Have you been arrested or charged but not prosecuted for an offense? Was your case dismissed? Were you found not guilty at a trial? Was your case reversed on appeal? Did you successfully complete a deferred adjudication probation for a criminal offense?
Are you a juvenile accused of a crime? Were you taken to juvenile detention? Were you placed on and have you completed your juvenile probation? Were you placed on deferred prosecution or otherwise handled by the juvenile probation department without going to court?
Is that record still haunting you, preventing you from getting the job, scholarship, or loan you want and need? Is that record preventing you from renting an apartment or otherwise limiting your opportunities?
If so, let me help.
I have the knowledge and skill you need to limit the harmful impact accusations of criminal conduct can have on your life. Depending on the facts and circumstances of your particular case, there are four separate legal options that may be right for you. These are:
- Expunction of an arrest or criminal charge against an adult
- Non-Disclosure of an adult criminal record
- Sealing of Juvenile Records
- Destruction of Juvenile Records
Each of these options is a separate legal proceeding. Each option has specific, often convoluted, requirements, procedures, limitations, and effects. Navigating this process is not easy, even for otherwise experienced lawyers. The rules and procedures that apply to these options are significant and often technical; they can be confusing and sometimes unclear. This is also a rapidly changing field of law subject to constant litigation, interpretation, and legislation. Don’t try to navigate this path alone. Call me today, so I can help you put your past in the past.
Which of these options applies to your case? How do they work? What is an expunction? What is non-disclosure mean? How can you have your juvenile record sealed? When will the Juvenile Court order your juvenile record destroyed?
Review the brief descriptions below and click on the option that best describes your case to learn more. If you are still unsure about your eligibility or how to proceed, call me. I’d be happy to discuss your case with you.
If you were arrested or charged but never actually convicted, a court may expunge your records. If you plead guilty or were found guilty but later won on appeal or were pardoned you may also have your record expunged. When a court grants an expunction it orders all those having records and who received notice of the request and hearing on the expunction, to send such records to the clerk so the clerk can destroy them. Generally, you are allowed to deny the existence of an expunged record.
Please note: Criminal Convictions in adult cases cannot be expunged. If you plead guilty or were found guilty and were convicted of a misdemeanor or felony offense, you cannot have those records expunged, regardless of how much time has passed since the conviction.
If you were placed on deferred adjudication, a form of community supervision or probation, and successfully completed your supervision or had the judge terminate your supervision early because you were doing well, you may seek to have your deferred adjudication non-disclosed.
Deferred adjudication probation is a form of probation where the judge finds there is enough evidence to find you guilty but instead defers or puts off a finding of guilty and places you on probation instead. This is different from a probation where the judge does find you guilty, imposes a jail sentence and then probates that jail sentence. You may only seek non-disclosure of a deferred adjudication probation if you successfully complete that deferred adjudication. If the court revokes your deferred adjudication, finds you guilty, and sentences you, then you cannot get a non-disclosure of your case.
When a court grants the request for non-disclosure, it issues an order prohibiting the clerk, and certain others, from telling the general public anything about your case. Only certain agencies, licensing boards, and other entities are allowed to know anything about a non-disclosed case. Most employers, apartment and rent house owners, and other members of the general public will not be allowed to know anything about your case.
Juvenile records are handled by the juvenile courts and are entirely separate from adult records. You may have your juvenile records sealed even if you plead guilty or were found guilty and placed on juvenile probation of some kind. When a juvenile record is sealed, no one can access the record except with a specific order from the judge of the Juvenile Court.
In some cases, the Juvenile Court may even order the juvenile records destroyed.