A criminal record can haunt you forever, preventing you from getting a job, holding a professional license, or even renting a house.
Fortunately, the Texas statutes provide a means for purging or sealing your record, clearing your name and allowing you to regain a sense of normalcy. An expunction and non-disclosure lawyer in Denton can help you do just that.
Call the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today to learn more: 214-696-9253.
Can I Apply for Arrest Record Expunction in Denton?
Expunging your record will erase any proof that you got arrested or ever faced criminal charges.
Per the Code of Criminal Procedure (CCP), you can pursue an expunction for a variety of scenarios. If you went to trial but the court acquitted or pardoned you, you qualify for expunction (as long as you did not receive a conviction for a related crime).
If you never went to trial, you can qualify if you meet the following:
- The court did not convict you;
- The charge was not for violating probation;
- You did not flee while on bail; and
- You never received probation for the offense in question.
You must also prove the following:
- The court dismissed or voided the charges; or
- The waiting period or statute of limitations expired; or
- The prosecution does not need your records.
Should I Seek Non-Disclosure Instead?
While expunction purges your record, non-disclosure essentially seals your criminal history from view in a background check. This prevents most members of the public from accessing your record; however, the police, the courts, and some government agencies may retain access if the court deems it appropriate. Your record will also remain admissible in any court of law.
You can seek non-disclosure if your charges were a Class B or C misdemeanor, but only you met the terms of probation or deferred adjudication agreement.
If your offense involved any of the following, you may not qualify for a non-disclosure:
- Sex-related crimes
- Child abandonment or endangerment
- Injury to a child, elderly person, or disabled person
- Domestic violence
You cannot petition the court to have your record sealed until the statutory waiting period expires, and you cannot have any subsequent convictions to qualify for non-disclosure.
How Can an Expunction and Non-Disclosure Lawyer Help Me Clear My Record?
The process by which you must pursue the expunction of your records is complex and confusing. Having an expunction lawyer handle this process for you can provide quite a few important benefits.
Our legal team will begin by identifying the jurisdiction that handled your case originally. Typically, this will be either the municipal court in Denton, the county court, or the state district court.
Each jurisdiction requires us to petition the court to begin the expunction process. Our legal team will prepare the petition and submit it to the court, as well as to any other entity or agency that has a copy of your record. We must do this so that, should any court or related entity have reason to contest your expunction, it has the opportunity to do so.
Once the court receives our petition, the clerk will schedule a hearing. We will represent you at the hearing, and present the evidence necessary to establish that you have valid cause for requesting an expunction.
For non-disclosure, the procedure is similar to the process for seeking expunction. We will file your petition with the appropriate court and attend the subsequent hearing.
It is important to note that, even if you meet all the criteria for expunction or non-disclosure, the judge does not have an obligation to grant your request unless you can prove it is in the best interest of justice.
Our legal team understands how to present your case in such a way that the judge can agree that you pose no threat to the justice system.
What Are the Waiting Periods for Expunction & Non-Disclosure?
How long you must wait depends on the charges in question.
For example, for a Class C misdemeanor charge, the expunction waiting period is six months from the time of your arrest. For class B or class A misdemeanor charges, the waiting period is one year from the date of arrest. For any felony charge, you must wait three years from the date of the arrest.
If you wish to apply for expunction before the statute of limitations or prescribed waiting period expires, the prosecutor in your case must first agree to it. In many cases, if the prosecution agrees, it will retain your file until the prescribed waiting time or statute of limitations does expire.
Before you can pursue a non-disclosure order, you must complete your obligations under a suspended sentence or deferred adjudication agreement.
If your offense was a misdemeanor that involved a firearm or weapons violation, sex crime, or violent crime, you cannot petition the court for non-disclosure until three years after the completion of your obligations. For any felony offense, you must wait for 10 years after you have fulfilled the terms of your agreement with the court.
Get Answers from an Expunction and Non-Disclosure Lawyer Today
Before you attempt to tackle this complex legal process on your own, talk to an attorney. This will ensure that you understand how the process works.
Attorney Randall Isenberg has more than three decades of experience working in the criminal justice system as an expunction and non-disclosure lawyer, felony prosecutor, and judge. Our legal team can help you determine which procedure is appropriate for your case. We can also explore the details of your situation to ensure that you qualify for either expungement or non-disclosure.
We offer free consultations to ensure you can make an informed decision about your future. Call us today: 214-696-9253.