Getting arrested for a criminal offense can negatively impact many facets of your life, regardless of whether the charges were later dropped. For the majority of people charged with a misdemeanor crime, the most devastating consequence is the public record that is created. A criminal record is easily accessed by potential employers, loan officers and property managers, diminishing housing opportunities and even keeping gainful employment out of reach.
Having a criminal record can damage one’s reputation and credibility, even in cases where you were never convicted or have already repaid your debt to society. Texas state law affords two methods of erasing or permanently sealing records of criminal offenses, both of which provide a clean slate.
Expungement Attorney in Plano, Texas
At Peveto Law, we represent clients throughout Collin County and Dallas County, Texas who are seeking to seal or permanently erase their criminal records. Whether you were arrested for a DWI or charged with theft, an experienced expungement lawyer is a powerful resource. Reach out to attorney Andrew Peveto for a private consultation to find out if you are eligible for expungement or an order for non-disclosure. Leveraging over 10 years of expertise in criminal defense law, Andrew Peveto has successfully handled hundreds of cases and knows how to get a misdemeanor expunged efficiently through the courts.
Clients with certain misdemeanor convictions not eligible for expungement may still qualify for an order for non-disclosure.
Expunged misdemeanor vs. Non-disclosure
Every state, including Texas, has two approaches to clearing certain arrests and criminal convictions from public record.
- Expungement/Expunction – If the court grants an expungement, all eligible arrests, convictions, complaints and charges are permanently erased from public record as if they never existed. This method allows you to lawfully state that you do not have a criminal record.
- Order of Non–disclosure – This method prohibits criminal justice agencies from sharing your record of criminal offenses with the public. Your record is essentially sealed and is viewable only to the State of Texas. Under current Texas non-disclosure laws, there are petitions for: Deferred Adjudication Community Supervision for certain felonies and misdemeanors. In 2017, this expanded to include certain Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) convictions. The order, if granted, applies to a particular criminal offense, and does not seal the entire record.
Expungement in Texas – am I eligible?
Texas law does permit the expunction of criminal records under certain conditions. Your record may qualify for expungement if:
- You were acquitted of the charges
- Your case was formally dismissed
- You were arrested but not charged
- You were convicted but later pardoned
- You successfully completed a pretrial diversion program
- The statute of limitations expired
- You were charged for a crime but found not guilty
- You were convicted of truancy and are now 18 years old
- You were a minor convicted of a tobacco or alcohol-related offense
For those who were arrested but not convicted of a criminal offense, Texas imposes a mandatory waiting period before an expungement can be requested.
- Class A & Class B Misdemeanor – 365 days from the date of arrest
- Class C Misdemeanor – 180 days from arrest date
- Felony – 3 years from date of arrest
The process of erasing a criminal record is multi-faceted, governed by strict criteria, and requires the skilled representation of a competent expungement attorney who will maximize your chances of success. Peveto Law has a trusted reputation and a long track record of favorable results in courtrooms across Dallas and Collin County.
Non-disclosure – sealing criminal records
Most misdemeanor convictions in Texas are eligible for non-disclosure, which would seal the criminal record from public view. In most cases, you can petition to have the record sealed after successfully completing deferred adjudication. If a misdemeanor offense resulted in only a fine, there is no waiting period before applying for an order of non-disclosure. Under Texas Government Code §§ 411.0715, 411.0725, there is a two-year mandatory waiting period for more serious misdemeanors and a five-year waiting period for felonies.
Criminal offenses that are not eligible for non-disclosure include:
- Injury to a child, elder or disabled person
- Aggravated kidnapping
- Any act that results in sex offender registration
- Family violence
- Human trafficking
It is important to note that non-disclosure orders may be denied by the court, even if the filing requirements are met. A talented attorney can help build strong arguments in favor of granting a non-disclosure order.
Explore your options with Peveto Law
Andrew Peveto has spent the last decade helping clients move forward with their lives by getting their records sealed or expunged. If you were arrested in Dallas or Collin County, call our Plano office to learn more about your eligibility for destroying or sealing your criminal record.
Request a complimentary consultation with an expungement lawyer Texas residents have come to trust. Reach out to our Plano law offices today.
- LegalMatch, What Is Misdemeanor Expungement? https://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/misdemeanor-expungement-lawyers.html
- Texas Department of Public Safety, Criminal Records Service https://www.dps.texas.gov/administration/crime_records/pages/juvenilecriminalhistoryrecords.htm
- Texas Statutes, Texas Government Code Section 411.071 https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/GV/htm/GV.411.htm#411.071