Expunction | Non-Disclosure
Even a minor criminal case can have far-reaching consequences beyond the immediate outcome. This is because the outcome of nearly all criminal cases is recorded in a person’s criminal record.
Expunction and Non-Disclosure
A person’s criminal record can contain a great deal of information. In many cases, this record does not just include a conviction for a criminal offense. It can also contain arrest records, criminal accusations, police records, court records and information regarding the outcome of a case.
In this way, even if someone is not convicted of a crime, receives deferred adjudication or has their case dismissed, all of that information is kept indefinitely in their criminal record. The only way to have these records erased or sealed is by the expunction and non-disclosure process.
An order of expungement effectively destroys all records of a criminal case, making it impossible for law enforcement to use that information in the future. An order of non-disclosure conceals the records so that law enforcement cannot reveal them but some government agencies can use the sealed record information in the future.
Eligibility for Expunction and Non-Disclosure
Only certain cases may qualify for an order of expunction or an order of non-disclosure.
- Expunction. To qualify for expunction, a case must meet certain requirements. For example, if someone is arrested but not charged or if they are deemed “not guilty”, they may be able to have their record expunged. Also, if someone successfully completes deferred adjudication or pleads guilty to certain minor misdemeanor charges, they may qualify for expunction. However, if a guilty verdict is handed down, expunction may be impossible.
- Non-Disclosure. Successful completion of a deferred adjudication program may make someone eligible for a non-disclosure order. In the case of felonies, a waiting period may apply. Certain crimes, like murder, sexual assault or indecency with a child can never qualify for non-disclosure.
An experienced defense attorney can analyze a case and make a motion for an order of expunction or non-disclosure. Consulting with an attorney is the best way to find out if either of these orders is a possibility for a particular client.