Criminal records in Texas are essentially public information, which means that anybody can easily find out if an individual has been arrested or convicted of a criminal offense. Many employers and other agencies will review criminal records as part of background checks conducted during any application for employment, housing, or professional license.
While an arrest or a conviction can dramatically impact a person’s success rate when applying for any of these matters, some individuals may be able to have their criminal records sealed or expunged. An expunction or order of nondisclosure (the sealing of a criminal record) allows people to legally deny that they were ever arrested, but it can be extremely complicated to successfully have a record sealed or expunged.
Seal / Expunge Criminal Record Lawyer in Plano, Allen, Frisco, and McKinney, TX
If you are hoping to have any kind of arrest or conviction in Collin County on your criminal record sealed or expunged, it is in your best interest to make sure that you retain legal counsel for help submitting your application. The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy assists clients seeking the sealing or expungement of a criminal record in McKinney, Plano, Allen, Frisco, and many surrounding areas of Collin County.
Plano criminal defense lawyers Richard McConathy and Brian Bolton understand the many effects that criminal records can have on important aspects of a person’s life. Call (469) 304-3422 today to have our attorneys review your case and answer all of your legal questions during a free initial consultation.
Eligibility to Seal / Expunge Criminal Record in Texas
Some people are allowed to have all records of their arrests, criminal charges, or convictions destroyed through the expunction process in Texas. Individuals can expunge their criminal records only 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.
If a person is not eligible for expunction, that individual may be able to apply for an order of nondisclosure. Orders of nondisclosure do not result in the destruction of the criminal records, but they do prohibit the public from having access to the records.
Under Texas Government Code § 411.074, a person 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 alleged offender 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 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.
Waiting Periods to Seal / Expunge Criminal Record in Collin County
The criminal charge that a person is seeking to have sealed or expunged determines when that individual can petition for an expunction or order of nondisclosure. Under Texas Government Code § 411.081(d), 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:
- Five years after the discharge and dismissal of a felony offense;
- Two years after the discharge and dismissal of a misdemeanor under Chapter 20, 21, 22, 25, 42, or 46 of the Texas Penal Code; or
- Immediately after the discharge and dismissal of any other misdemeanor.
Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 55.01 establishes that petitioners must wait for the following amounts of time before seeking expunction of their criminal records:
- 180 days from the date of arrest for a Class C misdemeanor;
- One year from the date of arrest for a Class B misdemeanor or A misdemeanor;
- Three years from the date of arrest for any felony.
Texas Resources for Seal / Expunge Criminal Record
Criminal History Records | Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) — Visit this section of the DPS website to learn more about orders of nondisclosure and expunctions in Texas. You can also find information about the sealing of juvenile records, automatic restriction of access to juvenile records, and misuse of identity. You can also read answers to frequently asked questions.
Expunctions in Texas | Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA) — View a brochure from the TYLA discussing orders of nondisclosure and expunctions. The brochure discusses the difference between these two options and also describes the separate processes. You can also view a sample petition and order for the expunction of criminal records.
Find a Collin County Attorney to help Seal / Expunge a Criminal Record | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy
Do you need help having your criminal record sealed or expunged in Collin County? Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy can work to make sure that your application is not denied or subject to any unnecessary delays.
Richard McConathy and Brian Bolton are experienced criminal defense attorneys in Plano who represent individuals all over Collin County, including Frisco, Allen, Plano, McKinney, and several other surrounding areas. You can have our lawyers provide a complete evaluation of your case when you call (469) 304-3422 or submit an online contact form to schedule a free, confidential consultation.