Expunction Attorney – Expunction Lawyer – Houston, TX
Your criminal record can affect you for the rest of your life, even if you were not convicted of a crime. When you are arrested in Texas, you are entered into the TCIC database which is controlled by the Texas Department of Public Safety. That database has your booking photo and fingerprints and is shared with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. They keep those records in a national database called NCIC. The arresting agency also has a record of your arrest and an offense report. In addition to this, when you go to Court, your Court records are kept by the District Clerk and they show when you went to Court, how many times, motions that were filed, subpoenas that were issued, and the disposition paperwork on what happened on your case. If you were on bond, you also likely have records with pretrial services. There are other agencies that may also have a record of your case as well. As you can see, your criminal records are pretty expansive.
Information about your criminal incident is typically considered public record and is available to anyone who checks into your background. With these types of incidents lurking in your past, you could have trouble getting a job, finding a place to live, getting a loan, or gaining acceptance into college and other educational institutions.
There are certain instances in which you may be eligible to have all of your criminal records destroyed if your case was:
- you received a “not guilty” judgement (you won at trial);
- you were no-billed by the Grand Jury;
- if your case was reduced to a Class C misdemeanor and you completed a deferred adjudication on the Class C misdemeanor; or
- some other instances
The entire process typically takes around three months to complete from start to finish. The process involves actually filing a civil lawsuit against all the agencies with records of your arrest. When you are involved in a car accident and suffer injuries, you can initiate a civil lawsuit against the insurance or other party for damages. Similarly, if you are falsely charged with a crime or if you are able to get the case dismissed, you have the right to bring a civil lawsuit against all the agencies that have criminal records of your arrest and court proceedings. The suit alleges that you are adversely affected by the criminal history and wish to have the records destroyed. Once the expunction is finalized and the order is signed by the judge, you can deny the arrest ever happened.
The problem with completing an expunction is finding an attorney that knows how to handle the expunction process and lists the correct agencies that have records of your arrest. Many attorneys claim they know what they are doing, but end up not including all of the parties that have records. If a party is left off the order of expunction, they will not receive notice to destroy the records. So you end up paying for it to be done and certain people are still able to find it on your record. Once the order is signed, the Court destroys their records and it is very difficult to come back and add agencies later on. This usually costs much more to go back and correct. We have seen so many clients who have bargain shopped for an attorney to handle their expunction and still have their criminal history showing up, oftentimes keeping them from getting their dream job or apartment. Don’t make this mistake. Hire an experienced attorney that will properly handle your expunction. Contact us for a Free Consultation where we will explain the process, discuss your eligibility, and differentiate ourselves with other attorneys. At the Law Office of Henry K. Nguyen, P.C., our staff is here to help you clear your good name and get your life back.
Houston Expunction Lawyer
If you do not meet the expunction criteria, you might still have some control over who can view your history if you successfully completed a “deferred adjudication” probation. In this situation, you may be eligible to petition the Court to issue an Order of Non-Disclosure. This order would prevents your criminal records from being distributed to non-government affiliated agencies. Basically, this means that if a private employer looks into your background, they will be unable to view your arrest record if a non-disclosure order has been granted. You would be able to deny you were arrested.
However, if you are trying to obtain a governmental job or get licensed by the State of Texas, they would be able to see that you have been given deferred adjudication. A petition of nondisclosure is discretionary to the judge for his or her sole discretion and therefore it is important to consult with an experienced Houston expunction attorney who can convince the judge that you deserve the benefit of a non-disclosure order and that it is in the best interests of society.
If your criminal history is negatively affecting your livelihood, an expunction or an order of non-disclosure could be what you need. The Law Office of Henry K. Nguyen, P.C. has extensive experience with the Texas legal system and is here to help you take control of your future.