Frequently Asked Questions about Clearing Your Record

Posted about 3 years ago. Applies to Texas, 1 helpful vote

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1

Is there a record for me if charges were dismissed, never filed, or I was found not guilty? If so, what can I do?

Yes. If you were arrested, there is a record of that arrest, your stay in jail, and the posting of bond for your release. If charges were filed in court and dismissed or you were found not guilty, there is a larger public record. That record will include your arrest, your bond, the crime you were charged with, and the disposition of the charge. These records will be held by the following agencies and likely more; the police department involved, the prosecutor's office, the county or district clerk, the department of public safety, etc. For charges that were dismissed, never filed, or resulted in a finding of not guilty you are eligible for an expunction. An expunction requires all the agencies that have records of your charge to destroy the records and blank their databases with regards to you. When an expunction is granted the order literally means the event never happened. You can deny ever being in trouble on all applications and your background check will support you.

2

Is there a criminal record for me if I successfully completed Deferred Adjudication Probation? I wasn't found guilty.

In Texas, even successfully completed deferred adjudication probations remain on your record. That record will include details of your arrest, the crime you were charged with, and that you served a period of community supervision. It is true that you were never found guilty and, therefore, were never convicted. However, that is not the same as not having a criminal record. The details of your charge that resulted in deferred adjudication probation are publicly available and WILL show up on a background check. If you have successfully completed deferred adjudication probation you are eligible for a non-disclosure. A non-disclosure requires all entities that have records pertaining to your case to make those records non-public. When an order of non-disclosure is granted, you will pass a background check that is run on you by private employers and other private entities. This will help with employment, credit, and housing. The government can still use the records.

Additional Resources

The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 55 details the law pertaining to expunctions including eligibility requirements. Texas Government Code Article 411.081 details the law of non-disclosures and includes eligibility requirements and waiting periods where applicable.

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