Waco Expunction and Order of Non-disclosure of Criminal Records in McLennan County
Expunction and non-disclosure are two options available to individuals depending on what happened after arrest. These possibilities give you the legal right to deny the arrest ever happened and suppress access to the records describing your arrest. Expunction and non-disclosure in Texas can help you get a fresh start. If you want to know more, talk with a Waco expunction attorney at 254-753-6437.
Since 1925, Central Texans have trusted Dunnam & Dunnam on their most important matters. We have defended the accused of crimes in McLennan County since our very beginning as a law firm. It is an honor to help our fellow Wacoans. Let us help you too.
If you were arrested but never indicted or charged but never convicted, that person is eligible for expunction. That means that all records about the arrest and the investigation must be destroyed. And the person does not have to tell anyone that it ever happened. That includes law enforcement officials, not judges, bosses, and friends or family.
Because this wipes the slate clean, the person is not obligated to divulge what happened even if they testify in court. Also, anyone with knowledge of the prior arrest is compelled to deny it ever occurred. They are prohibited from disseminating information regarding their detention.
What makes an expunction very valuable about the expunction is that it enforced with criminal punishment. Anyone who leaks information about an expunged arrest is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor.
Non-disclosure does not destroy all traces of arrest, investigation, and conviction, like an expunction. But non-disclosure seals all documentation. This process means there will be no traces of the crime on an individual’s background check. And they can deny it ever happened.
Non-disclosure could be an option for someone convicted of a minor, nonviolent misdemeanor if they completed community supervision.
So if the individual was convicted or placed on deferred adjudication, they could not have records of their arrest and case destroyed, but they can have them sealed off.
While there are conditions where law enforcement officials and individual agencies authorized under the statute could reach this information, it cannot be used against the person. The person will be mostly protected from any repercussions arising from it. Employers, landlords, academic institutions, and lenders cannot find a trace of the person’s prosecution or arrest.
Contacting an Expunction Lawyer in Waco
If you unquestionably cannot have an arrest on your record, an experienced expunction lawyer can work to get charges against you dropped to remain eligible for expunction.
However, if you have a strong enough case to avoid conviction and want your record expunged, you need to be careful when settling out of court, because some plea deals include an agreement to waive your right to expunction.
Expunction and non-disclosure options in Texas exist because people deserve to put their mistakes behind them and move forward. People deserve genuine second chances. You deserve a pure second chance, and a skilled Waco expunction attorney can do everything in our power to see you get it.
Purpose of Expunction and Non-Disclosure Procedures
Expunction and non-disclosure are based on the understanding that sometimes the wrong person is arrested. People may even give fake names when they are arrested or use someone else’s identification to steer them in jail instead.
Sometimes this has harmful effects for the innocent. Innocent people are charged with crimes. Convicted people deserve a second chance too. With an expunction, you can live free from the stain and limitations following conviction.
Since individuals are not automatically entitled to expunctions and non-disclosure, it means that the burden of proof falls on the individual to prove that they meet every requirement to have their records sealed.
Consequences of Not Expunging a Record
When someone interacts with law enforcement, the police will spot the arrest on the person’s record and treat them like a criminal. Once someone is in the criminal justice system, the chances of finding themselves in it again skyrocket. That gives people reasons to pursue non-disclosure or expunction in Texas.
How These Procedures Can Help
Whether you were wrongly accused of a crime, arrested without probable cause, or convicted but completed community supervision, these charges are still on your record, which are found quickly. Background checks find every arrest even if no punitive consequences ever came of it.
If you or anyone you know has ever been arrested, charged with, or convicted of a crime, you know that penalties and probation are only some of the consequences you may face. Finding a landlord who will rent to you, an employer who will hire you, or a college that will accept you can become tricky. There are many reasons to pursue expunction or non-disclosure in Waco, Texas, and a skilled attorney can further explain them to you. Contact an experienced attorney that can help you seek an expunction.
What is the expunction timeline?
Once your expunction is approved, the District Clerk sends a notice by certified mail, secure electronic mail, hand delivery, or fax to all agencies listed in the order of expunction. Those agencies are then obligated to notify all archives that they sent the person’s records and request the return of those documents. These agencies, bureaus, and depositories send all files and materials they have regarding their arrest back to the District Clerk, who sent out the notice.
Can Records Be Destroyed or Blacked Out?
Some files cannot be removed for practical reasons. In these circumstances, any reference to a person must be removed or blacked out. All index references to these files about to be destroyed must be destroyed as well. Private agencies are not required to submit a person’s records to the District Clerk’s office, but they must destroy them.
What laws allows for expunction and non-disclosure in Texas?
Article 55 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure allows persons who were not prosecuted to expunge (erase) their arrest records if all of the requirements are met. There are many traps and loop-holes that need an experienced criminal defense attorney to successfully clean a not-so-flattering criminal history. We all make mistakes, but with the right facts and attorney they can be cleaned up.
Section 481 of the Texas Government allows persons who successfully completed Deferred Adjudication Probation to petition the court, with some exceptions, to enter an Order of Non-disclosure regarding the arrest and probation.
Need an expunction in McLennan County or non-disclosure in Waco?
An experienced criminal defense attorney is necessary to navigate the statutory requirements and help erase or cover up past indiscretions. A Waco expunction attorney can help the local defendant with critical information about the local judge, jury and prosecutors. Our criminal defense attorney has the local understanding required. If you need an aggressive criminal defense attorney in Waco, call us at 254-753-6437.
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Jim Dunnam is a Board Certified Specialist in both Civil Trial Law and Family Law.Read More
Gerald R. Villarrial has practiced family law, criminal law and civil litigation for over 20 years.Read More