Expungement vs. Nondisclosure

Find Out If You're EligibleGet Free Information

What is the difference between expungement and nondisclsoure in Texas?

If you believe your arrest, or criminal record is holding you back, there are methods of preventing an employer or landlord from accessing this information. One way is through the expungement process, while the other is by using an order of nondisclosure. Before starting either process, you need to hire an attorney who is familiar with these types of processes and you should understand the differences between the two.

Eligibility for Expungement and Nondisclosure

Not everyone is eligible for expungement and in some cases, the crime you were charged with may not be eligible for nondisclosure. Here is a guideline of which records may be expunged or are eligible for nondisclosure:

  • Expungement – anyone who has been arrested but not charged with a crime, or completed a diversion program pre-trial may be eligible for expungement. This includes those who have had their cases dismissed, were not charged by a grand jury, or were later found not guilty of the crime. Anyone who was charged, convicted, and later pardoned may also be eligible for expungement.
  • Nondisclosure – while there are crimes that are not eligible for nondisclosure, in most cases, once you have completed probation, many crimes are eligible for sealing.  Unless you have been assigned to probation, or convicted of another crime while on probation, your record may be sealed. Make sure you speak with an attorney familiar with nondisclosure orders first since there are numerous crimes which are ineligible for nondisclosure. New rules are in effect for crimes committed after 2015.

Get in Touch

Waiting Periods for Expungement and Nondisclosure

In most cases, those who are interested in having a record expunged must wait until the statutes of limitations expires on the underlying charge. This typically means that a misdemeanor charge will result in a wait of two years, while a felony charge means a five-year wait.

The process of nondisclosure generally can start immediately after you have completed the probationary period assuming you have not been charged with another crime. There may be exceptions to this rule depending on the crime which your attorney can explain to you.

Both Expungement and Nondisclosure May be Denied

In some cases, the court may deny a request for expungement or record sealing. Denials may be the result of an error in court records, an error in the petition, when such action is determined to be against the interest of society or because the defendant has failed to pay a fine. Your attorney can review your case and help you determine the best way to proceed.

After Expungement or Nondisclosure Orders

Once a record has been expunged, it no longer exists. You can deny ever having been arrested, regardless of where the question comes from, including law enforcement. Anyone with an expungement can answer “no” on job applications, when asked by law enforcement, or on any type of a background check questionnaire. Since the record is destroyed, any criminal record cannot be used later if you are arrested again.

In the case of a nondisclosure order, law enforcement is prohibited from making your criminal record available on most background checks. There are exceptions, such as in the case of applying for a teacher’s license, or other state-required license. However, most employers and all landlords cannot get access to your arrest record. Should you be charged with a crime in the future however, law enforcement officers will have access to your sealed record.

If you are interested in learning more about orders of nondisclosure or expunction of a record in Texas, contact attorney Eric A. Ramos immediately. I can help you understand what the process is, how long the process will take and help you prepare the proper petitions.

Fill out the form to get started with a free evaluation of your San Antonio expungement or nondisclosure case.