Seal or Erase Your Criminal Record in Denton: Non-Disclosure & Expunction
Anyone who has ever been arrested and convicted of a crime in the state of Texas has a criminal record. In most cases, this is true whether or not you were a juvenile or adult when you were convicted of the crime. Your criminal record, unlike other penalties and punishments that a court hands out for a conviction, is permanent. Though your sentence will expire, and the fines eventually be paid off, your criminal record lasts a life time.
What’s more, a criminal record can interfere with your ability to get a job, work in certain industries, and even find a place to live. Your criminal record, unless sealed or cleared, is something any landlord, neighbor, fellow employee, or employer can access and use against you. This is true even for events and convictions that happened years ago.
However, lawmakers in Texas recognized that the stigma of a criminal record can be too harsh of a punishment in some circumstances and therefore have provided legal avenues to seal (with an order of non-disclosure) or clear (through an expungement) your criminal history. If you live in the Denton area or North Texas and have questions about what it would take to seal or clear your criminal record, call the Law Office of Earl Dobson at (940) 591-7097 or complete the form that you can find located on this website.
Different Ways to Keep Your Criminal Record Private in Texas
There are differences between what a successful petition for an expungement and a motion for non-disclosure mean for your criminal record. There are also different criteria you must meet in order to be eligible. In essence, expungement is the stronger legal action as it completely clears items from your criminal record. In contrast, an order of non-disclosure only works to seal this information from the public. However, it does not seal it from law enforcement agencies or government employers. Specifically:
- Expungement: This is legally understood to be a lawsuit you can file in order to try to clear or remove certain portions or the entirety of your criminal record. If a petition for an expungement is successful, it gives the petitioner the legal right to state they have never been arrested for the crimes in question. These crimes will also not be available on their criminal records for those who check.
- An Order of Non-Disclosure: There are some legal circumstances in which you can petition for an order of non-disclosure to seal all or part of your criminal records. This does not actually remove these details from your criminal record, but rather just prevents them from being publicly available to those who may be looking.
If you live in Denton, Texas or the surrounding areas and have questions about sealing or clearing your criminal record, give the Law Office of Earl Dobson as call today at (940) 591-7097 or fill the form that is conveniently located on the left side of this page.
Eligibility Requirements for Non-Disclosure or Expunction
There are certain conditions that must be met in order for part of all of an individual’s criminal record to be sealed with an order of non-disclosure or sealed with expunction. One of these is that, in most cases, once a final conviction is on record, the conviction is not eligible to be sealed or cleared. Additionally, if the individual in question is granted time served or serves straight probation, the convictions in question are ineligible to be sealed or cleared.
For those who already have a final connection on their record, you are still eligible to be pardoned by either the governor or the president. In addition to this, you have the possibility of filing a writ for Habaes Corpus. If you are uncertain whether or not your criminal record is eligible or would like to discuss your situation, give the Law Office of Earl Dobson a call at (940) 591-7097.
Recent Changes to Non-Disclosure Laws in Texas Concerning DWI Convictions
As of the first of September, 2017, Texas HB 3016 went into effect. This bill specifies that anyone in the state of Texas with a single DWI offense may be eligible to have that offense sealed so that it would not be part of their public criminal record. This means that neighbors, employers, and landlords who check on your record will not be able to see this conviction. However, there are a few specific criteria you must meet in order to be eligible to petition for a motion of non-disclosure on a DWI:
- The individual in question cannot have had a BAC higher than 0.15.
- In order to be eligible to petition, one must not have any other convictions on their record of any kind. The only exception allowed are minor traffic violations that have nothing to do with controlled substances or alcohol.
- The DWI in question cannot have resulted in any kind of an accident involving another individual.
- Any required penalties or periods of confinement or service have been fulfilled completely.
- All costs, fees, and court-ordered restitution must also be paid in full.
- Individuals cannot petition until they have waited the required waiting period.
Depending on the specifics of your case, you may have to wait the full five years from the anniversary of the date you completed all court-ordered penalties. However, if while completing at least six months of probationary or other sentencing you also completed a period of at least six months with an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle, you may be eligible to petition on the second anniversary of the date you completed all court-ordered punishment.
If you have questions about sealing or clearing your criminal record including a first DWI offense under the new Texas HB 3016, give the Law Office of Earl Dobson as call today at (940) 591-7097 or contact us using the for on this page or the link below.