Expungement Lawyer in College Station, Texas, Working on Your Behalf in the Expungement Process
In the course of our lives, we all make mistakes. However, when those mistakes involve criminal offenses, the stakes become even higher, making it more challenging to advance in life. The Greening Law Group of College Station, Texas, believes that every individual should have the chance to gain a fresh start in life.
Suppose your criminal background prohibits you from obtaining a job or professional license, being approved for a loan, or is causing you to be denied from applying to the college or university of your choice. In that case, you need an attorney who can assist you with the expungement process.
If you are uncertain about what may appear on criminal background checks, it is a good idea to consult with an expungement attorney who can analyze your record and give you legal advice on how to best proceed. Many clients are surprised to learn that criminal offenses that they thought were minor infractions are actually holding them back from advancing in life.
If you have never been placed on probation or convicted of a crime, you have a good chance of being able to have your record expunged. Our highly experienced criminal defense attorneys have vast experience in assisting clients in having their criminal records expunged or sealed.
How Can Expunctions and Non-disclosures Help Me to Clear or Seal My Criminal Record?
One of the most common questions that clients ask is if they will be able to remove an arrest from their criminal record. The short answer: it depends. The ability to remove or seal a criminal case on your record is dependent on many things, including the outcome of your case, the laws regarding the charge you received, and much more.
Strict guidelines determine an individual’s eligibility for expunction or non-disclosure. Thus, it is essential that you discuss your eligibility with an attorney. The removal or sealing of criminal records can aid in securing a job, buying a home, and many other possibilities in your life. Keep reading to understand the guidelines for obtaining an expunction or non-disclosure of your criminal record.
What are Expunctions, Non-Disclosures, and Dismissals?
These words are often misused interchangeably as means of removing a charge from your record. Therefore it is important to differentiate between their definitions, implications, and requirements so that you can best apply them to your case.
This page is only meant to serve as a guideline for understanding the qualifications for expunction or non-disclosure; it is not a guarantee of your eligibility. To accurately assess your eligibility, you should consult with an attorney who specializes in expunctions and non-disclosures and who can evaluate your individual case and provide expert advice regarding your options.
An expunction, or expungement, is the process by which a record of a criminal conviction is destroyed from state or federal records. This requires the courts to treat a criminal conviction as if it never occurred, removing it from a defendant’s criminal record and, ideally, their public record as well. After a successful expunction, an individual can truthfully claim that they have never been charged with that particular case.
A non-disclosure, on the other hand, will seal these records rather than destroy/remove them. This means that your criminal conviction records are only accessible to certain state-licensed or government agencies. In other words, this action prohibits law enforcement agencies, jails, courts, and other public information agencies from releasing your arrest information to private third parties.
A dismissal occurs when a prosecutor drops your case. This typically happens due to a lack of sufficient evidence against you or a potential legal issue identified by your attorney that would have resulted in a dismissal had the case gone to trial. In certain situations, your case can be dismissed by a pre-trial intervention program where you perform community service or complete specific courses.
Please note that dismissal does not mean that the case or the arrest has been removed from your record. You will still need to file for an expunction to officially “clear” your record of both the case and the arrest.
What is the Difference Between Them?
An important difference to note between expunctions and non-disclosures is that expunctions remove a case from your record, whereas a non-disclosure only seals your record from private third-party entities.
It can be difficult to distinguish which entities can access your non-disclosed records; CLICK HERE for examples of the state-licensed agencies which can still obtain your records even if you’ve been granted a non-disclosure.
What Kinds of Cases Do Not Qualify for Expunctions and Non-disclosures?
DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED
In order to be eligible to petition the court for non-disclosure of a DWI, certain conditions must be met. These conditions include:
- This must be an individual’s first Driving While Intoxicated offense;
- Their blood alcohol concentration was less than 0.15;
- They have never been convicted of another crime or placed on deferred adjudication community supervision (minor traffic offenses excluded);
- They have successfully served any jail time and completed any community supervision;
- They have paid all fines, court costs and made any restitution that was a part of their sentence; and
- The applicable waiting period for petitioning the court has elapsed.
The following waiting periods apply to petitions for non-disclosure involving DWI related offenses:
- Two years from the successful completion of their sentence if the person was ordered to equip their vehicle with an ignition interlock device for a period of at least six months; or
- Five years from the successful completion of their sentence if the court did not order that an ignition interlock device be installed.
An order of non-disclosure will be denied if the state presents evidence that establishes that the underlying DWI caused an accident that involved another person, including a passenger who was in the defendant’s vehicle.A DWI is not subject to an order of non-disclosure if:
- This was the second or third DWI related offense;
- The individual’s blood alcohol content was in excess of 0.15;
- The applicable waiting period has not expired; 2 years or 5 years
Underlying DWI involved an accident that included another person.
How Can Your Expunction Attorney Potentially Help Me Clear My Criminal Record?
Attorney Sarah Wilkinson joined The Greening Law Group in 2014 and has since defended hundreds of clients in a variety of cases ranging from traffic tickets to serious first-degree felonies. Sarah’s professional dedication to her client’s best outcome does not end with the final verdict of their case. In 2021 alone, Sarah Wilkinson has aided dozens of people in successfully obtaining expunctions and non-disclosures of their criminal records. Ms. Wilkinson believes that everyone deserves individual attention and high-quality defense and treats each client with the utmost respect and professionalism.
Ms. Wilkinson has the experience and skills necessary to examine your records and make a determination as to what would be applicable to your particular situation. Attempting to file for an expunction or non-disclosure can be an overly complex process. If your case is eligible, The Greening Law Group will work diligently to see that the legal process is completed in a timely manner.
Call our office today at (979) 596-4088 to schedule a free consultation to take your first step towards a clear record. You may also reach out to us through our website or via email.
Interested? Fill out the form on this page, and a member of our team will contact you with more information.