If there are arrest records that will show up on a background check by a future employer, you may wish to seek an order of expunction. However, only certain records qualify for expunction. As a result, you should be sure to contact an El Paso expunction lawyer for advice about your case.
You only get one shot at an expunction order, so you must be sure that you do it correctly. Otherwise, you risk being permanently unable to expunge arrest records that could follow you for the rest of your life. A resourceful criminal defense attorney could help you seek expunction for eligible arrest records.
El Paso Arrest Records and Expunction
Expunction is a procedure by which an eligible person can effectively erase their arrest records. The original purpose of expunction was to allow wrongfully arrested individuals to have their arrest records destroyed. Now, however, the remedy has expanded to allow the erasure of all records related to an arrest and subsequent charges in selected circumstances. Under Tex. Crim. Pro. Code § 55.01, individuals may seek expunction for arrests in any of the following situations:
- They were found not guilty or acquitted following a trial
- They were convicted of a crime but later pardoned
- Criminal charges were filed but are no longer pending, there was no conviction or court-ordered community supervision, and certain required time periods have passed since the arrest
- Criminal charges were dismissed or quashed because the accused completed a pre-trial intervention program
- Criminal charges were mistakenly filed or filed based on false information
In these situations, a person could have all records related to their arrest, charges, trials, and related matters completely erased. These records will no longer show up on background checks by employers because they will no longer exist. An El Paso expunction lawyer could help determine whether certain arrest records are eligible for expunction.
What Records Are Ineligible?
Any criminal conviction that arises from an arrest makes a person ineligible to seek expunction of their arrest records unless it is a Class C misdemeanor. Other exclusions from expunction include those who:
- Have a previous expunction order for arrest records
- Skipped bail after being arrested
- Were arrested on a warrant resulting from their violation of community supervision
- Were convicted of or could face prosecution for another offense arising out of the same criminal episode
Furthermore, some types of arrest records simply do not qualify for expunction. These arrest records include those related to charges that result in orders of probation or community service and those that are dismissed following deferred adjudication of charges, other than Class C misdemeanors, among others.
Petitions for Non-Disclosure
Although expunction is not a potential remedy for most individuals with criminal convictions, an order of non-disclosure can have similar benefits, as it will prevent records from showing up on a criminal background check. Unlike expunction, which results in the destruction of records, a non-disclosure order only seals records from public view. Non-disclosure does not prevent courts or law enforcement agencies, including federal immigration authorities, from having access to and viewing the records.
Tex. Gov. Code § 411.071 et. seq. outlines the types of convictions and criminal records for which someone may be able to obtain an order of non-disclosure. There is no guarantee that a person will get an order of non-disclosure, even if Texas law provides that they are eligible for the relief. It is still always up to the judge whether to grant this form of relief. For more information about an order of non-disclosure and expunctions, reach out to a knowledgeable lawyer.
Seek the Advice of an El Paso Expunction Attorney
Expunction and judicial orders of non-disclosure both can be beneficial to you, both personally and professionally. However, the circumstances under Texas law in which you can seek these forms of relief are limited. An El Paso expunction lawyer may be able to help you determine which type of relief, if any, might be available in your situation.
A negative event on a criminal background check can adversely affect your job prospects, your ability to obtain housing, and your eligibility for certain career paths. Call today to learn what options are available to you.