Fort Worth-Dallas Expunction/Expungement Lawyer
Have you been arrested by mistake and not been charged with a crime? Have you been charged with a crime for which the charges were later dismissed? Have you been tried and found not guilty? Is your criminal record haunting you? Have you accepted deferred adjudication (successful completion of probation with subsequent dismissal of your case)? Many people are surprised to find out that, although their criminal case was “dropped,” dismissed or disposed of via deferred adjudication, evidence and records of their arrest remain public information. Unfortunately, even though you may not have been convicted of a criminal offense, your arrest record is still public information, available for anyone who cares to view it.
Nowadays, a criminal history or background check is often run when you apply for a job, college, graduate school, student loans or a mortgage, and even when you try to rent an apartment. Don’t let a criminal record cost you your job or otherwise ruin your professional and/or personal life! Under Texas law, you may be eligible for an expunction, which completely erases your arrest, or an order for non-disclosure, which seals your record. At The Owens Law Firm, we can help you through the legal process of obtaining an expunction or order for non-disclosurefor cases that occurred in Tarrant or Dallas County, Texas.
What is an expunction?
Texas law allows anyone who has been arrested for a crime to petition the court to order that all the records relating to the arrest be erased. If your petition is granted, then the court issues an order (“expunction“) that has all the records and files relating to the arrest expunged. Once the order of expunction is final, the release, maintenance, dissemination or use of the expunged records and files for any purpose is prohibited, and you may deny both the arrest itself and the existence of the expunction order, with one exception. If you or anyone else is questioned under oath in a criminal proceeding about an arrest for which the records have been expunged, then you (or whoever is being questioned) may state only that the matter in question has been expunged.
Under Texas law, you may be eligible for an expunction if:
- You have been arrested but not charged with a crime.
- You have been acquitted or found “not guilty” of a misdemeanor or felony charge by a judge or jury.
- You have had your criminal case dismissed.
- You were convicted at trial but your conviction was reversed on appeal.
- You have had your case dismissed after serving deferred disposition probation for a class C misdemeanor.
- Another person was arrested under your name.
- You received a pardon from the Governor of Texas or the President of the United States.
Not eligible for an expunction?
Even if you do not qualify for expunction, you may qualify for a non-disclosure order, which seals your records from public view. If you received and completed deferred adjudication, then you may be able to prevent the disclosure of your criminal records to third parties (although licensing agencies and private entities responsible for safety and security will still have access to this information). Unlike expunctions, non-disclosure orders do not completely erase criminal records, but you may legally deny that you were arrested.
Contact Us for Legal Assistance and Help Clearing Your Criminal Record
A negative mark on your criminal record can be a major setback in a number of ways. It can keep you from landing a job, finding a place to live, getting a professional license or even owning a firearm. If your criminal record is causing you trouble, then we recommend that you speak with our firm about an expunction or non-disclosure agreement. Having your criminal record removed can help you move beyond your past and get on with your life, but the process can be challenging and complicated. A criminal defense lawyer from The Owens Law Firm will be able to assist you through this daunting legal process and help get your criminal record expunged or at least protect it from being disclosed to third parties. If you wish to discuss your eligibility for a criminal records expunction or an order of nondisclosure for a case that occurred in Tarrant or Dallas County, Texas, then contact us today by e-mail or telephone at 817-334-7997. The Owens Law Firm is here to assist you and will fight on your behalf to remove and destroy a criminal record that is holding you back in life. We will stand up for your rights!