CRIMINAL RECORD EXPUNCTIONS
Clear Your Record – Denton | Cooke
If you have a criminal record, you know the stress that a routine background check causes. Whether you are applying for a job, a line of credit or a rental property, that background check can make or break your chances. Did you know there is a way to clear your criminal record from many past mistakes? The law firm of Hill & Hill can determine if you are eligible for a criminal record expungement and walk you through the process.
Are you interested in having your criminal record cleared? Call Hill & Hill today at our toll-free number of 1-866-369-2889 to schedule a free initial consultation. You can also e-mail us and someone will be in touch with you promptly.
Do you want to learn more about criminal record expunction? We can help.
Our attorneys have over 25 years of experience in criminal law. We have found our passion in defending people facing felony and misdemeanor charges. We handle the defense of DWI/DUI, drug charges, assault charges, theft charges and more. We understand what you have gone through, and we understand how your past can affect your present life. That criminal record exists—even if the charges were dismissed, you served probation or you were found not guilty.
How Expungement Works
In Denton & Cooke Counties (and the rest of the state of Texas), when a court of law orders your criminal record to be expunged, all your criminal activity is removed from Texas state criminal history databases.
Once your record has been expunged, you may deny your arrest record on forms and applications like housing, employment, and education applications. What’s more, if sealed or expunged, your criminal record will not show up in any background check run by the public. However, the matter gets more complicated when testifying before a court. For this reason, if you are appearing in court and have an expunged or sealed criminal record, you should consult with your attorney for advice.
Understanding Eligibility for Expungement & Non-disclosure
Hill & Hill can file a petition for expungement
- if your case was dismissed,
- if you received an acquittal,
- if you were found guilty but later pardoned or proved innocent,
- if your case was declined,
- if you were found not guilty, or
- if you received deferred probation for a Class C Misdemeanor.
- if you successfully completed a pretrial diversion program
In nearly all cases where a guilty verdict is given, the individual will not qualify for expungement. Though expungement is the best option because of its legal potency for removing criminal records, it is not your only option to seal your criminal record in Denton and Cooke Counties.
Another option is an order of non-disclosure. In the state of Texas, nearly all individuals who have completed a deferred adjudication probation may have their criminal records sealed through an order of non-disclosure. Those who received regular probation do not qualify. If you think you may qualify and live in Denton, or Cooke Counties, give Hill & Hill a call and we can discuss your options with you more completely. Generally speaking, anyone can seek an order of non-disclosure as long as:
- They have not received any charges since the unadjudication probation ended (traffic tickets are the sole exception here).
- Their unadjudicated probation was never revoked or adjudicated
- The allotted amount of time has already passed
- The offense in question is not barred from being sealed by law.
When it comes to the timing requirement, felonies require five years and eligible misdemeanors range from immediately after completion to 2 years after the successful completion of an unadjudicated probation before they can be sealed.
A caveat here: some specific offenses may not ever be sealed. This includes crimes like indecency with a child, murder, endangering a child, sexual assault, assault family violence, and other serious offenses.
Expunction vs. Order of Non-disclosure in Texas
If you are not eligible for expungement, Hill & Hill may still be able to file a petition for non-disclosure. This means you would not have to disclose your criminal record to public agencies. However, there is a limit on the length of time your criminal record can be suppressed with an order of non-disclosure. There is one major difference between an expunction and an order of non-disclosure that you should consider.
Unlike an expungement, which removes criminal activity from criminal databases, an order of non-disclosure simply suppresses records of such criminal activity without removing them from criminal databases. In essence, this means it provides applicants the right to not have to mention, “not disclose,” prior arrests and any criminal charges of which they were acquitted, pardoned, or for which they have successfully completed the court-ordered conditions, such as parole, public service, probation, counseling.
In the state of Texas, the law allows for juvenile records to be suppressed with an order of non-disclosure. However, this is only allowed in certain circumstances. Once sealed, these records cannot be made available for any purpose. This would allow a child with only one or two criminal blemishes to go ahead and apply for things like scholarships, grants, student loans, and on-campus housing.
Seek Sound Legal Representation
Though there is a system in place that may allow you to seal or destroy your criminal records in Texas, the matter is not simple. For one, state laws that govern expunctions and orders of non-disclosure are constantly changing. This means that even though your record may be eligible for an order of non-disclosure, this may not always be the case.
For those in Denton and Cooke Counties, the most advisable action to take is to contact an attorney from Hill & Hill Criminal Defense Attorneys to learn your options.