CAN YOU SEAL YOUR CRIMINAL RECORD? | EXPUNCTIONS & NON-DISCLOSURES | STATE CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER
Do you have a previous criminal arrest? Was the case dismissed, dropped, or no billed? Are you looking to seal your criminal record? Expunctions & Non-Disclosures provide an opportunity in Texas to seal or eliminate a criminal arrest if allowed by Texas law. We offer experienced Fort Worth criminal defense lawyers and former Tarrant County prosecutors who can provide assistance in reviewing your criminal record to see if your case qualifies.
All of our criminal defense attorneys are former prosecutors. Partner Colin McLaughlin is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Managing Partner Bryan Hoeller is rated as a Super Lawyers Rising Star in 2018 and 2019 by Thomson Reuters.
We have offices in Fort Worth and Colleyville, Texas and represent clients on all types of criminal charges, including drug possession charges, DWI, marijuana charges, sex crimes, crimes against children, theft, fraud, white collar crimes, gun and weapons charges, assault, murder, and violent crimes.
CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYERS | FORT WORTH & COLLEYVILLE, TEXAS
WHAT OUR CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYERS OFFER:
EXTENSIVE TRIAL EXPERIENCE – OVER 200 CRIMINAL JURY TRIALS
Our firm has extensive trial experience in criminal defense. Our criminal defense lawyers in Fort Worth and Colleyville have tried over 200 combined criminal jury trials, including jury trials for DWI, Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Sexual Assault, Drug Possession, Gun and Weapons Charges, Burglary of a Habitation, and Capital Murder. In addition, we have reviewed and successfully negotiated thousands of criminal charges.
FORMER PROSECUTORS IN TARRANT, DALLAS, AND HARRIS COUNTY
As former prosecutors in Tarrant, Dallas, and Harris County, our criminal defense lawyers know how the State of Texas will attempt to prosecute you on your criminal charges. This knowledge will allow our firm to build a strong defense in fighting your state or federal criminal charges. All of our criminal lawyers are former Tarrant County prosecutors. We also have former prosecutors who were assigned to specialized units, including DWI prosecution and crimes against children.
COLIN MCLAUGHLIN | BOARD CERTIFIED IN CRIMINAL LAW BY THE TEXAS BOARD OF LEGAL SPECIALIZATION
Our Fort Worth criminal defense lawyers know the inside and out of each and every aspect of a police investigation and State prosecution, including criminal laws, proper police procedures, DNA and blood forensic evidence, and knowing exactly how the State plans to introduce evidence into trial. Partner Colin McLaughlin is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and formerly clerked at the Court of Criminal Appeals, the state’s highest criminal court.
SEAL YOUR CRIMINAL RECORD WITH AN EXPUNCTION OR NON-DISCLOSURE
Don’t let an arrest prevent you from getting your dream job. Let us help you seal your record. See if your case qualifies today.
EXPUNCTIONS & NON-DISCLOSURE IN TARRANT COUNTY?
EXPERIENCED CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER IN FORT WORTH OR COLLEYVILLE, TEXAS CAN HELP SEAL YOUR CRIMINAL RECORD IF YOUR CASE QUALIFIES
Getting arrested can be a very difficult and stressful experience, especially because of the impact it can have on your life, whether you are looking to keep or maintain a job, get an apartment, get a loan, keep a security clearance, own or possess a gun, or get accepted into college. All of these are severely impacted by a criminal arrest. Which is why getting your record sealed can be a very important step in the criminal process. Here is some information and answers to common questions regarding getting your record sealed.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT WAYS TO SEAL YOUR CRIMINAL RECORD?
Texas Law allows for criminal records to be sealed under two primary types of seals:
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO?
The goal for both is to seal your record from public view, but there are differences. An expunction is a lawsuit that if granted by the Court, orders anyone who has any records of your arrest to destroy them, which includes the arresting agency, the DA’s office, and any public database that may have posted your arrest information online. The goal with an expunction is to completely erase any record that you were ever arrested. A Petition for a Non-Disclosure is similar, but with a non-disclosure law enforcement is allowed to keep the records – they just cannot do anything with them. It’s actually against the law for law enforcement to disclose to the public that you were ever arrested.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I QUALIFY?
We are here to help with that part of it because there are a number of factors involved, but here are some of the main questions we are looking at?
- What were you originally arrested for (i.e. what was the charge you are now trying to seal)?
- What was the outcome of the case?
- Was the case dismissed or No-Billed by a Grand Jury?
- Were you ever on probation for the charge?
- Was it a felony or a misdemeanor?
- How long has it been since you are arrested, but in most cases, there is a waiting period before a case is eligible?
- Was there any other cases associated with this charge?
- Have you ever been arrested before or after this charge?
CAN I GET A CASE SEALED IF I WAS CONVICTED?
As a general rule, the answer is no, but there are some exceptions, typically involving offenses committed as a minor. Most expunctions and non-disclosures require the criminal case to have been dismissed, dropped, or no-billed as a final outcome.
DOES YOUR RECORD AUTOMATICALLY GETTING SEALED WHEN A CASE IS DISMISSED?
No. It is a very common misconception that once a case is dropped or dismissed that your record is now clear, but that’s not how it works. Once you get arrested, that arrest stays on your record FOREVER unless you file for an expunction or Petition for a Non-Disclosure.
HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO WAIT TO GET MY RECORD CLEARED?
That depends on a number of factors, including whether the case was a misdemeanor or a felony and how the case was disposed of. For misdemeanors expunctions (i.e. for cases that were outright dismissed), there is generally a 2-year waiting period from the date of arrest (misdemeanors have a 2 year Statute of Limitations). For felony expunctions (felonies that were never filed, dismissed, or no-billed by a Grand Jury), there is generally a 3-year waiting period from the date of arrest (most felonies have a 3 year Statute of Limitations). There are exceptions in Tarrant County for Diversion Programs that shorten the waiting period for an expunction.
For cases eligible for a Petition for Non-Disclosure, it depends on whether it was a misdemeanor or felony. For misdemeanors, it’s a 2 year waiting period. For felonies, the general rule for eligible cases is that there is a 5-year waiting period from the date the case is finally disposed. For example, if you completed deferred probation on a felony drug charge, then the waiting period is 5 years from the date you successfully completed probation and the case was dismissed.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO SEAL YOUR CRIMINAL RECORD?
Background checks. Whether you are applying for a job, for a loan, for a mortgage, or you are trying to go to school, most places do a background check. Having an arrest on your record can make it a lot more difficult to accomplish any one of those things. So it’s vitally important to seal your record.
If you have a question or need us to review your case to see if your qualify for an expunction or non-disclosure, call for a free confidential consultation – 877-208-3382.