Austin Expunction Lawyer
Ready to Help You Clear Your Name & Put the Past Behind for Good
Tens of millions of Americans have a misdemeanor or felony charges on their criminal record that eliminates them from procuring a job. In times of high unemployment and fewer available jobs, it is apparent that a youthful indiscretion, or a mistake in judgment means finding a job even more unlikely. If an employer or HR manager has two qualified candidates, one with a criminal history, and one with a clean history, the latter may get preference, leaving the former perpetually unemployed.
At The Law Office of Will Mitchell, we are committed to helping you clean up your criminal history, so you can avoid the above situation. Our Austin expunction attorney has more than 18 years of experience and a thorough understanding of the Texas criminal justice system to guide you through the legal steps to get your record either expunged or sealed from public view. Afterward, you can honestly say that you have never been arrested or charged with a crime.
Texas Expunction & Non-Disclosure Laws
One of the most common questions asked is how do I get such and such off my record? Or, can I get my conviction expunged?
The answer is often complicated and uncertain. If you have ever been arrested for anything, you probably have some sort of blemish on your criminal history, even if you weren’t convicted.
We’re not talking about speeding tickets or traffic violations that may appear on your driving record, you’re criminal history is a separate set of information maintained by the Texas Department of Public Safety and by the FBI on the federal level. Some offshore private companies also keep a database containing this information.
If you have ever seen a criminal history report, it contains a lot of information that is generated whenever someone is arrested. This means, you have a criminal history simply for getting arrested, not convicted.
The report has the offense date, location, charge information, arresting agency, and disposition of the case. In Texas, there are two vehicles used to extract arrest information from a criminal history.
The most common and desirable method is an order of expunction. If an individual doesn’t qualify for an expunction, they may be eligible for an Order of Non-Disclosure.
However, unless you were subsequently pardoned, no convictions may be expunged or ordered to be non-disclosed. A conviction means a judge found you guilty of the offense charged. This includes guilty or no contest pleas where there was no deferred adjudication.
If you have been convicted of anything, that offense cannot be cleared off your criminal history, ever. Only cases resulting in dismissals, acquittals, or pardons are eligible for an expunction and/or orders of non-disclosure.
What is an Expunction?
The effect of an expunction is that you can legally deny the occurrence of the arrest and the expunction order. An expunction also requires the destruction of all the records relating to the arrest and prosecution and expunction.
Am I Eligible for Expunction?
You are eligible for expunction if:
- Person released from jail
- Charge no longer pending
- No resulting conviction
- No community supervision (probation) for anything other that than a class C misdemeanor
- No felony conviction for previous five-year period
* Felony charges carry the additional requirements: indictment not presented, or indictment presented and dismissed/quashed because of mistake or lack of probable cause and statute of limitations have expired
What is an Order for Non-Disclosure?
The effect of an Order for Non-Disclosure is very similar in that it allows you to legally deny the existence of the arrest and prosecution, but the files are not destroyed and the information can still be used against you in a subsequent prosecution for another charge.
Am I Eligible for an Order for Non-Disclosure?
You are eligible for an Order for Non-Disclosure if:
- Received deferred adjudication probation
- Guilty or no contest plea entered
- Judge has deferred further proceedings without a finding of guilt
- Successful discharge from probation and charge has been dismissed
- Two years have passed since discharge on most misdemeanors (several have no waiting period)
*Felonies have same requirements plus a five-year waiting period after discharge from probation
This is a very basic list and there are some potential complicating factors that are not discussed here. Assuming you qualify for one of the above, what is purpose of going through this process?
Why Should You Seek Expunction?
If you have a criminal history, and the charge was dismissed, or you were acquitted, that information is supposed to be listed under the disposition on your history report. There are two problems with this.
- First, DPS doesn’t always have the correct information, either they were never updated, or they simply didn’t record it correctly. In these situations, your disposition will read “Held” or “Pending”, neither suggesting the case was dismissed or you were acquitted.
- Second, the files and information still exist and are considered matters of public record for all future employers to gain access. Even though you were not convicted, there still is a Probable Cause affidavit in a clerk’s file that is accusing you of some very nasty things.
If you or a loved one is interested in getting your criminal record expunged or sealed, call us today at (512) 858-8611 and schedule a free consultation.
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"An amazing lawyer that's friendly and has a deep knowledge of the court system. He kicks butt!"Michael A.
"I will forever be grateful for Will! He helped me get through one of the hardest times of my life. I was so scared when I first walked into his office for a consultation because my case was bad. He ..."Jessica P.
"Very helpful and knowledgeable! Thank you."Jaime W.
"Will was a lifesaver for me. He helped me put together documentation that resulted in having a felony dropped to a misdemeanor. Olivia, his assistant, is awesome also. I had Will's cell number and was ..."Kalyn S.
"Will was knowledgeable and professional."Charles K.
"Will is a fantastic lawyer. He is detail-oriented, organized, responsive, knows the law well, and is very connected in Texas. His office support is top-notch as well. I would hire him again in a ..."Former Client
"Mr. Mitchell is an intelligent, qualified, and effective person to have represent you. When Will says he can handle a case, he means it. Always a straight shooter, I felt I was in good hands and would ..."Jon N.
"Will is awesome!!! Great lawyer!! Super friendly, knowledgeable, and hands down the best lawyer to have on your case! Will and Olivia (his assistant) were always there to answer any questions I had ..."Whitney C.