If you have been arrested for a crime in Texas, not only will a conviction
lead to jail/prison time, fines, and other penalties, but also a permanent
criminal record. Having a criminal record can cause irreparable harm to
your professional reputation and personal life, making it difficult to
seek employment, find housing, apply for college, and take advantage of
many of life’s opportunities.
Fortunately, it is possible to expunge or seal your criminal record. When
your record is expunged or sealed, certain parties—such as potential
employers and landlords—who conduct background checks from accessing
Expunction in Texas
If your criminal record is expunged, it is not released to the public and
you are allowed to deny that you have been arrested in the first place.
If your arrest did not result in a guilty verdict, you could expunge a
misdemeanor or felony criminal offense.
Your criminal record is eligible for expunction if you were arrested and
one of the following is true:
- Your charges were dismissed at trial
- The court acquitted you
- You were arrested but never charged
- You were convicted but later found innocent or pardoned
According to Texas law, you must wait a certain amount of time prior to
applying for expunction. This waiting period depends on the seriousness
of the crime you were arrested for.
For example, if you were arrested for a Class C misdemeanor, you need to
wait 180 days after your arrest to apply for expunction. For a Class A
or B misdemeanor, the waiting period is one year. For felonies, you need
to wait three years.
Record Sealing in Texas
If you do not qualify for expunction, you may still be eligible for record
sealing through an order of non-disclosure when you complete
In Texas, deferred adjudication is a form of a plea bargain where you pled
guilty or no contest to a criminal offense in exchange for meeting specific
court requirements, such as community supervision. When a criminal record
is sealed, only certain government authorities can view it.
If you were charged with a serious misdemeanor, you must wait two years
before applying for an order of non-disclosure. However, most misdemeanors
are eligible for record sealing immediately. If you were charged with
a felony, the waiting period is five years.
The following are crimes which are never eligible for record sealing in Texas:
How to File for Expunction or Record Sealing
If you are eligible for expunction or record sealing, you must file a Petition
for Expunction or Petition for an Order of Non-Disclosure from with the
court your case was originally held. Due to the complexities of these
processes, having a
criminal defense attorney on your side can help you obtain the results you desire.
Contact us to let our College Station criminal defense lawyer at
The Law Office of Shane Phelps, P.C. review your situation and determine if you are eligible for expungement
or record sealing in Texas.