What is the Difference Between an Expunction and Order of Non-Disclosure?

By Jason Trumpler, P.C. on July 26, 2018

Austin Expunction Attorney and Austin Non-Disclosure Lawyer Jason Trumpler 

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The only way to be sure if you are eligible for an expunction (expungement) or non-disclosure or not is to contact an attorney for a consultation.  You can contact our office at 512-457-5200.

WHAT IS AN EXPUNCTION?

An expunction completely eliminates a charge from your "formal" criminal history as it is a related to a specific arrest.  It is important to note that expunctions are arrest specfici.  I use the caveat "formal" here due to the fact that because the internet has a litany of criminal background check websites, even after a successful expunction, it may be possible to find your criminal history on a web site that is not part of the formal criminal justice system despite an order from the Department of Public Safety requiring removal.   

WHEN AM I ELIGIBLE FOR AN EXPUNCTION?

A record expunction (expungment) in Texas is only available for certain types of individuals/arrests. Typically, this legal remedy is available only to following people/arrests: 

1.  People who are acquitted at trial by jury or judge.  In this case, the expunction is available immediately. 

2.   People who were arrested, but the case was never filed.  In the case of a Class C misdemeanor, at least 180 days has to pass between the time of the arrest and the failure of the state to file a case before you are eligible for an expunction.  In the case of a Class B or A misdemeanor, one year must pass between the date of arrest and the state's failure to file.  In the case of a felony, at least three years must pass from the date of the arrest of the state's failure to file.  
 
3.  People who are convicted but subsequently pardoned are eligible for an expunction
 
4.  If the case was dismissed completely, as compared to reduced or re-filed, or the person was otherwise released from the charges, and the statute of limitations has ran, the person is eligible for an expunction.  (In the case of a misdemeanor, two years must pass.  With most felonies, four years must pass.)  They are shorter periods that are no available for limited expunctions.  In addition, in some cases prosecutors can recommend early expunctions.  
 
5.  People who are placed on a deferred disposition for a Class C misdemeanor and successfully complete the deferral period are eligible for an expunction.  
 
There are a variety of other ways to obtain an expunction. As mentioned above, the only way to be sure if you are eligible for an expunction or not is to contact an attorney for a consultation.  You can contact our office at 512-457-5200.

WHAT IS A NON-DISCLOSURE?

A non-disclosure can allow a court, under certain circumstances, to prohibit criminal justice agencies from disclosing to the public criminal history information of an offender.  There are many offenses, however, for which this procedure is unavailable.  Due to recent changes in legislations there are many offenses which are no eligible for non-disclosure, which were not otherewise previously eligible, including DWI.  In addition, you may be eligible for non-disclosure for some offenses for which you were actually convicted.  In the past, state law required that you be placed on deferred adjudication probation.  It is best that you contact a lawyer to discusss whether you may be eligible for a non-disclosure or not.  

 

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