Dallas Expunction / Record Clearing Lawyer
Being convicted of a crime will likely come with a number of court-ordered penalties, but even long after one’s obligations and penalties have been fulfilled, an individual with a criminal record might find themselves facing extreme prejudice and significant hardship. Many find that educational, financial, and career opportunities are closed to them because of their criminal record, and in some instances, those who were accused but found not guilty are still hindered by the stigma that a criminal charge can bring. Many people may not know, but you may actually be able to get your record cleared or sealed, allowing you to move forward with your life. If you need to remove a criminal charge or conviction from your permanent record, contact the Dallas expunction lawyers at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter by calling (214) 845-7007.
The team of experienced lawyers at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter have been serving and defending clients in the Dallas area who have been accused of crimes for over 12 years. We have built a reputation for getting results and vigorously representing the interests of our clients. Esteemed by peers and clients alike, we have been consistently named as Texas Super Lawyers, and have an AVVO rating of 10, among other accolades.
At the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter, we understand that rebuilding your life after being accused or convicted of a crime can be extremely difficult as you may face various prejudices from members of your community that make it hard for you to move on with your life.
Fortunately, for some individuals, there may be a way to wipe the slate clean and keep a criminal charge or even a conviction from continuing to affect their life through the process of expunction. At Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter, we know how difficult it can be for Dallas residents who have criminal records or charges in their past. If you need help moving forward from your past and expunging or sealing your criminal record, contact the Dallas expunction and criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter to schedule a free initial consultation by calling (214) 845-7007 or filling out a contact form online.
How Our Dallas Expunction Attorneys Can Help
In the state of Texas, there are many different legal ways that you can keep a criminal record from affecting your life, including the following:
- Expunction: If an individual is found not guilty, or is acquitted, of a criminal offense, he or she may be able to have the charge permanently removed from their record
- Non-Disclosure: If an individual has been convicted of a criminal offense, he or she may be able to have his or her record sealed, allowing them to legally not disclose the prior arrest/conviction on a large number of official documents
With the help of an experienced expunction attorney, you could be able to put the incident behind you by clearing your criminal record through expunction or by filing for non-disclosure.
What is Expunction of a Criminal Record?
Expunction is a legal process whereby an individual with a criminal record gets their record cleared, which includes removal of records associated with an arrest, a charge, a court case, a deferred disposition, and a case dismissal. When an individual’s record is expunged, the is no record for individuals in the public to find, and the release or dissemination of those records is prohibited by any agency.
Furthermore, unless the party whose records were expunged is being questioned under oath, they do not have to disclose the history of a criminal record or the fact that their record was expunged. If an individual with an expunged record is being questioned under oath, all they may have to say is that there was a cleared record, but they do not have to go into detail about the criminal activity or the expunction thereof.
Under Texas expunction law, an individual may have their criminal record expunged for the following reasons:
- They were arrested but not charged with a crime or found not guilty of a crime
- They were later acquitted of the crime
- They were pardoned
- The offense occurred when the individual was a juvenile, and the offense was:
- a misdemeanor committed prior to age 17 and was punishable by a fine;
- a violation of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Code by a minor; or
- a violation by a minor of the Education Code for failure to attend school
- They were found guilty of a Class C misdemeanor but received a deferred adjudication and completed the agreed to terms of their punishment. Some examples of Class C misdemeanors include the following:
- Theft of less than $100 or something valued less than $100
- Public intoxication
- Disorderly conduct
- Driving without a valid drivers license
A deferred adjudication is a type of plea deal whereby the defendant pleads guilty or no contest to criminal charges in exchange for meeting certain requirements set forth by the court. The court may order that the defendant goes for treatment, does community service, serves a probationary period, or does some other type of diversion program. Upon completion of the court’s demands, the defendant may be able to avoid a conviction or have the charges against them dismissed.
To have your criminal record expunged, you will need to apply separately for each offense on your record. Some requests for expunction can be approved, while others are denied.
If an individual is found guilty or pleaded guilty or no contest to any other type of crime than a Class C misdemeanor, their record may not be eligible for expunction, but their record may be eligible for non-disclosure if they received deferred adjudication.
What is Non-Disclosure of a Criminal Record?
Non-disclosure is an option for individuals with a criminal record who are not eligible for expunction. Unlike an expunction (which clears your criminal record), non-disclosure leaves your criminal record as it is but makes it completely inaccessible to the public. However, certain public agencies may still be able to access your criminal record.
Non-disclosure is available to individuals who have completed all terms of their deferred adjudication. Under Texas law, an individual with a criminal record, including misdemeanors, can seek to have their record sealed as soon as they complete their deferred adjudications. It is important to note that individuals with a felony on their record must wait at least five years to have their record sealed. For each crime on your criminal record that you are seeking to have sealed, you must apply separately. Some crimes may be approved for non-disclosure, while others may be denied.
There are some crimes that are never eligible for non-disclosure, including the following:
- Sexual assault
- Indecency with a child
- Prohibited sexual conduct
- Unlawful pornography, including child pornography
- Kidnapping or unlawful restraint of a person under 17 years of age
- Aggravated kidnapping
- Entering the dwelling place of another with the intent to commit one of the above-listed crimes
- Violation of a protective order
- Family violence
- Abandoning or endangering the life of a child
- Injuring a child, elderly, or disabled person
- Murder and capital murder
- Attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of the above-listed crimes
Determining whether you are eligible to have your criminal history sealed and understanding what the process is for non-disclosure is confusing and requires a deep knowledge of the law. Likewise, understanding the process and eligibility requirements for expunction can be challenging for the average person. In circumstances where you are seeking to have your criminal record expunged or sealed, it is best to contact an experienced expunction attorney like those at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter.
The benefits of having a clean record are innumerable, so if you are facing a criminal charge or you have been convicted in the past, take action today to find out if a record-clearing expunction is an available option for you. The compassionate attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter will be happy to sit down with, examine the details of your record, and advise you on the best plan of action moving forward.
Contact an Expunction Lawyer in Dallas
The legal team at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter knows just how much a clean criminal record can impact your future, and as such, we want to explore every possible avenue that is available to you. Our team of compassionate and experienced criminal defense and expunction attorneys have been helping people in the Dallas area for over a decade. You can trust that we will work diligently to help you get your criminal record expunged. Learn more about your options for clearing your record today by calling (214) 845-7007.