Sealing the Record

Experienced Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer

An Expunction and a Petition for Non-Disclosure are two different things. An Expunction is only available when a case has been dismissed or you have gone to trial and won, whereas a Petition for Non-Disclosure is only available after the successful completion of a deferred adjudication probation.

After successful discharge from a misdemeanor deferred adjudication probation, you may file a Petition for Non-Disclosure immediately after discharge for most misdemeanors. However, there a few misdemeanors that will require you to wait for two years from the time that your probation ended before you can file a Petition for Non-Disclosure, these offenses include such misdemeanors as: assault, disorderly conduct, weapons, and domestic cases.

After successful completion of a felony deferred adjudication probation you must wait 5 years from the day that you are discharged from probation to file a Petition for Non-Disclosure. However, there are some felonies that are not eligible to be sealed through a Petition for Non-Disclosure, these offenses include such felonies as murder, kidnapping, sex crimes, certain domestic cases.

If your felony or misdemeanor case was dismissed because it was filed as a result of fraud or mistake, or you win your case at trial or on a motion to suppress, then you can file for an Expunction immediately. If your case was dismissed because you completed a pre-trial diversion program, then technically you are eligible for an immediate Expunction. However most pre-trial diversion contracts stipulate that you must wait two years from the completion of the pre-trail diversion program to file for an Expunction.

In all other misdemeanor cases that are dismissed you must wait until the two-year statute of limitations has expired before filing for an Expunction.

In all other felony cases that are dismissed you must wait until the statute of limitations has expired before filing for an Expunction. The statute of limitations in a felony case can be as little as three years and as much as ten years depending on the charge.

If you have been arrested but the DA does not file a charge, then you can file for an Expunction of the arrest record after one year for misdemeanors and three years for felonies.

Contact a Houston defense attorney today for either an Expunction of your criminal record, or a Petition for Non-Disclosure to seal the record of your deferred adjudication.

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