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A criminal arrest can unfairly mar your record. You are likely not the same person you were when you were arrested, and your record should reflect that. An expunction or a non-disclosure can be the opportunity you need to get a new start. In doing so, you can either seal or the charges that are on your record. Understanding Texas expunction and non-disclosure procedures are vital to deciding which procedure will work best for you. A qualified attorney can help you make that decision, and can try to get you a second chance.
Factors That Impact a Person’s Expunction Process
The first thing a person needs to know when understanding Texas expunction and non-disclosure procedures is that while expunction focuses on their arrest, non-disclosure focuses on their conviction. An individual’s particular expunction proceeding will be entirely based on the nature of their arrest.
- Was the person arrested but never charged?
- Was the person charged but the charges were later dropped?
- Was the person the victim of an identity theft that led to their wrongful arrest?
All of these factors play into their expunction process.
Factors Influencing Non-Disclosure Process
In the same way, a person’s non-disclosure procedure is tailored to the nature of their conviction and successful completion of community supervision.
- What charge were they convicted of
- Did they successfully complete community supervision
- Were they discharged early
These are a few of the factors that shape the procedure of the non-disclosure process and are instrumental to understanding Texas expunction and non-disclosure procedures.
Differences Between Expunction and Non-Disclosure
Expunction destroys all record of an arrest while non-disclosure seals off all record of conviction. Sealed-off records still exist and can be accessed by law enforcement officials and certain professional and licensing boards in very specific circumstances, but in effect, while they still exist, they cannot generally be accessed.
Expunction is a cleaner sweep than non-disclosure, but both keep this part of a person’s past off the public record.
Since expunction destroys all documentation of their arrest, a whole host of organizations and agencies, as well as the state must be notified when they submit the petition. Any of these entities have the right to oppose the expunction because if their expunction is approved, they all permanently lose access to the records.
On the other hand, when a person files their non-disclosure petition they need only notify the state in which they were convicted. That means the only the state can oppose a person non-disclosure.
In most cases, deferred adjudication automatically disqualifies you from being eligible to have your records expunged. This is not true for a Class C deferred adjudication, however. If you received a deferred for a class C offense and successfully lived out the deferred, then you can petition for an expunction. But in all other cases, even though charges against you will be dropped when you complete all of your court-ordered probation, community service, classes, et cetera, the fact that you were on probation at all means non-disclosure is your only option.
Spending time under community supervision—even if it means the judge will ultimately dismiss your case—ensures your records will never be completely destroyed. However, deferred adjudication may be your best option if there is no way to get charges against you dropped. You can still have your records sealed off from the public.
Anyone who does possess the authority to access them will see that you made a mistake in your past and had a run-in with the criminal justice system because of it. They will also see that you took responsibility for your actions and do not have a conviction on your record. If you want to know more about deferred adjudication or, you need help understanding Texas expunction and non-disclosure procedures, contact a knowledgeable attorney today. A Texas expunction lawyer can work towards a positive outcome for you.