Beaumont Expungement & Non-Disclosure Attorney
In the state of Texas, an expunction or non-disclosure can help you clear your criminal record and/or remove it from background reports. Unfortunately, not everyone has these options.
For those who have been turned down for a job due to a criminal record, you know what a burden it can be. Having to disclose an arrest can be long-term hardship, even if you were not convicted of the charge. An arrest record follows you long after you have served your sentence and can be the difference in whether or not you get the job you apply for.
Fortunately, Texas law allows certain former offenders to petition the court to make their conviction record nonpublic. This is called “expungement” or an “expunction.” When you qualify for an expunction, the records of your arrest are destroyed and will be as if your arrest never happened.
The Difference Between Expunction and Non-disclosure
Non-disclosure of a criminal record and expungment of a criminal record are two very different things and happen under two very different circumstances. The final effect is similar however whereby no member of the public has access to the record when they search your criminal history.
When the state expunges a criminal record, they destroy all of the records of the case. It is as if it never happened. With a non-disclosure, there are certain records that still exist for law enforcement purposes. Law enforcement can see these records and read information about your past conviction, but the general public cannot.
Criminal Record Expunction in Beaumont
Eligibility for Expunction
The first thing to do to clear your criminal record in Texas is to check your eligibility. If you are tried and acquitted of the charges against you, you are allowed to ask the state to destroy the records of the charges. In addition, if you are convicted but later receive a pardon for the offense, you are eligible for an expunction.
In cases where a person is later exonerated after a conviction, they can ask the state to destroy the records. There are also some minor offenses and juvenile convictions that are eligible for expunction after a certain length of time.
Even if you are not eligible for expunction, you may still qualify to ask for non-disclosure of the record. Experienced Beaumont criminal defense attorney Dustin Galmor can tell you if your case meets the qualifying criteria.
How to Apply for Criminal Record Expunction
To obtain an expunction, your defense attorney must file a petition with the court and the state must be notified. If you meet the eligibility requirements, the judge must grant the petition and order the records expunged.
There is a lot of information that needs to go into preparing a petition, including:
The petition must be filed in the county where you were arrested or where you faced the criminal charges.
Once you have prepared a petition for expunction, your attorney must file an expunction order. This is the document the judge signs directing the relevant government agencies to destroy all criminal records. The order must be prepared accurately and with all of the necessary information.
After the expunction is complete, the state keeps the records for designated period of time so that if the person charged later files a case for wrongful imprisonment, the records will be available. After the statute of limitations runs out, the records are completely destroyed.
Non-Disclosure of Criminal Record in Beaumont
Non-disclosure cases are different than expunction cases in that they are often discretionary, wherein the judge can decide if they want to grant the request for nondisclosure or not. This is different from expunction where the court only has to make an easy decision as to whether a petition meets a set very strict requirements.
When a person qualifies for non-disclosure, they often still have to prove to the court that the non-disclosure is in the interests of justice. It is critical to carefully prepare a non-disclosure petition in order to make the best possible case to the court that they should grant your request.
If you are interested in an expunction or non-disclosure of your records in Beaumont, criminal defense attorney Dustin Galmore can help by discussing eligibility and petitioning the courts on your behalf. Contact the Law Firm of Galmor, Stovall & Gilthorpe today by calling (409) 832.7757 to schedule a free consultation.