Can I expunge my record?
In Texas, depending on how a case is disposed, you may be able to get your record expunged. How do you know if you qualify to have a case expunged? If your case has been dismissed without being placed on probation or you are acquitted by jury, you can have that case expunged from your record.
If you are placed on probation, but the court defers any finding of guilt upon successful completion of probation, you cannot have your record expunged, but you can seek a non-disclosure. What’s the difference?
A non-disclosure is where your record is sealed from public access. However, anyone affiliated with the government, federal or state, will be able to access your sealed record. What does this mean? If you want to work for a private company or rent an apartment from a private company, your record is sealed from disclosure. On the other hand, if you want to work for a school district or go to nursing school, because these entities are affiliated with the government, they are able to see your record. When filling out applications, if the entity you are filling out the application for is privately owned, you can answer no with no issues. However, any entity affiliated with the government will be able to see that you were arrested and that your case was dismissed.
In the alternative, when your case is expunged, it is erased from all agencies that contain the records. It’s as if the arrest and everything that happened as a result never happened. When filling out applications, you can answer no to questions dealing with being arrested or charged with a crime regardless of the entity being private or affiliated with the government.
Many times, when a case is dismissed, people believe that is the end of the line as far as dealing with any further consequences goes, but that is not entirely true. Your case will still show up in background searches and can keep you from being able to rent property, get a loan, or find employment. Don’t allow an arrest for a charge that is ultimately dismissed come back to haunt you later in life. Take care of it and get a clean slate.
If you have questions about having your record sealed or expunged, let the Law Office of T. Baker help you through the process.