Many people believe that if you were found “not guilty,” your case was dismissed or you completed deferred adjudication probation, that their record is clean. NO! The record of your arrest and charge are still there. Having a criminal record will likely haunt you for the rest of your life. If you have a criminal record—even if the charge has been dismissed, it will create a negative impact on your family, work, and personal life because your criminal record exists and is available to public.
Undoubtedly, your background plays a significant role in every aspect of your life. If you want to apply for a job, employers can find out about your criminal record. If you want to buy a house or rent an apartment, landlords and banks can find about your history.
Fortunately, there are certain legal processes that can help you to get rid of your criminal records. The processes are ‘Expunctions” and ‘Non-disclosures’.
An Expunction is a legal process of actual destruction of your criminal records. The Court orders law enforcement agencies to destroy records of your arrest, jail records, police records, court files and prosecution records. You do not have to confess your previous crimes. Your records will not be used for further arrest or investigation. No authority will be able to use your criminal records in future, except for immigration purposes. You are eligible for an expunction if your case was outright dismissed or you were found not guilty at trial.
A Non-disclosure is also a legal process. This process is available for individuals who completed deferred adjudication probation. Most people believe that once you complete the deferred adjudication, your case is dismissed. Techincally it is, however, your arrest records and court records showing that you were on deferred adjudication are still on your record and available for the public to see. A non-disclosure will hide the arrest records and the court records showing that you completed deferred adjudication. Unlike expunctions, in this process no criminal record is erased, but your criminal records are sealed from public for most purposes. You do not have to admit your crimes on job applications, etc. Once your records are sealed, the only people who can still see your charges are those with government licensing agencies.
Both expunctions and non-disclosures are great ways for people to start a happy and fresh beginning of life. It is a big opportunity for you so that you can lead a prestigious life without having to admit to your previous criminal history. Both expunctions and non-disclosures are fairly time consuming legal processes. Contact the Kahn Law Firm today to discuss your case so you can have your past behind you.