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Secrets of the Texas Criminal Justice System and Your Rights
Following a conviction, one of the consequences many people face is that the crime is now on their record. You may wonder what options you have in terms of clearing your record, which is where an experienced expunction lawyer can help. While the best-case scenario is not getting arrested in the first place, if you have an arrest, a charge, or a conviction on your record, it is time to take a look at how to make the best of a bad situation. There are many reasons to pursue expunction or non-disclosure in Texas, let an experienced attorney advise you.
Purpose of Expunction and Non-Disclosure Procedures
Expunction and non-disclosure procedures are rooted in the reality that police make mistakes and sometimes arrest the wrong person. People give fake names when they are arrested or use another’s identity to land them in jail in their place.
Sometimes this glitch has harmful and far-reaching repercussions for innocent people. Sometimes people are charged with crimes they did not commit. In most cases, those who have been convicted of a crime still deserve a second chance to live free from the stigma and restrictions resulting from their conviction.
Are Individuals Entitled to Expunction and Non-Disclosure?
People are not entitled to expunction and non-disclosure agreements. Neither of these proceedings can be found in the Bill of Rights, the country’s list of every citizen’s fundamental rights, regardless of their circumstances.
Since individuals are not automatically entitled to either of these, it also means that the burden of proof falls on them to prove that they meet every single requirement to have their records sealed off. The court does not do it for the person or offer it to them.
Consequences of Not Expunging a Record
Anytime someone has to interact with law enforcement, they will spot the arrest on the person’s record and treat them like a criminal. The hard lesson here is that once someone is in the criminal justice system, your chances of finding themselves wrapped up in it again skyrocket. Having been involved with the system certainly gives people reasons to pursue expunction or non-disclosure in Texas.
With expunction, all records and documentation pertaining to someone’s arrest and the investigation must be destroyed and wiped from their record. With non-disclosure, while records and documentation are not destroyed, they are sealed and cannot be found by most employers running a background check on the individual. However, law enforcement agencies authorized by the statute will still see the deferred.
How These Procedures Can Help
Whether you were wrongly accused of a crime, arrested without probable cause, or convicted but completed community supervision, these charges are still on your record which can be easily found in a simple search. Background checks unearth every arrest and investigation even if no punitive consequences ever came of it.
If you or anyone you know has ever been arrested, charged with, or convicted of a crime, you know that penalties and probation are only some of the consequences you may face. Finding an employer who will hire you, a landlord who will rent to you, or a college that will accept you can become especially difficult. There are many reasons to pursue expunction or non-disclosure in Texas, and a skilled attorney can further explain them to you. Contact a skilled attorney that can help you pursue an expunction.