Having a permanent criminal record can interfere with your ability to get into a job, rent a house or apartment, obtain professional licensing, or get into the college or university of your choice. It can also affect your ability to obtain student loans or find affordable car insurance.
Fortunately, Texas law provides for the expunction (deletion) or sealing of many types of arrests and convictions – including some first offense DWI convictions. To get your record expunged or sealed, however, you must petition the court and make a strong case. An expunction and non-disclosure lawyer in Highland Park can help you navigate this complex process and make a strong case to clear your record.
Call us at 214-696-9253 to get started.
Understanding the Highland Park Expunction Processes
Expunction means getting an arrest, criminal charges, or a conviction removed from your public record. Expunction requires a court order, but once issued, it grants you the legal right to deny an arrest ever occurred, even under oath.
Not all charges qualify for expungement. However, the following events are typically eligible in most cases:
- Arrests that never led to the filing of formal charges
- Criminal charges that ended in an acquittal
- Criminal charges that ended in a pardon
- Criminal charges where the court dismissed your case
- Criminal convictions subsequently overturned by the court
- Criminal charges dismissed or never filed due to deferral or diversion
- Juvenile misdemeanors and alcohol violations
You can also petition the court for the expungement of criminal charges or convictions obtained by someone posing as you or using your identity.
How the Expunction Process Works in Highland Park
Our legal team will research your case and obtain the information necessary to petition the court for expunction. Some of the information required to complete this process includes the following:
- The nature of the charges involved in your case
- The date and location of your arrest
- The law enforcement agency or agencies involved
- Your name, address, and case number
Once we prepare your petition for expungement, we must submit your request to the court that handled your case originally. We must also notify any other parties, agencies, or jurisdictions who were directly involved or who have a copy of your records. This allows anyone with a potential objection to the expunction of your records to give testimony at your hearing.
Upon receipt of your petition, the court will schedule your expunction hearing and notify us of the date and time.
Determining Whether You Qualify for Expunction
Some factors could interfere with your ability to get your record expunged.
For example, a conviction for any crime related to the same incident you want the court to expunge may disqualify you. Likewise, being granted probation, violating probation, and jumping bail may all potentially disqualify you.
Although you may qualify for expunction, you must wait to petition the court until the statutory waiting period or limitation period runs out.
Texas modifies its statutes periodically so, even if you believe your case may not qualify for expunction, check with our legal team to learn what options you may have for clearing your record.
Obtaining a Non-Disclosure Order in Highland Park
Some types of charges do not qualify for expunction; however, they may be eligible for non-disclosure, or the sealing of your record from public view. A non-disclosure order also grants you the legal right to deny your arrest under oath, on employment applications, etc.
Beginning in 2017, Texas law now allows for the non-disclosure of some DWI offenses and other non-violent misdemeanors.
Before you can ask the court for a non-disclosure order, you must satisfy any court-ordered requirements, and the court must dismiss the criminal charges. The court can deny your request if the statute of limitations has not expired or if your case involved:
- A capital crime (e.g., murder, kidnapping)
- Domestic or family violence
- Sex crimes
- Injury to a child, disabled, or elderly person.
You also may not qualify if you violated a protection order.
Like the laws governing expunction, you may struggle to understand the non-disclosure statutes and how they apply to your case. We can help you understand the statutes and determine whether your case qualifies under the law.
Timing Your Petition for Expunction or Non-Disclosure
There are expunction and non-disclosure wait times for every level of offense. These wait times are as follows:
|Offense Level||Wait Time (after arrest)|
|Allowable Felonies||3 years|
|Class A & B Misdemeanors||1 year|
|Class C Misdemeanor||6 months|
For eligible felony convictions, you must wait ten years from the date you complete any required community supervision to petition for non-disclosure.
You can petition the court for non-disclosure of a first-offense DWI in Highland Park; however, you must wait two years from the date you completed your sentence if you install an ignition interlock system in your car. If you do not, you must wait for five years from sentence completion.
Consult an Expunction & Non-Disclosure Lawyer in Highland Park at No Cost
Criminal defense attorney Randall Isenberg puts his 30+ years of experience to work for our expunction and non-disclosure clients in Highland Park. His time spent as chief felony prosecutor and state court judge provides unique and valuable insight, allowing us to build the most persuasive possible case for you.
Contact the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg to learn more about how we can assist you in obtaining an order of expunction or non-disclosure in Highland Park. We offer free consultations to help you learn more about your options. Call 214-696-9253 today to schedule your appointment.