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Fort Worth Expungement Lawyers
Clearing Your Path to a Fresh Start: Why You Need a Fort Worth Expungement Lawyer
If you’ve found yourself on this page, you may be seeking a way to move forward from your past and secure a brighter future. At Deandra Grant Law, we understand the impact a criminal record can have on your life, and we are here to offer you the support and legal guidance you need to pursue an expungement or nondisclosure of your criminal charges in Fort Worth, TX.
Understanding Expungement and Nondisclosure
Having a criminal record can create barriers to employment, housing, education, and other opportunities. Expungement and nondisclosure are legal remedies that can help you leave your past behind and start anew. Expungement completely removes a criminal charge from your record, as if it never happened. Nondisclosure, on the other hand, seals your criminal record from public view, allowing you to legally deny its existence in most circumstances.
Understanding Eligibility for Expungement
In Texas, certain individuals are eligible for expungement if they meet specific criteria. These include:
- Acquittal or Pardon: If you were tried and acquitted, or if you were convicted but later pardoned or relieved because of actual innocence, you may be eligible for expunction.
- Unlawful Carrying of Weapon (UCW) Charges: In certain circumstances, individuals convicted of Unlawful Carrying of Weapon charges may be eligible for expungement.
- Dismissed Cases: Cases that were dismissed without community supervision, unless they were class C tickets, and cases in which the statute of limitations has expired may be eligible for expungement.
- No Charges Filed: If you were arrested, but charges were never filed, and a specific waiting period has expired, you may be eligible for expunction. The waiting period varies based on the severity of the offense.
- Clerical Errors: In cases where an arrest occurred due to a clerical error, expungement may be possible.
What is an Order of Nondisclosure in Texas?
An order of nondisclosure is like an expunction. It provides relief from the limitations arising from involvement in a criminal matter. However, it does not completely clear your record. Instead, it seals it.
A distinction exists between record clearing and record sealing. With record clearing (through an expunction), the information concerning your case is removed and destroyed. With record sealing (through nondisclosure), the details concerning your case are still maintained. However, neither the court nor criminal justice agencies with access to your files can provide that information to the public. Your record can only be released to certain entities under limited circumstances.
Requesting an order of nondisclosure begins with preparing and filing a petition. You must demonstrate in your petition that you are eligible to pursue this avenue for relief. You must also ensure that you submit the documents to the correct court.
After you submit your petition, the court will:
- Notify the District Attorney’s Office of your request,
- Schedule you for a hearing, and
- Determine whether sealing your record is in the best interest of justice.
Our nondisclosure lawyers in Dallas are here to prepare your file and demonstrate that you are entitled to file a petition.
Who Qualifies for Nondisclosure?
Chapter 411 of the Texas Government Code lists the criteria for seeking an order of nondisclosure in various circumstances. We’ll discuss the specific requirements for each a bit later. But generally, to qualify for nondisclosure, you must not have been convicted of or placed on deferred adjudication community supervision during the sentence or waiting period for the offense you are requesting to have sealed. In other words, you must have been crime-free (except for traffic violations) after a decision was made in the case you are seeking nondisclosure for.
You may not qualify for an order of nondisclosure if you are requesting relief from or have been previously convicted or placed on community supervision for:
An offense requiring registration as a sex offender;
- Aggravated kidnapping;
- Capital murder;
- Trafficking of persons;
- Continuous trafficking of persons;
- Injury to a child, elderly person, or disabled individual;
- Abandoning or endangering a child;
- Violating a condition of bond set in a family violence, sexual assault, indecent assault, stalking, or trafficking case;
- Stalking; or
- A family violence offense.
What Offenses are Eligible for Nondisclosure in Texas?
The records for certain misdemeanors or felonies resulting in convictions or deferred adjudication community supervision may be eligible for nondisclosure.
Below we discuss the criteria and processes for different situations.
Nonviolent Misdemeanors Resulting in Deferred Adjudication Community Supervision (Texas Government Code § 411.072)
Relief is available to first-time offenders whose judgment was deferred and were placed on community supervision at a certain time.
Typically, though the court will not automatically issue an order of nondisclosure without a request from an eligible person, the nondisclosure process is more streamlined if the individual meets the general criteria for nondisclosure and the judge discharges and dismisses the case.
