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Expunction and Nondisclosure of Criminal Records

Article by Jed Totus

Mistakes in life happen every day. In some cases, those mistakes involve criminal charges. Having a criminal charge on your record can have negative effects on your future in many ways. Future employers, financial institutions, schools, landlords, and even potential dates can easily access your record online and can make judgments and choices about you based on what they find. It is possible to have your record cleared in some cases and it’s worth contacting an attorney to find out if you might be eligible for expunction or nondisclosure of your record.

Expunction is the term used to describe having a criminal record completely erased. An individual that is eligible for expunction will have their record completely including arrest record, booking photo, any DPS records, fingerprints and any other information associated with the arrest. It is only allowed in limited circumstances, however if you qualify and receive expunction you are then able to deny that an arrest ever happened. This will prevent anyone from finding out about the criminal charge and will save you from any negative results in the future.

An experienced lawyer may be able to get your record cleared if certain factors are present in your charge. If you are found guilty of a crime and penalties are given you will not be allowed to have your record expunged. If you have been found “not guilty” at trial or if your case was “no-billed” or dismissed, you are possibly eligible for expunction. If the case is not referred for a criminal trial it is considered “no-billed” and is basically the same as the case being dismissed. Similarly, if you were arrested but the case was never filed, you could be eligible to have your record cleared by the court.

Sometimes a person is a victim of identity theft and the individual committing the crime uses their name and information with police instead of their own information. Identity theft victims are eligible to have their record expunged since they did not actually commit the crime. Less frequently, the Governor of Texas or the United States President can give a pardon to an individual who will then be eligible for an expunction.

If a deferred adjudication program is completed by an individual they may not be eligible for expunction but they may instead be able to have a nondisclosure order placed on their record. When the probationary period is completed and the requirements are met the individual is given a discharge and dismissal of the deferred adjudication. With a nondisclosure order the criminal record is not erased but instead is removed from public record. This makes the record inaccessible to most private parties. Government agencies may still be able to gain access to the records when a nondisclosure is used but potential employers, dates, or landlords will not see the arrest information when they do a record check.

The legal system, terminology and processes can be very overwhelming without the right experience. Expunction and nondisclosure are life changing orders that can allow an individual a second chance on life. Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney to guide you through the process is your best bet for changing the course of your life if you have a criminal record that qualifies for possibly being cleared.

Shawn Brown is an excellent San Antonio criminal defense lawyer. He knows the law and defends his clients well. If you need a criminal defense attorney in San Antonio, you should contact Shawn Brown Law at 210-244-8200.

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