Many individuals who are convicted of a crime in Texas are concerned about the ensuing criminal record. While not all criminal convictions in Texas can be expunged, or sealed from public viewing, there are some records that can be. Law enforcement officials can still see the record when determining future decisions, but the defendant will no longer be required to disclose the conviction and it will not show up on a background report requested by a potential employer, landlord, or other party seeking personal information. However, certain rules apply for the state court to issue the expungement order.
Juvenile conviction expunging
The first and most successful group of individuals who may receive an expungement order is juveniles. It is commonly assumed by many Texas residents that expunging a juvenile criminal record is automatic when they reach age 18, but the truth is that even juveniles must file a formal request to remove any record associated with a conviction as a criminal law matter.
There are very few individuals who have been convicted of a crime in Texas who can have their records expunged. While no criminal convictions are automatically designated for a potential expunging, there is a list of crimes that cannot be sealed under any circumstances. Each individual case is evaluated on its own merit, and prosecutors have an opportunity to request denial in certain situations.
Those who can actually receive a record sealing are the ones who were acquitted or charges were dropped before a case made it to court. All that is sealed are the court documents used in the investigation before final adjudication. Additionally, those who complete a pretrial diversion program or deferred judgment order can also have the record expunged as well after a period of time has elapsed.