Have you been arrested in the past and find yourself struggling to obtain housing, loans, and even employment? While the severity of a criminal charge varies, understanding you still are entitled to certain rights as a citizen of Texas is crucial. Depending on the type of criminal charge, and the number of them placed on your record, you may be able to expunge or seal some, if not all of these criminal charges that are limiting you to achieving a desirable lifestyle.

As you find yourself on the hunt for a criminal defense legal representative in Houston, Texas, be sure to understand what exactly expunging a record or sealing a record actually means.

  • Expunction– Expunging a record means the criminal act “did not happen.” Your charges can either be removed from your record, and even destroyed. In this form of cleaning your record, nobody is able to access the charge, not even by a court order.
  • When can you expunge a record? – If you are a first time offender, depending on the type of charge, you may have the option to have a sealed record removed so there is longer access to the file. Also, according to the Papillon Foundation, you are permitted to the “expungement of acquittals, dismissals, and arrests not leading to conviction.”
  • Sealing a record- When you have a record on file sealed, it does not necessarily remove it from your criminal history, however, you do not have to answer “yes” when asked if you were convicted of a criminal offense when applying for a job. Certain public positions, such as teachers and nurses, have the ability to see these records when you apply for employment. Generally, some legal documents and a detailed explanation of the crime committed is required before you are offered a job. When a record is sealed, under certain circumstances, you do not have to admit to the crime you committed in the past.
  • When can you seal a record? – The Papillon Foundation states that should you accept deferred adjudication, your record may qualify to be sealed, although there is a waiting period before this can be done. Having a prominent and trustworthy criminal defense attorney in Houston, Texas can better help you understand this, should you need clarification.

As time passes, some individuals find themselves feeling guilty after having committed crimes. If the severity of the crime is identified as a misdemeanor, you may be eligible to have your record sealed, and later expunged. The laws and timelines of when records can be erased or “hidden” from others varies from state to state, so rather than trying to figure it out on your own, turn to criminal defense lawyer in Texas who can facilitate you in this process.

Hiring an acclaimed criminal defense attorney, such as Bormaster Law- R.B. Bormaster & Associates P.C., can not only provide you with your options, but determine if you qualify for an expunction or record sealing of a charge that happened in the past.