclosure is in effect, the person may even deny the existence of the arrest in many cases.
Unfortunately, some categories of offenses, such as assault family violence, kidnapping, or any offense involving sex offender registration, are not eligible for a non disclosure. There are also other applicable requirements and waiting periods that vary depending on the charged offense and other factors.
If your case is dismissed or if you are acquitted at trial, you may be eligible to have your your records expunged. An expunction will generally result in the destruction of all records relating to the case, and the person may deny the existence of the arrest. Most dismissals and acquitals are eligible for expunction, but you should check your eligibility with an attorney.
Non-Disclosure of DWIs
As a result of a new law recently passed by the Texas legislature, first time convictions for Driving While Intoxicated are eligible for non-disclosures if certain conditions and waiting periods are met. Non-disclosure of DWIs is only available to you if you have no other criminal history (traffic tickets do not count), and were not involved in an accident. If you are eligible, the procedure and effect are similar to regular non-disclosures.
If you believe you are eligible for a expunction or non-disclosure, or would like more information, contact Jose Ceja for a free consultation.