Petitioning Courts to Order Expunctions and Nondisclosures in Texas

Getting arrested doesn’t have to tarnish your life forever. With the right attorney you can eventually clear or seal the record of your arrest and subsequent prosecution.

Some people think that their record will go away on its own under some circumstances, or after a certain waiting period. Unfortunately, this is not the case. You must petition the court to get an expunction or a nondisclosure. You may need an attorney, as this process can be very complex.

In Texas, two ways of having your record cleared or sealed are known as expunctions and orders of nondisclosure. An expunction completely erases the criminal record for a particular arrest and allegation. An order of nondisclosure or “record sealing” protects you from the general public, but the government and law enforcement agencies will still have the information regarding your past arrest.

Qualifying for Expunctions:

To be eligible for an expunction, or complete clearing of your criminal record for any single allegation, you must have been found innocent, or the charges against you must have been dismissed.

Qualifying for Nondisclosures:

To be eligible for a nondisclosure, at minimum, you must not have been convicted of the crime you are seeking to seal. This means you may have plead guilty or no contest, but were given “deferred adjudication” probation instead of ordinary probation. Deferred adjudication literally means that a judge holds back from finding you guilty, or “defers a finding of guilt” while waiting for you to complete your probation. And once you successfully complete it, the judge enters “NAOG” on your record – which means “No Adjudication of Guilt.”

What’s the difference?

Expunction – Total Erasure

In Texas, anyone found innocent is entitled to an expunction (“clearing”) of the criminal record associated with that allegation, including erasing the record of arrest for that allegation.

If you were arrested but charges were never filed, or they were dismissed, you can also have that record expunged once the statute of limitations has been exhausted, under certain conditions.

The statute of limitations means that if charges against you were never filed or were dropped, but you weren’t given a final judgment of innocence (i.e., found innocent at trial), there may be a waiting period before you can request an expunction. If no charges were ever brought again within the time period of that statute of limitations, or even if they were but you were never convicted, you can get an expunction.

The advantage of expunction is that you may legally deny that you were ever arrested for that crime. When your record is expunged, the judge orders all governmental agencies to completely erase your record for that allegation. Even some law enforcement or government agencies may not use it against you if they somehow still have a record of your arrest.

Nondisclosures or Record Sealing

If you do not qualify for a complete expunction, you may still qualify for an order of nondisclosure – or “having your record sealed.” The main difference between expunctions and nondisclosure orders is that all governmental agencies will still have the ability and right to see your criminal record. Private employers, apartments, banks and the public will not.

Who is Never Eligible for Nondisclosures?

The bottom line is that if you were found guilty, you are not eligible to seal that record. Your only avenue would be a pardon, which is a little more burdensome and involved than the courts.

Certain crimes will always carry a conviction if you plead guilty, and are never going to be eligible for deferred adjudication probation. Other crimes are eligible for deferred, but you usually have to have a good attorney to get deferred ordered by the judge when you plead to the charge.

Call Ric Barrera with The Barrera Law Firm, PC at 956 428 2822 now to find out if you qualify for an expunction or a nondisclosure, or for help with your pending criminal case.

Related articles

Subscribe to our Newsletter


for your FREE consultation:

An attorney will evaluate
your claim.

John Morgan
22:48 05 Dec 17
Attorney Ric Barrera took a case for me that two other attorneys turned down. He worked long diligent hours. Put in way above the time and effort for what I paid him. I could always contact him and text him. He got me more than what I asked for in a jury trial where we prevailed against the other party with a unanimous verdict. The jury liked and the case was well presented to them where they understood it. He prevailed over a lawyer who had 40 more years experience than him. I highly recommend him. He is worth every dime of his more
Marisol Melendez
22:36 29 Nov 17
He is a Great Attorney. I would definitely recommend him for any future civil or law matters. Very Satisfied with his service as a Lawyer.
Ana Davila
16:38 01 Nov 17
I would highly recommend Mr. Barrera! He is a great attorney. He’s very knowledgeable of the statues and law. His rates are very reasonable and will work with your schedule if you need to meet after hours. More importantly, he cares about his clients and will fight for more
Luke Dusterhus
22:02 19 Oct 17
I’ve never seen such dedication in an attorney. He goes the extra mile. I truly believe he’ll be on our voting ballot sometime. Superb! 5 star rating1
East Consequence
14:54 22 Sep 17
I could fill a book describing how unbelievably happy and grateful I am for everything that Mr. Barrera did for me and my family! I am a father living in Huntsville, Texas, 7 hours from the valley and I was a few days away from watching my two beautiful daughters moved out of state by their mother right after their summer vacation with me without being able to do anything about it. I could not find a lawyer in Huntsville that would take my case on short notice, much less even take my phone call and even if they were interested, I could not afford their high fees. Anything that I needed filed would have to be done in the valley so I called 20 different attorneys down south and no one would or wanted to help me. I was ready to give up and accept that as a father the odds were against me and every attorney knew it but I decided to call one more lawyer. When I called Ricardo I was surprised when he was the one that answered the call and at first he sounded very reserved. So I began retelling the same story that I had told all the other attorneys and he immediately took an interest in what I had to say though I was prepared for him to eventually give me the same response that I had become used to. But he didn’t. He quickly assured me that he could help me and would help me and without demanding payment upfront he immediately went to work for me and began the filing process. He was able to help me keep my daughters in my care until our court date but then hurricane Harvey hit the Houston area which deeply affected our area and once again he went to work and got us a continuance because we were unable to travel to the valley. 21 days later we were in the Cameron county for court, and despite having everything against me and her attorney throwing every technicality at the judge to get the case dismissed, Ricardo was prepared for all of it and fought hard for my family. He accomplished something that is very rare in the state of Texas; he won me temporary custody of my daughters! I was prepared for the court to rule against me but because of Mr. Barrera’s unbelievable experience, extraordinary work ethic, and unwavering commitment to my case as well as I carrying himself with a steel confidence that I didn’t even have, I walked out of the court room with custody of my daughters. We still have more hurdles to get over down the line but I have no doubt that Ricardo will approach it with the same determination that he demonstrated for this part of our case and no matter what happens I will be forever grateful for what he has done for me and my family. I said earlier that I could fill a book with my praise but for now let me just conclude with these final words; anyone out there that is on the verge of losing hope and ready to give up, I can say without hesitation and with complete confidence that hope has a name and it’s Ricardo Barrera!D.O. Huntsvilleread more
Claudio Diaz
20:36 21 Sep 17
We found Mr. Barrera on Google reviews when we needed an attorney to handle a case which was down in the Valley. We were quickly given proof that the highly rated reviews were valid. His response time is quick. When he is not available, his secretary is quick to respond and relay messages to him. He is professional and cares about his clients. We trust you will be just as satisfied as our family is when you choose him as your more
Rene Martinez
16:08 30 Aug 17
I would highly recommend using Ricardo’s services for any family law case. His knowledge of family law is extremely valuable and helps when you need to talk about the specifics of your case. I was able to come to him with a special child visitation case and he handled it in a timely manner with great success. He eased my concerns stating facts of the law constantly and we received what he asked. His pricing is extremely reasonable, especially for the quality you receive from his office. Ricardo is my lawyer of choice in the RGV more
Mayra Rodriguez
00:32 25 Aug 17
It was a pleasure to have Mr. Barrera as our attorney. I highly recommend him! I was left speech less full of joy and with an open mouth when he won our case!!!! I am beyond great-full and blessed. always had time to see me and answer any questions i had with no hesitation very professional and nice. thank you Mr. Barrera for your time and more
Next Reviews
Call Now ButtonCALL NOW