Happy Friday everybody. Today, I’m going to do part one of a two-part video series where I talk about something that comes up all the time, and that’s how do I get a criminal charge off of my record?

Okay. In Texas, there are two ways when people talk about sealing your record that they generally are talking about. They’re either talking about an expunction or a nondisclosure. A lot of times people who don’t really know the difference between the two use those two terms interchangeably, but they’re very different. Today I’m going to talk about expunctions.

What an expunction is is it allows you to petition the court to have every document and record of a criminal offense deleted, removed, erased from your criminal history. It’s so powerful that it even allows you, if you are asked under oath have you ever been arrested, you’re allowed to legally say no. Legally an expunction makes it look like this never happened.

In Texas, as you might imagine, an expunction is very difficult to get because it’s limited to only certain types of offenses, certain types of resolutions. You can get an expunction if A, you’ve been acquitted of the offense, so you go to trial and get found not guilty. You can get an expunction if the offense that you were charged with was a class C misdemeanor, the lowest level offense in the State of Texas and you took deferred adjudication on that offense. And you can get an expunction if you completed a pre-trial diversion program. Okay. Those are the only three ways you can get an expunction in the State of Texas, and even those come with their own caveats and limitations.

For example, on a class C, even if you get a class C deferred but it’s an assault family violence offense, so assault by physical contact or assault by offensive touching, but that’s a class C, but with a family violence component, if there’s an affirmative finding of family violence, then you’re ineligible to get that expunged from your record. There’s a lot of little odds and ends like that that could trip you up.

So if you think you might be eligible for an expunction, you’ve gotten a conviction from a long time ago or a deferred from a long time ago, set up an appointment, come in and talk to me. I’d be happy to walk you through it, pull your record, let you know what you’re eligible for and what we can do to try to help you get that.

Next week we’ll talk about nondisclosure, so look forward to that. Meanwhile, if you have any questions or concerns about expulsions, how to get them, what they do, drop me a line, either an email, phone call or a comment here and I’d be happy to answer them for you.

I hope everybody has a great weekend. I look forward to talking to you all next week.