Are You Eligible for a Non-Disclosure or Expunction in Texas?

One thing most people dread about an arrest or conviction is simply having that “event” on their criminal record for all eternity. Many jobs require candidates to go through background checks during the interview process. Fair or not, those with arrests or convictions on their record have these criminal events hanging around their necks. 

In some circumstances, though, Texans may limit the ability of certain individuals and entities to see those criminal events or erase the record altogether. The two methods used to accomplish this are non-disclosures and expunctions, two distinct actions that may benefit Texans with criminal histories.

What is Expunction?

Relative to a non-disclosure, an expunction essentially erases a criminal event (arrest or conviction) from a Texan’s criminal history. Because an expunction goes further than a non-disclosure, which merely limits the ability to see an individual’s criminal history, it is allowed in fewer circumstances. 

Texans are eligible for an expunction if: 

  • They completed a pre-trial diversion program;
  • They were indicted or arrested but never actually charged with a crime;
  • Their charges were dismissed;
  • They were found not guilty by a judge or jury; or
  • They were pardoned for a crime for which they were originally convicted.

If you have been convicted of a crime and have not been pardoned, you are probably not eligible for expunction. In that case, you should look at a non-disclosure action. 

What is Non-Disclosure?

More Texans are eligible for non-disclosure relative to expunction, but non-disclosure leaves criminal events open for viewing in some circumstances. Entities that may uncover offenses subject to a non-disclosure include law enforcement agencies, professional licensing agencies, and the state education department. 

Many crimes that resulted in deferred adjudication may be sealed through non-disclosure. The defendant must successfully complete the deferred adjudication. In some cases, deferred adjudication of a Class C Misdemeanor may allow expunction. Some serious offenses do not lend themselves to non-disclosure in Texas, and felonies generally require Texans to satisfy a five-year waiting period before they are allowed to petition for non-disclosure. Some felonies only require Texans to wait two years before petitioning for non-disclosure.

Over the years, Texas has added criminal events that qualify for non-disclosure. For instance, some Texans convicted of alcohol-related offenses for the first time may get the conviction sealed if they complete certain steps. 

Call An Experienced Texas Attorney for Help Getting a Fresh Start

Unfortunately, Texans often deal with the consequences of an arrest or conviction years after they complete their punishment. We understand the difficulties of finding a good job with a criminal event on your record, but it can affect much more than your career prospects. 

Our firm is a no-judgment zone. What we’re focused on is helping you realize a brighter future. Call our team today at (214) 833-9414 or email us at to discuss your legal needs.

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Law Office of Kevin B. Ross, P.C.

Texas criminal defense attorneys Kevin B. Ross and Kristen Beckman bring a team approach to the Law Office of Kevin B. Ross, P.C., a Dallas criminal defense law firm that provides PROFESSIONAL, PERSONAL, and PROVEN representation to people in Texas who are accused of state and federal criminal offenses. We believe everyone deserves the strongest and most effective defense possible. The firm represents clients across Texas who are charged with crimes ranging from federal white-collar crimes to state drug charges, DWIs to murder, and everything in between.

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