Criminal Record Cleaning: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started
A Clean Start
Now is a better time than ever to explore criminal record cleaning. More employers are running background checks on employees and applicants. And almost anyone can access your criminal background online. Unfortunately, the discrimination against those with criminal convictions hasn’t lessened, putting many at an unfair disadvantage.
But the good news is there are steps you can take to clean your record. You may be able to limit public access to your record or remove certain pieces of information. The best way to have a clean criminal record is to avoid run-ins with the law in the first place. But if you’re past that point, here’s what you need to know about criminal record cleaning.
For those with adult criminal cases, there are two options for cleaning your record: expunctions and Orders of Nondisclosure.
Expungement permanently removes certain pieces of information from your criminal record. If the court grants your request for an expunction, you can deny the incident ever took place. You can legally say you were never arrested for, charged with or convicted of the crime you had expunged. Expunctions are a good option for those who are eligible as they reduce the stigma associated with a criminal conviction. You may be eligible to file a Petition for Expunction for:
- An arrest for a crime you were never charged with
- A charge that was eventually dismissed
- Certain misdemeanor juvenile offenses
- A conviction for failure to attend school (truancy)
- A conviction as a minor for certain alcohol-related offenses
- A conviction for a crime that was acquitted by the trial court or Criminal Court of Appeals
- A conviction for a crime for which you received a Governor’s or Presidential Pardon
- Arrests, charges or convictions due to identity theft (if the perpetrator was then arrested, charged or convicted)
- Class C violations for which deferred disposition was successfully completed
Other eligibility requirements may apply. Always speak with an experienced Texas expungement attorney before filing your petition.
Orders of Nondisclosure
An Order of Nondisclosure limits the information law enforcement agencies can release to the public. This is crucial given the ease with which the public can access criminal records. The information will still be visible to law enforcement agencies and courts, but not to the public, including landlords and most employers. This is an ideal option for those ineligible for an expunction.
You may be eligible to file a petition for an Order of Nondisclosure if you successfully completed a deferred adjudication and finished your community supervision. There may be other requirements, so confirm your eligibility with an attorney. For example, you cannot petition for an Order of Nondisclosure until statutorily permitted to do so, and subsequent charges may affect your eligibility.
The process and requirements for cleaning juvenile adjudications and offenses from your record may differ. Work with a Texas criminal defense attorney if you want to clean your juvenile record.
Criminal record cleaning can give you a chance to start fresh. It can improve your chances of getting a job, an apartment or a loan. But courts can deny Petitions, so it’s essential you first speak with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney before you file one. An attorney familiar with the specific facts and circumstances of your offense can best explain the full list of eligibility requirements and restrictions and the complete step-by-step process. It is well worth your time and resources, however, to move on from your arrest, charge or conviction confidently.
If you need to clean your record and are in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email email@example.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.