Automatic nondisclosure for nonviolent misdemeanors resulting in community supervision is not available if the offense was:
- DWI or BWI,
- A sexual offense,
- An assaultive offense,
- An offense against the family,
- Disorderly conduct,
- Public indecency,
- A weapons crime, or
- Organized crime.
Certain Misdemeanors and Felonies Resulting in Deferred Adjudication Community Supervision (Texas Government Code § 411.0725)
An individual may petition for an order of nondisclosure if placed on deferred adjudication community supervision for certain misdemeanors or felonies. However, they are not eligible for relief if the offense was DWI or BWI.
The individual can file a petition:
- After their case was discharged and dismissed (for certain misdemeanors only).
- 2 years after the discharge and dismissal of their case if it involved any of the following misdemeanors:
- Sexual offense
- Offense against the family
- Disorderly conduct
- Public indecency
- 5 years after their case was dismissed if it were a felony
Certain DWI or BWI Misdemeanors Resulting in Deferred Adjudication Community Supervision (Texas Government Code § 411.0726)
Individuals convicted of a first-time misdemeanor DWI or BWI may petition for an order of nondisclosure 2 years after the court has dismissed and discharged their case.
If the District Attorney’s Office provides evidence that the person caused an accident involving someone else (including a passenger in the person’s own car), the court may not grant the request for relief.
Completion of a Veterans Court Treatment Program (Texas Government Code § 411.0727)
Relief may be available for veterans convicted of or placed on deferred adjudication community supervision for felonies or misdemeanors and ordered to attend a treatment program. They can petition for nondisclosure 2 years after completing the program. However, they are not eligible if the information they are requesting to have sealed is related to a DWI offense.
Certain Misdemeanors Resulting in Community Supervision Upon a Conviction (Texas Government Code § 411.073)
If a person is convicted of a misdemeanor and ordered to confinement as a condition of community supervision, they could petition for an order of nondisclosure. However, operating while intoxicated offenses are not eligible under this statute.
To qualify for relief, the individual must:
- Have completed the community supervision period, including the term of confinement;
- Have satisfied all fines, court costs, and victim restitution; and
- Not have been previously convicted of or placed on deferred adjudication community supervision for any offense.
The individual can submit a petition after:
- Completing their term of community supervision; or
- 2 years after completing their term of community supervision if they were convicted of kidnapping, a sexual offense, assault, an offense against the family, disorderly conduct, public indecency, or a weapons crime.
Certain DWI Convictions Resulting in Community Supervision (Texas Government Code § 411.0731)
A person may petition for an order of nondisclosure for a DWI conviction if the offense was a misdemeanor and did not involve a blood alcohol concentration of 0.15 or more. To be eligible under the statute, the individual must have been ordered to serve a term of confinement as a condition of community supervision.
The individual can apply for relief after completing their sentence and paying all costs and fees:
- 2 years after finishing the community supervision term, if they were ordered to and complied with the condition to have an ignition interlock device installed (IID) on their vehicle.
- 5 years after finishing the community supervision term if they did not have an IID restriction.
The court may not grant the request if the District Attorney’s Office shows that the DWI offense led to an accident involving another person (including a passenger in the petitioner’s own vehicle).
Certain Misdemeanor Convictions (Texas Government Code § 411.0735)
Convictions for misdemeanors other than alcohol-related offenses may be eligible for an order of nondisclosure. The individual must have completed their sentence, including satisfying periods of confinement, fines, costs, and restitution.
The individual does not qualify if:
- They were previously convicted of or placed on deferred adjudication community supervision for any other offense; or
- The information they are seeking to have sealed was for a sexual or violent crime.
The person may file a petition:
- Immediately after completing the sentence for a Class C misdemeanor, or
- 2 years after completing their sentence for a Class B or A misdemeanor.
Certain DWI Convictions (Texas Government Code § 411.0736)
A nondisclosure may be granted for misdemeanor DWI convictions not involving a BAC of 0.15 or more. The individual must be a first-time offender and complete their sentence, including terms of confinement, fines, costs, and restitution. They might not be eligible if their offense resulted in an accident involving another person (including a passenger in their own vehicle).
