A criminal record can have extremely damaging consequences on a person’s employment, housing, or professional licensing. Background checks have become commonplace concerning the reviews of applications in many of these matters, and any record of a prior misdemeanor or felony offense can negatively impact a person’s prospects.
Some residents of Texas may be able to seal or expunge their criminal records, allowing them to legally deny that the arrests ever occurred. The process of sealing (referred to as an order of nondisclosure) or expunging a criminal record, however, can be very complicated.
Lawyer for Record Sealing / Expunging in Denton, TX
Are you hoping to seal or expunge your criminal record in Denton County? You will want to contact Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy for help guiding you through the application process.
Richard McConathy and Brian Bolton are experienced criminal defense attorneys in Denton who represent clients in communities all over Denton County, including Little Elm, The Colony, Argyle, Flower Mound, Highland Village, Lewisville, and many others. They can provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case as soon as you call (940) 222-8004 to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation.
Denton County Record Sealing / Expunging Information Center
- When can a person have a criminal record sealed?
- Who is eligible to expunge a criminal record?
- Where can I learn more about record sealing / expunging in Denton County?
Sealing Criminal Records in Texas
When a person obtains an order of nondisclosure (or seals a criminal record), that individuals’ criminal record can no longer be viewed by the public. Law enforcement agencies and other enumerated entities may have access to the record, but are prohibited from disclosing its contents.
Only alleged offenders who have successfully completed deferred adjudication can apply for orders of nondisclosure. Under Texas Government Code § 411.0725, a person may petition the court that placed the person on deferred adjudication community supervision for an order of nondisclosure of criminal history record information under this section only on or after:
- The discharge and dismissal, if the offense for which the person was placed on deferred adjudication was a misdemeanor other than a misdemeanor described by Subdivision (2);
- The second anniversary of the discharge and dismissal, if the offense for which the person was placed on deferred adjudication was a misdemeanor under Chapter 20, 21, 22, 25, 42, 43, or 46 of the Texas Penal Code; or
- The fifth anniversary of the discharge and dismissal, if the offense for which the person was placed on deferred adjudication was a felony.
Texas Government Code § 411.074 establishes that a person will not be granted an order of nondisclosure of criminal history record information and is not entitled to petition the court for an order of nondisclosure if the court makes an affirmative finding that the offense for which the order of nondisclosure of criminal history record information is requested involved family violence, or the person was convicted or placed on deferred adjudication community supervision for or has been previously convicted or placed on any other deferred adjudication community supervision for:
- An offense requiring registration as a sex offender;
- An offense under Texas Penal Code § 20.04 (aggravated kidnapping), regardless of whether the offense is a reportable conviction or adjudication;
- An offense under Texas Penal Code § 19.02 (murder), Texas Penal Code § 19.03 (capital murder), Texas Penal Code § 20A.02 (trafficking of persons), Texas Penal Code § 20A.03 (continuous trafficking of persons), Texas Penal Code § 22.04 (injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual), Texas Penal Code § 22.041 (abandoning or endangering child), Texas Penal Code § 25.07 (violation of certain court orders or conditions of bond in a family violence, sexual assault or abuse, stalking, or trafficking case), Texas Penal Code § 25.072 (repeated violation of certain court orders or conditions of bond in family violence, sexual assault or abuse, stalking, or trafficking case), or Texas Penal Code § 42.072 (stalking); or
- Any other offense involving family violence.
Expunging Criminal Records in Denton County
When a person has his or her criminal record expunged, all records of the arrest and prosecution are completely destroyed. Expunged records are treated as though they never existed, and individuals who have their records expunged can deny that the arrests ever occurred.
Alleged offenders are eligible to expunge their criminal records if they:
- Were arrested for a crime but were never charged;
- Charged with a criminal offense that was ultimately dismissed;
- Convicted as a minor for certain alcohol offenses;
- Convicted for failure to attend school;
- Arrested, charged, or convicted due to identity theft by another individual that was actually arrested, charged, or convicted of the crime;
- Convicted of a crime that was later acquitted by the trial court or the Criminal Court of Appeals;
- Convicted of a crime that was later pardoned by the Governor of Texas or the President of the United States.
Similar to orders of nondisclosure, state law in Texas imposes certain waiting periods for expunction eligibility. Under Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 55.01(a)(2), a person who has been placed under a custodial or noncustodial arrest for commission of either a felony or misdemeanor is entitled to have all records and files relating to the arrest expunged if that individual has been released and the charge, if any, has not resulted in a final conviction and is no longer pending and there was no court-ordered community supervision for the offense, unless the offense is a Class C misdemeanor, provided that regardless of whether any statute of limitations exists for the offense and whether any limitations period for the offense has expired, an indictment or information charging the person with the commission of a misdemeanor offense based on the person’s arrest or charging the person with the commission of any felony offense arising out of the same transaction for which the person was arrested has not been presented against the person at any time following the arrest, and:
- At least 180 days have elapsed from the date of arrest if the arrest for which the expunction was sought was for an offense punishable as a Class C misdemeanor and if there was no felony charge arising out of the same transaction for which the person was arrested;
- At least one year has elapsed from the date of arrest if the arrest for which the expunction was sought was for an offense punishable as a Class B or A misdemeanor and if there was no felony charge arising out of the same transaction for which the person was arrested;
- At least three years have elapsed from the date of arrest if the arrest for which the expunction was sought was for an offense punishable as a felony or if there was a felony charge arising out of the same transaction for which the person was arrested; or
- The attorney representing the state certifies that the applicable arrest records and files are not needed for use in any criminal investigation or prosecution, including an investigation or prosecution of another person.
Texas Record Sealing / Expunging Resources
Criminal History Records | Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) — On this section of the DPS website, you can find information about expunctions and orders of nondisclosure. You can also view crime statistics and learn more about criminal history reporting. You can also find a link to perform criminal history searches.
Texas Government Code | Order of Nondisclosure of Criminal History Record Information — View the full text of the statutes relating to orders of nondisclosure. You can learn more about required conditions for receiving an order of nondisclosure as well as different procedures and disclosures in Subchapter E-1. Subchapter F deals with criminal history record information.
Texas Code of Criminal Procedure | Expunction of Criminal Records — Chapter 55 of the Code of Criminal Procedure deals with expunctions. Learn more about the right to expunction, the procedure for expunction, and the effect of expunction. You can also find information relating to license suspensions and revocations.
Find a Denton, TX Record Sealing / Expunging Attorney | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy
If you have a criminal record that you want to have expunged or sealed in Denton County, it will be in your best interest to seek legal representation. Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy assists clients in Flower Mound, Argyle, The Colony, Little Elm, Lewisville, Highland Village, and many surrounding areas of Denton County with orders of nondisclosure and expunctions.
Denton criminal defense lawyers Richard McConathy and Brian Bolton will fight to help you clear your name. Call (940) 222-8004 or complete an online contact form to have our attorneys review your case and help you understand all of your legal options during a free initial consultation.