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500 Main St, Suite J, Kerrville, TX 78028

Texas Expungement Lawyer Works to Protect Clients’ Reputations

Kerrville attorney helps block criminal records from public view

A criminal record can shut the door to a wide range of opportunities. When an arrest shows up on a background check, you can lose the chance at a car loan, student loan, a job or a lease on an apartment. To learn if you can avoid unfair treatment based on prior contact with law enforcement, speak to the Law Firm of Richard L. Ellison, P.C. in Kerrville. I am a Texas expungement who can review your case to see if you qualify for an relief through an expunction or a nondisclosure order. In a very short time, you can have a clean slate and move forward with fresh hope and confidence.

What is expungement vs record sealing?

There are two ways to shield an arrest record from public view. The first is an expungement or expunction. This is a court order for agencies that store adult criminal records to destroy the record. Under this process, paper copies get shredded and digital files deleted. The second method is an order of nondisclosure. This allows appropriate government agencies to retain the record but hide it from public view, so it is not visible during background checks, but could be introduced at a subsequent legal proceeding if you face new charges. Whether you should seek an expunction or nondisclosure depends on your circumstances.

Texas law on expungement

Expungement offers the most complete solution, but it is not available to everyone. You cannot get an expungement if you were convicted of the offense. You can only get an expungement if:

  • You were charged with a Class C Misdemeanor but received deferred adjudication, or
  • You were arrested in connection with any misdemeanor or felony, and no charges were filed, charges were dismissed or you were acquitted or pardoned.

In Texas, juvenile records are sealed automatically when an offender turns 17. From that point forward, an individual can legally deny the alleged criminal conduct or arrest.

Eligibility for expunging criminal records in Texas

Here are some of the circumstances that would allow you to seek an expungement in Texas:

  • No criminal charges filed
  • Charged but acquitted at trial
  • Conviction overturned on appeal
  • Charges dismissed
  • Grand jury declined to indict
  • Pardoned by the governor

As an experienced criminal defense attorney, I understand how the justice system works and can answer any questions about whether your particular circumstances allow you to qualify for expungement.

Benefits of expungement

There are many reasons to seek an expungement or an order nondisclosure. Removing an arrest from your record makes it easier to:

  • Apply for a car loan, personal loan, or mortgage
  • Apply for financial aid for your education
  • Apply for a job
  • Find housing

Don’t let a single incident, such as a simple assault charge, derail your life. If an arrest is interfering with your goals, you should seek to clear your record as soon as you are eligible.

The process to file expungement in Texas

If you were tried and acquitted, you are immediately eligible for an expunction. If you did not face charges, you have a minimum waiting period before you can file an application for expunction:

  • Class C Misdemeanors — 180 days
  • Class A and B Misdemeanors — One year
  • Felonies — Three years

If authorities brought charges but the case did not proceed to trial, the statute of limitations must expire for every crime for which you were charged before you can file the application.

Experienced Texas lawyer helps seal records when expungement is not possible

If you are not eligible for an expunction, you might still benefit greatly from a nondisclosure order. Nondisclosure is much less restrictive, so even if you have been convicted of an offense, you can have that record shielded from public view.

Talk to a board-certified Kerrville criminal defense attorney about a potential expungement

The Law Firm of Richard L. Ellison, P.C. in Kerrville counsels Texans who are seeking expungements and orders of nondisclosure for criminal records. To schedule a consultation, call me at 830-955-8168 or contact me online.