We all make mistakes in our lifetime, and while most are small and forgettable, some stay with us for the rest of our lives. For those whose mistakes cause them to enter into the judicial system (and even for who who were charged but found innocent), having a criminal record affects a variety of aspects of a person’s life, including insurance rates, credibility, reputation in the community, and employment opportunities. Your entire life changes when people only see you as your criminal record, and that’s not fair. Individuals deserve to move on in their life and get the same opportunities as others. This can be done through the process known as expungement or non-disclosure. Both refer to clearing your criminal record.
This process is easier said than done. In many states, Texas included, it is incredibly difficult to expunge a criminal arrest record. Texas law does not offer expungement of actual convictions, regardless of how much time has passed or if you have been pardoned for the crime. Even if your case was dismissed or if you have completed deferred adjudication, sealing or expunging the record of the case is not a guaranteed process. This difficulty creates problems for those looking for jobs or housing property but are prevented because of their past record.
Though there are many benefits that come with sealing a prior criminal arrest record, one of the greatest is that you may lawfully answer “No” when an employer asks you whether you have been arrested or convicted of a crime. The same is applicable for private-sector employment, housing, or other forms of background checks which a person might face. When a person who is trying to move forward with his or her life, expunction is vital.
A lot of government agencies are still able to access records which have been made non-public, so it is important to consult with an experienced attorney to determine whether this option will be helpful to you. Only an experienced and capable defense attorney will work to try to obtain expungement or non-disclosure for a criminal record. No one wants a criminal record hanging over your head and affecting your future employment opportunities, professional life, and personal life. Get in touch with expungement lawyer Matthew Shrum in Austin, Texas today to learn more about expungement and if it is right for you.