Expungement Lawyers in Houston, TX Assisting Clients in Obtaining Criminal Record Expungement
If you have a criminal record you are most likely having a difficult time achieving some of your life goals. Having a criminal history can prevent you from obtaining professional licenses, purchasing or owning a firearm, student loans for educational institutions, housing, or other types of state and federal aid. Many prospective employers utilize background checks before when initiating the hiring process. As a result, being convicted of criminal offenses can have negative consequences that can impact you for the rest of your life.
Nevertheless, Texas law acknowledges that individuals are prone to making mistakes. Therefore, the state offers two legal paths in which individuals may have their criminal record cleared away or hidden from public view. Having your criminal record expunged or having an order of non disclosure in place can essentially give you a fresh start and allow you to carry on with your life without the burden of worrying about how a criminal conviction will continue to influence your life.
The expungement lawyers of The Redwine Law Firm recognize that individuals can make decisions that they regret in life but that those decisions should not hold them back from realizing their future plans. If you are interested in learning how the expungement process works and how we can help you please call our law offices to schedule a free consultation with a Houston expungement attorney who can answer your legal questions and advise you of your legal options.
What is Expungement in Texas?
Expungement under Texas law is also referred to as expunction. When the court grants an expungement, the offense in question is legally removed from the individual’s criminal history. State agencies and other databases that allow access to public records will be required to remove any mention of your arrest or conviction. As a result, the general public will not be able to see any of the criminal history that has been expunged.
However, there may be instances where an individual may not be eligible for expunction. However, the offense in question may be eligible to be sealed through a non disclosure order. With a non disclosure order, your criminal record still exists but it is now more difficult to for the public to access. One positive aspect of having your record sealed is that private employers will be unable to view your criminal history.
It should be mentioned that obtaining an expungement or an order of non disclosure can be a very complex legal process. Previous arrests for other criminal offenses can are not included in expungement or non disclosure orders. Because the legal process to have criminal records expunged or sealed is so overly complex, you will need the assistance of a skilled expungement attorney who can explain the various challenges that may exist when attempting to have certain criminal offenses expunged or sealed.
Who is Eligible to Have A Criminal Record Expunged in Texas?
If you have a criminal record you may be eligible for expunction. However, there are certain criteria that you must meet in order to do so. In order for an expunction to be considered by the court you must meet the following qualifications:
- Charges against you were later dismissed.
- You received a not guilty verdict.
- You were convicted of a crime but acquitted on an appeal.
- You were found to be innocent after a conviction.
- You were able to successfully plea bargain your criminal case.
- You were arrested but never tried. In cases like this, the prosecutor still must approve the expungement.
- The grand jury issued a no-bill.
- You were sentenced for misdemeanor offenses that you committed before turning 18 years old.
- You received a pardon from the Governor of Texas or the President.
Nevertheless, there are certain criminal convictions that are not eligible for expunction. They include capital murder, sexual assault, indecency with a child, or being sentenced to prison for a DWI conviction. Individuals who have been sentenced to straight probation or any other type of community supervision are also not entitled to seek an expungement. In addition, individuals who have been charged with Class A and B misdemeanors or felonies are only permitted to petition for an order of non disclosure.
A Class C misdemeanor is only eligible for deferred adjudication. Deferred adjudication occurs when you plead guilty or no contest and complete all the requirements set forth by the court. If you are a first time drug offender you may qualify for deferrred adjudication under Texas laws. After the court requirements have been successfully completed you are not considered to have been convicted. However, it should be noted that the charge may remain on your criminal record but there will be no indication of a conviction.
If you are interested in learning more about a criminal record expunction contact our law firm and schedule a free consultation with one of our highly knowledgeable attorneys.
Is There a Waiting Period to Have a Criminal Record Expunged or Sealed in Texas?
Understanding the time frame to file for a criminal record expungement can be an extremely complex process. Often it depends on the various factors that surround your particular case and whether the conviction is that of a felony or misdemeanor.
However, once it has been determined that you are eligible and you file a petition with the court, an appointment for a hearing may take at least 30 days or more. If the court finds it in your favor and grants the petition for expungement of your criminal records, it can still take up to 12 months to ensure that all traces of the conviction have been removed from private companies and law enforcement agencies. Nevertheless, records that have been granted a non disclosure order are frequently sealed at a much faster rate.
If you are looking to potentially erase past mistakes and make a fresh start in life one of the best steps that you can take is to consult with a criminal defense attorney who has the experience and skills necessary to successfully handle the record expungement process. Call our law office and make an appointment to speak with a qualified Houston expungement lawyer from The Redwine Law Firm today.
Are Juvenile Records Automatically Sealed in Texas?
Many Texas citizens have the misconception that juvenile criminal records are automatically sealed when an individual reaches the age of 18 years old. However, this commonly held belief is not true. Juvenile criminal records are still available to be viewed by law enforcement, prospective employers, institutions of higher learning, or by probation officers even after the juvenile reaches legal age. One of the most critical drawbacks is the fact that a juvenile record can be held against a person who may be applying for scholarships or student loans.
It is possible to seal juvenile records, however, the basic requirements differ greatly from those of adults. Some of the requirements must include:
- A time period of at least 5 years has passed since your 16th birthday. In other words, you must be at least 21 years of age or older.
- You were not arrested for a felony or misdemeanor charge that could have potentially caused you to receive a jail sentence.
- You have not been subsequently convicted of a felony since your original arrest.
Just as with adult criminal offenses, sealing juvenile records can be extremely complex and require the assistance of a highly skilled expungement attorney. The Redwine Law Firm has expungement lawyers who will be happy to review your case and inform you of your rights and legal options.
How Can Your Law Firm Help Me With a Criminal Record Expungement?
The Redwine Law Firm of Houston, TX, realizes that people make mistakes that they wish they could later erase. If you are looking to potentially clear up a criminal record you need a Houston expungement attorney who understands the legal complexities involved in removing or sealing a Texas record and can get the job done so that you may resume your life.
We value the attorney client relationship we work to cultivate with each one of our new and prospective clients. We will review your criminal records and give you an honest answer if your charges are eligible for expunction or for a non disclosure order.
Contact our law offices by calling 214-575-8300 to schedule a free consultation.