Frequently Asked Legal Questions

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481 views   |   27   |   Last updated on Jul 03, 2015    Criminal Law

In certain cases, arrest records or records of acquittals may be cleared or expunged from one's record. This is known as an expunction. The requirements for obtaining an expunction and the procedure to be followed are located in chapter 55 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. TexasLawHelp.org also has information and forms related to expunctions. And the Texas Young Lawyers Association also publishes this brochure about expunctions and non-disclosures [PDF] that includes information about who is eligible and what procedures must be followed.

Expunctions are often confused with orders of nondisclosure – "sealing" one's record. Orders of nondisclosure are available to individuals who were placed on and successfully completed deferred adjudication community supervision and who meet other qualifications. In their overview of these orders [PDF], the Office of Court Administration (OCA) states that a nondisclosure order prohibits "public entities such as courts and police departments from disclosing certain criminal records." In addition, they state that an "order of nondisclosure also legally frees you from disclosing information about your criminal history in response to questions on job applications." The OCA publishes documents, forms, and instructions relating to non-disclosure orders.

We provide information about both of these procedures in our Expunctions and Non-Disclosure research guide.

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