It’s extremely frustrating to continue being punished for something that happened years ago, especially when you’re being punished for a crime you didn’t even commit.
Many people are charged with crimes, and they aren’t convicted of them. However, the charge hangs around on their record, spoiling the person’s ability to get a good job. Many employers will make judgments about you based on a charge on your record—even one that was dismissed or you were acquitted of. That’s not right.
If this is a situation you’re dealing with, you’re probably asking this question: How can I get my criminal record expunged in Texas?
There are two main ways to “fix” your criminal record: expunction, also called expungement, and record sealing, or a non-disclosure order.
Expunction is when you petition the court to erase a crime that is on your record. Very few crimes are eligible for expunction, but most charges that did not result in a conviction can be removed from your record. You need to file a petition for expunction with the court and show the judge why you deserve to have this charge or conviction removed.
A non-disclosure order is when you ask the court to “seal” or hide your criminal charge or conviction. The judge may agree to this if you meet certain eligibility criteria. With this court order, your criminal conviction could be visible only to law enforcement agencies, but it won’t be available for public view or for potential employers during a background check.
Now you know how you can get your criminal record expunged in Texas, but the process can be difficult and the judge could deny your petition. It’s usually smart to have a lawyer help you with this. Your lawyer can advise you and assist you in completing the petition, which could prevent errors and could increase your chances of a favorable court ruling.