San Marcos Hays County Expunctions

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT EXPUNCTIONS AND ORDER OF NONDISCLOSURES

There used to be a carved-in-stone waiting period for getting an expunction in Texas. Under Texas law, a person technically has to wait for the statute of limitations for the offense to run out before applying for an expunction. For instance, the statute of limitations period for filing a misdemeanor is 2 years. If you are charged with misdemeanor, and your case is dismissed, you would be required to wait for 2 years from the date of the offense before you could apply for an expunction. However, a recent change in Texas law now allows you to apply for an expunction prior to the end of the waiting period if the prosecutor's office which handled the case agrees to waive the waiting period. This allows you to apply for an expunction as soon your case is either dismissed, or a prosecutor's office has decided not to file it. As a practical matter, many prosecutors' offices now routinely waive the waiting period for expunctions.

  1. Even if your case is dismissed, or never filed, you still have a criminal record. Many people think that if their case is dismissed, not filed, or they are acquitted that their criminal record is erased. This could not be further from the truth. When a person is arrested, the government creates an arrest record that is not automatically erased if the person's case is later dismissed or never filed.
  2. In the age of the Internet, almost anyone can find your arrest record with very little effort. A criminal arrest record is public and can be easily discovered by prospective employers, landlords, government agencies, etc. Many people have had their criminal cases dismissed, only to find years later that the record of their arrest keeps them from getting jobs and housing.
  3. If your case gets dismissed without a supervised probation, you should apply for an expunction. An expunction is a court order directing law enforcement agencies to destroy any records of a person's arrest or case. If a person's case was dismissed, never filed, or the person was found "not guilty" at a trial, then the person may be eligible for an expunction.
  4. You may get an order of nondisclosure if you completed a supervised deferred adjudication probation. An order of nondisclosure partially seals a record of a deferred adjudication from private persons or entities. If an order of nondisclosure is in place, a government agency may not disclose to a private party information concerning a person's case for which the person received deferred adjudication.
  5. If you were on supervised deferred adjudication, you are not eligible for an expunction, even if your case dismissed at the end. "Supervised" means that you were required to report to a probation department as a part of the deferred adjudication. You might still be eligible to obtain an order of nondisclosure, however.
  6. An order of nondisclosure only seals your deferred adjudication from private persons and entities. Government and law enforcement agencies will still have access to the record of the deferred adjudication. Let's say you are applying for a job with a school district. The school district would be given information concerning your deferred adjudication during a background check. Yet another reason to think twice before rushing to accept an offer of deferred adjudication.
  7. There's no time limit for applying for an expunction or order of nondisclosure. However, once you apply for either, it may take months for a court to rule upon your request. You should never wait until the last minute to apply for an expunction or nondisclosure.
  8. You must apply for an expunction in a district court in the county in which the arrest took place. You must apply for an order of nondisclosure in the court in which the deferred adjudication probation was granted.