Prospective employers, property owners and mortgage brokers are only a few examples of people who may request performing a background check. A criminal offense, even if you were not found guilty, or even if you paid for the crime with money and/or time, can continue to follow you. What tools are available to help you start over?
In Texas, there are two tools that can help:
An expunction will permanently erase a criminal offense from you record. This prevents anyone from viewing you were charged with an offense.
An expunction is only available under circumstances. These include:
- You already received an acquittal
- You were found guilty of a crime but later pardoned
- You were found guilty of a crime and then later proved innocent
- You were arrested of a misdemeanor but not formally charged and the appropriate period of time has passed since the crime. (The time varies depending on the crime, such as it was a misdemeanor or a felony.)
- You successfully completed a pre-trial diversion program.
Orders for Non-disclosure
An Order of Non-disclosure will prevent a clerk of the court from sharing an offense on your record to anyone, including someone performing a background check. The offense stays on your record, but will be hidden from others.
Just simply meeting the above requirements does not guarantee an expunction or an order for non-disclosure. For example, you would only be eligible for an order of non-disclosure if you already received and successfully completed a deferred adjudication probation for certain offenses. You can also seek an order of non-disclosure after the statute of limitations has passed. That said, those acquitted, pardoned, or later proved to be innocent will usually qualify for an expunction.
For more information, and frequently asked questions about expunction of records in Texas, call Hill and Hill Attorneys today.