Everyone, at some point, has made a bad mistake or has been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Unfortunately for some, conspiring events can result in a criminal record reflecting an arrest, charge, or conviction. Although most convictions cannot be removed from one’s record, Texas law allows permanent removal of information about an arrest, charge, or conviction in certain circumstances. This is called an expunction: the legal process to officially adjudicate that something never occurred in the eyes of the law. Once a person’s record is expunged, the record of the incident is wiped clean, and a person can legally deny the incident ever occurred.
Records eligible for expunction include:
- An arrest for a crime that was never charged
- A criminal charge that was ultimately dismissed
- Most juvenile offenses (including most alcohol offenses)
- Arrest, charge, or conviction on a person’s record due to identity theft by another individual that was actually arrested, charged, or convicted of the crime
Fortunately, most convictions from when a person was a minor can be expunged. Most misdemeanors, offenses related to underage drinking, and conviction for Failure to Attend School qualify for expunction. However, the process cannot begin until the individual reaches a certain age (in most cases, 21).
If expunction is not available because of the nature of the offense, charge, or conviction, it may be possible to obtain something similar: an Order for Nondisclosure. A Nondisclosure Order does not completely destroy all record of any offense, but it does remove it from public access. The records still remain accessible to certain government agencies and court proceedings. If complete expunction isn’t possible, obtaining a Nondisclosure Order is the next best thing.
Take the First Step to Start Fresh
We know how much a clean record can help your future prospects, and we want to help you explore every possible avenue available to wipe your record clean. Learn more about your options for clearing your record today by calling (214) 797-1861.