Speaking with a criminal defense attorney in your area is the first step to determining what remedy is best for your situation- expungement or non-disclosure. Expungement is used when you are arrested but never charged, acquitted at trial, or if the charges are dismissed. Non-Disclosure is available when your offense has been cleared by completing a deferred adjudication term set by the Court. If you have been convicted of a crime by either a plea or straight probation, you are not eligible to have your record sealed.
Wait the Proper Amount of Time
For most misdemeanors, you can move for an Order of Non-Disclosure immediately following the successful conclusion of your deferred adjudication. For felonies you usually must wait five years following the successful conclusion of your deferred adjudication, however certain felonies are ineligible for sealing, no matter how long you wait.
Prepare & File the Motion
For a Motion for Non-Disclosure, you must file in the court of original jurisdiction (the court where your criminal case was pending) a Motion for Non-Disclosure, pay the filing fee which is usually around $250 depending on the county, request a hearing date and serve the District Attorney with a copy of the motion.
Attend the Hearing and Put on Evidence
At the hearing on your motion, you or your attorney can put on evidence that you successfully completed the deferred adjudication, have not been convicted of other crimes since and meet the eligibility requirements to have the incident sealed. Once sealed, an Order will be sent to the appropriate Texas law enforcement agencies to hold your record in confidence. This won't prevent it from being used against you in later criminal proceedings as a prior conviction, but for almost all other purposes it will be hidden.
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