Having a criminal charge on your record can affect many aspects of your life, including influencing decisions from apartment managers or potential employers. Texas allows you to protect your reputation and improve your chances of getting a job or new home through expunction or nondisclosure in some cases. To learn more about your options for clearing your criminal record, you need to discuss your situation with an expunction & non-disclosure lawyer in Dallas-Fort Worth.
At the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg, we regularly file for record expunction or petition for nondisclosure for our clients. We can help you explore the best route to clear your record and mitigate the effects of a previous arrest in Fort Worth. Call us today at 214-696-9253 to schedule a time to discuss your options.
Who qualifies for expunction in Fort Worth?
Expunction erases all traces of a criminal charge from your record. If we file paperwork to expunge your record and the court approves it, there will be no record of your arrest when a potential employer or apartment complex runs a background check. If you need to clear your record for state licensing or even an employment application, expungement may be your best option.
Texas law only allows expungement in certain situations. The state limits this option for clearing your record to cases where the court dismissed charges or found you not guilty. There is an exception to this rule, allowing those who received a conviction to expunge their record. However, this is only possible if you first receive a pardon for the crime. This is not common in Texas, but we can help you clear your record if you find yourself in this situation.
In most cases, our clients who qualify for expunction:
- Never received charges for a crime;
- Completed pre-trial diversion;
- Were found not guilty;
- Had their case dismissed after filing charges; or
- Received a no-bill, meaning the court decided to forgo prosecution
Even if you fall into one of these categories, there are some situations where the court will not grant you an expunction. We can examine your case carefully and determine if you are likely to receive approval. Some reasons you might not be eligible include if you:
- Received deferred adjudication or probation for the charge in question
- Have a felony conviction within five years of the arrest
- Have pending charges from another crime during the same incident
- Received a conviction for another crime that occurred during the same incident
- Have not yet reached the end of the statute of limitations for the charge
We are knowledgeable about the laws and processes that make expunctions possible. Contact us today and let us review your case to determine if you may qualify. We can help you understand your options, and answer any questions you may have about your rights.
How is nondisclosure different?
If you do not qualify for expunction, we may be able to seal your criminal records from potential employers and others through a nondisclosure action. Unlike expunction, nondisclosure does not clear your record. It simply hides the charge from public view. Law enforcement and state agencies can still see the full record, but most employers, apartment managers, universities, and others cannot. We can use this type of relief if you received a deferred adjudication in your case.
This type of petition also differs quite a bit from expunction, because the judge has much more discretion in granting or denying approval. It is completely up to the judge to determine the outcome of a nondisclosure petition, although we can present a strong case as to why sealing your records is an appropriate action.
The rules surrounding who can petition for nondisclosure are complicated and vary somewhat depending on when the offense occurred. A new law went into effect on September 1, 2015, so the nondisclosure rules are different for charges before that date. When we evaluate your case, we can help you understand which laws apply to you and what that means for your chances for nondisclosure.
In general, you may qualify as long as you have not faced another arrest since the charge in question and you were not convicted or granted deferred adjudication for certain serious criminal offenses. This includes:
- Domestic violence/family violence offenses
- Sex-related offenses that require offender registry
- Aggravated kidnapping
- Human trafficking
- Injuring minors, seniors, or the disabled
- Child abandonment
- Child endangerment
We can evaluate your situation and determine if nondisclosure is the best option to hide past mistakes from your criminal record. If so, we file a petition with the court and present the judge with a strong argument as to why nondisclosure is in the best interest of justice in your case.
How can a criminal lawyer help me with expunction & nondisclosure?
You can read more about expunction and nondisclosure in Fort Worth at the Texas State Law Library website, but we advise you to give us a call as soon as possible. We can answer your questions and, depending on the circumstances, may be able to petition the court to erase any record of your arrest, or at least allow you to legally deny the charge when you apply for an apartment or a job.
Once we secure an expunction or nondisclosure in your case, we follow up to ensure the Texas Criminal Information Center receives updated records. This is key because if the courts do not properly implement the expungement or nondisclosure orders, others can still see the charges on your criminal record.
Call Randall B. Isenberg about expunging your record today.
At the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg, we understand how important it is to clear your record after facing false charges or completing the terms of a deferred adjudication. We understand the complicated Texas laws outlining expunction and nondisclosure and can help you navigate these processes.
Call us today at 214-696-9253 to schedule a case analysis and get started.