Expungement Lawyers in Dallas, TX, Assisting Clients in Having Criminal Records Expunged
At The Redwine Law Firm of Dallas, TX, we meet many individuals who have admittedly made mistakes that caused them to have a criminal record. Sadly, due to their criminal history, they find it difficult to obtain employment, housing, student loans, hold a professional license, or legally own a firearm.
Finding gainful employment with a criminal history can be particularly challenging as, thanks to technology, many potential employers are able to utilize background checks during the hiring process. Difficulty obtaining employment is especially true in cases that pertain to theft, even if the charge occurred years earlier.
The criminal defense attorneys of our law firm do not believe that an individual’s past mistakes should be held against them for the rest of their lives. However, we understand that many individuals with a criminal record are now living a different life and deserve a second chance.
Depending on the facts and circumstances that surround your case, we may be able to help you have your record expunged or obtain a non-disclosure order to seal your criminal history. But unfortunately, the legal process that surrounds obtaining a criminal record expunction in the state of Texas can be extremely complex and nearly impossible to try and navigate on your own.
Contact our law office and ask to schedule a free case evaluation. We will gladly review your record and inform you of your legal options.
What is the Difference Between Having a Record Expunged and a Non-Disclosure Order?
Many individuals mistakenly believe that having a criminal record expunged and obtaining a non-disclosure order is the same thing. However, this belief is incorrect. While both can be beneficial to an individual who wishes to keep their criminal record out of public view, there are very distinct differences in what each will allow others to learn about them.
An expungement, also known as an expunction, is a legal process that essentially allows your criminal record to be wiped clean. Once the court approves the record expungement, they will order that law enforcement agencies be required to destroy all information related to your arrest and conviction. This will also apply to public information databases that may be accessed by the general public.
A non-disclosure order is also known as a record sealing. However, the name may be misleading as it does not eliminate your criminal record as an expunction would do, but it does, however, prevent landlords, potential landlords, and institutions of higher learning from accessing your criminal history.
Nevertheless, whereas a non-disclosure order prohibits the general public from viewing your criminal record, it does not prohibit law enforcement agencies and other government divisions from being able to access your criminal record.
Can I Have a Felony Record Expunged in Texas?
Texas execution law does not allow for a felony conviction to be expunged if you were convicted of the charge that was brought against you. Nevertheless, if your felony charge did not end with you being convicted, you may be eligible for an expunction. There are other stipulations that apply to a felony expungement, which include:
- You were convicted, but the case was later overturned.
- You went to trial but were acquitted of the offense.
- The felony charge ended with the case being dropped or dismissed without action.
- You were pardoned for the offense.
- You were pardoned by the governor of Texas or the president.
However, it should be noted that a different set of rules apply if the case was never brought in front of the court, or the charges were dropped. In these instances, you are not permitted to petition for an expunction after the statute of limitations or appropriate waiting period has concluded.
Many of the same rules that govern felony expungements also apply to misdemeanors. Just as with felonies, the person who was arrested must also have either had their charges dismissed, been acquitted, or been pardoned by the governor after they were convicted.
A Class C misdemeanor is permitted to be expunged from a defendant’s record 180 days after the date of their arrest. Similarly, Class A and Class B misdemeanors may also be expunged; however, the individual must wait for a period of one year from the date of their arrest.
Additionally, individuals who were minors and arrested for a crime are also permitted to file a petition to expunge their records once they become legal adults. This rule holds true even if they were convicted of a crime.
Understanding the differences between obtaining a felony expungement and having a record sealed can be confusing. If you are uncertain as to whether or not you meet the eligibility requirements for a felony expungement, contact our law office and ask to schedule an appointment with a qualified Dallas expungement attorney who can answer your questions.
Is a Criminal Record Automatically Expunged After the Deferred Adjudication Probation Period is Completed?
Under Texas law, individuals who have been given deferred adjudication have not had a legal sentence actually imposed upon them. Deferred adjudication means that an individual will not have to deal with the consequences that a conviction would impose on them, such as time in jail or fines. It also prevents them from other penalties such as their driver’s license being suspended, loss of certain rights, or being unable to obtain benefits from state agencies that provide public assistance.
Nevertheless, just because a defendant receives an order of deferred adjudication does not mean that their criminal record is automatically expunged. According to Texas law, the defendant’s criminal records will still demonstrate that they were charged with a crime but no mention of being convicted.
Unlike criminal convictions, those who have been given deferred adjudication are not eligible for a record expungement. Instead, they are permitted to petition for a non-disclosure order to effectively have their record sealed once the required waiting period is over.
If you were given deferred adjudication and had questions about whether you are eligible for a criminal record sealing, contact our law offices to schedule an appointment with a member of our legal team.
Do I Have to Hire an Expunction Attorney to Have a Criminal Record Expunged?
With all of the do-it-yourself legal kits and online forms available many individuals ask if they can file for a criminal record expunction on their own. These kits promise you that they will save you time and legal costs. While it is true that many legal services claim they can help you, successfully filing to have your case expunged should be left up to an experienced Dallas expungement attorney.
One of the most challenging aspects of felony expungement or attempting to obtain a non-disclosure order is simply knowing if you qualify to meet the eligibility requirements. The laws surrounding expungement or having a criminal record sealed are overly complex and almost impossible to handle on your own. You need the assistance of a highly qualified expunction lawyer who understands Texas expunction law and how it could potentially work in your favor.
As with any type of legal procedure, the best policy is to consult with a professional before taking any action on your own. The attorneys of The Redwine Law Firm are proud to serve clients in Dallas, Texas, and the surrounding areas of Dallas County. We are passionately committed to providing each of our clients with aggressive representation should their case be brought in front of the court for consideration.
Having a Texas criminal record can hinder your life and any future goals that you may have set for yourself. One of the best steps that you can take to protect your future is to consult with our attorneys to see if expunging your criminal record is an option. Even if you are prohibited from filing for an expunction, we can still review your case to determine if a non-disclosure order is a viable option instead.
Contact our law offices by calling 214-444-7703 to schedule a free consultation.