In the State of Texas, there are two different methods of “sealing” your record.
The first, and most desired, is an expunction. An expunction does more than seal your records, it completely destroys them. If you recieve an expunction there will be no record of the offense. As you will see below, however, expunctions are very difficult to get.
On the other hand, a non-disclosure merely seals your record. If you receive a non-disclosure, your employer will not be able to see the offense, but government agencies and police will.
It is very helpful to seal or expunge your record, because everyone makes mistakes and The Coffey Firm is here to help you legally put those mistakes behind you.
How do I Qualify for an Expunction?
If you meet one or more of these criteria you may qualify for an Expunction.
Being found Not Guilty by either a judge or a jury.
Being arrested for a crime that was never charged.
Arrest, charge, or conviction on a person’s record due to identity theft
by another individual that was actually charged.
Conviction for a crime that was pardoned by the Governor of Texas
or the US President.
How do I Qualify for a Non-Disclosure?
The eligibility to seal records or have a Judge order a Motion for non-disclosure is widening constantly. The requirements vary from case to case depending on a number of factors:
Eligibility due to wait period.
Consideration as to any intervening offenses and their time periods.
The type of offense.
How the offense was disposed.
How the punishment was served.
In the past, one could not “seal” a DWI. Now, under very limited circumstances a Judge can grant a Motion for Non-disclosure. Generally speaking the consideration for eligibility includes:
Is there any criminal history outside a class C ticket?
Was the case disposed (crime classification of class A versus class B) of as having an alcohol concentration of over .15?
Was there an accident in which a person, other than the defendant, was hurt?
Eligibility and the process are complicated matters. We are here to take away the anxiety and frustration of what a criminal charge can cause. Call us to help you with this process. Don’t let a criminal charge prevent you from being your best you!
*two or five years is a standard waiting period. With that being said, depending on the facts of your case you could be eligible sooner or later.
Mimi Coffey is a nationally-renowned trial attorney, board-certified in DWI by the NCDD, who has been practicing for over 24 years and is an author of multiple DWI Defense textbooks and is a national and state-wide lecturer on the law.