A criminal offense on your record can hold you back from employment and housing opportunities. Furthermore, they carry a social stigma that can follow you for a long time. Expunction and non-disclosure are opportunities for individuals who may have made mistakes in their past, to get a second chance at life. If you want to know more about Texas expunction and non-disclosure qualifications, retain a knowledgeable expunction attorney that can answer your questions.

Qualifications for Expunction

If a person was never convicted of a crime, all records of the investigation and their arrest can be expunged. For example, if they were arrested but never charged with anything, they can have that arrest wiped from their record.

If a person was charged with a crime but the charges were quashed or dismissed, that individual qualifies for expunction. If a person was acquitted at trial, they qualify for expunction. If they were convicted—either in court or through a plea bargain—they do not qualify for expunction.

An expunction can hide an arrest from someone’s record but not a conviction. That being said, if a person was convicted of a minor, nonviolent misdemeanor such as a DWI, non-disclosure may be the next best option. Texas expunction and non-disclosure qualifications are not the same, and the qualifications for non-disclosure are a little less stringent, while still allowing individuals the opportunity to get a second chance.

What is Non-Disclosure?

Non-disclosure is fairly straightforward as far as complex legal proceedings go, and nearly all first-time offenses can make use of this mitigating procedure. However, non-disclosure is by no means the same thing as expunction, and Texas expunction and non-disclosure qualifications are not the same either.

While non-disclosure is a great tool for moving forward, unencumbered in a person’s life, compliance is much harder to enforce, and it will not erase everything on their record. The records will still exist, and certain people and entities—law enforcement, licensing boards, certain professions, and state agencies—will still be able to access them.

Remember, while non-disclosure will not result in all record of a conviction being destroyed, this legal proceeding seals off all records pertaining to the individual’s conviction and allows them to deny it ever happened.

How Non-Disclosure Helps

The people with access to someone’s records and the circumstances under which they are permitted to access them will be limited, and the accused will be able to deny their conviction—or omit any reference to it—to employers, landlords, lenders, colleges and universities, and the vast majority of all people and entities who would want to take a look into their past.

Even law enforcement is prohibited from circulating or disseminating any record of a person’s arrest to anyone except among themselves. Their records will be sealed from the public and they can put the whole incident behind them.

Qualifying for Non-Disclosure

Someone may qualify for non-disclosure if they have not been convicted or placed on deferred for an offense requiring sex offender registration or involving family violence, murder, capital violence, and other violent acts.

While successful completion of this process means their conviction is sealed so that most employers cannot see the actual conviction, the individual will still have spent time on probation and therefore cannot have all records of the incident destroyed.

Even though a conviction on their record never goes away, with their records sealed off, those who pay their dues and complete their court-ordered probation are given a second chance.

Working With a Texas Expunction Attorney

Expunction and non-disclosure are useful tools to get your life back on track and can help you get a second chance. Work with your lawyer to make the best use of this option and take the necessary steps to protect yourself. If you want to know more about Texas expunction and non-disclosure qualifications and which option is best for you, consult a skilled expunction lawyer today.