A criminal conviction in Texas can have far-reaching consequences. Not only may you have to do jail time, pay huge fines and legal fees, but it could cause problems in other aspects of your life. For example, you could lose your job, have problems finding other employment or even run into issues trying to rent an apartment. Unfortunately, a conviction is not the only thing that will appear of your records. An arrest without a subsequent conviction might also cause you some issues in the future.
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to keep your criminal record from affecting your personal life too much. Depending on your specific circumstances, you may qualify for an expunction or a non-disclosure order.
One option that might be available for you to remove a black mark from your criminal record is an expunction. Unfortunately, expunctions are available in very limited situations. For example, if the court tries and acquits you, you might be able to obtain an expunction for the related arrest. Even if you have not gone to trial, received an acquittal or a pardon, you may still be able to expunge your arrest record. However, there are several requirements you must meet. First, you must not have a conviction directly related to the arrest. Second, you cannot have fled after making bail. Third, the arrest cannot have been the result of a warrant due to a violation of community supervision. And, finally, there cannot be an active order of community supervision for the crime.
Order of non-disclosure
If you are not eligible for an expunction, you might qualify for an order of non-disclosure. In general, you can qualify for a non-discourse order if you have finished deferred adjudication for a criminal offense that is a Class B misdemeanor or more. Once the court approves and processes the order, it will ban law enforcement agencies, including jails and the court, from releasing your arrest record to private third parties. You could be eligible for a non-disclosure as soon as you complete the differed adjudication as long as your offense did not involve a gun or violent act. If there was violence or a gun as part of your offense, then there is a waiting period you must complete before you can apply for the non-disclosure.
If you are facing a criminal charge in Richmond, keep in mind that you still have rights and options. You may qualify for an expunction or non-disclosure of your arrest depending on the specific circumstances of the charges.