The individual may apply for an order of nondisclosure:
- 3 years after completing their sentence, if they were ordered to have an IID installed on their vehicle, or
- 5 years after completing their sentence if they were not subject to an IID restriction.
Choosing the Right Fort Worth Expungement Lawyers: Your Path to a Clean Record
If you’re seeking to clear your criminal record and leave your past behind, choosing the right legal team to guide you through the expungement or nondisclosure process is crucial. At Deandra Grant Law, we understand the significance of this decision and are here to provide you with the expertise and support you need to pursue a successful outcome in Fort Worth, TX.
Why Experience Matters
Obtaining an expungement or nondisclosure requires navigating a complex legal landscape. It is essential to have an experienced Fort Worth Expungement Lawyer by your side to ensure that every detail is meticulously addressed. Our team of skilled lawyers has a deep understanding of Texas expungement laws and has successfully handled numerous cases like yours.
The Value of Free Consultations
We believe that everyone should have access to legal advice, especially when seeking to clear their criminal record. That’s why we offer free consultations to individuals looking to pursue expungement or nondisclosure in Fort Worth. During this confidential meeting, our experienced Fort Worth Expungement Lawyers will listen attentively to your circumstances, assess your eligibility, and provide you with a clear understanding of your legal options. This initial consultation sets the foundation for a personalized strategy tailored to your unique needs.
Guidance through Complicated Proceedings
The expungement or nondisclosure process involves navigating intricate court and administrative proceedings. Our Fort Worth Expungement Lawyers will be with you every step of the way, guiding you through the complexities and ensuring you are well-informed throughout the process. We will handle the paperwork, filings, and interactions with the court, allowing you to focus on your future.
Determining Your Best Chances for Success
Each expungement or nondisclosure case is unique, and the outcome depends on various factors. Our Fort Worth Expungement Lawyers will thoroughly analyze your situation, including the specific details of your criminal record and your eligibility for expungement or nondisclosure. With our experience, we will determine the most effective strategy to pursue a positive outcome for your case.
Avoiding Common Pitfalls: Mistakes to Steer Clear of When Seeking Expungement in Fort Worth, TX
Seeking an expungement of your criminal record in Fort Worth, TX is a significant step towards a fresh start and new opportunities. However, navigating the expungement process can be complex, and making certain mistakes could hinder your chances of success. At Deandra Grant Law, we understand the importance of avoiding these pitfalls, and we are here to guide you towards a successful expungement.
Mistake #1: Incorrectly Assessing Eligibility
One of the most common mistakes individuals make is misjudging their eligibility for expungement. The criteria for expungement in Texas are specific, and not every criminal charge is eligible. It is essential to thoroughly evaluate your case and understand if you meet the necessary requirements.
Mistake #2: Filing Incomplete or Inaccurate Paperwork
The expungement process involves extensive paperwork and legal filings. Submitting incomplete or inaccurate forms can lead to delays or even the rejection of your expungement petition.
Mistake #3: Missing Important Deadlines
The expungement process is subject to specific deadlines, and missing them can seriously impact your case. Failing to adhere to these timelines may result in missed opportunities for expungement.
Mistake #4: Representing Yourself
Attempting to handle your expungement case without legal representation can be risky. The legal process can be complex and nuanced, and a lack of legal knowledge may result in unintended errors that could hinder your expungement efforts.
Frequently Asked Questions: Expunging Your Criminal Record in Fort Worth, TX
At Deandra Grant Law, we understand that seeking to expunge your criminal record can be a complex and daunting process. To provide you with clarity and guidance, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions and their answers. Please note that every case is unique, and it is essential to consult with an experienced Fort Worth Expungement Lawyer for personalized advice.
An expungement is a legal process that allows you to have your criminal record cleared or erased. Once granted, your record is essentially treated as if the offense never occurred. This means you can legally deny the existence of the expunged charges in most situations.
In Texas, you may be eligible for expungement if:
• You were tried and acquitted.
• You were convicted but later pardoned or relieved due to actual innocence.
• You were convicted of Unlawful Carrying of Weapon under specific circumstances.
• Your case was dismissed without community supervision, and the statute of limitations has expired.
• You were arrested, but charges were never filed, and a specific waiting period has expired (180 days for a Class C misdemeanor, 1 year for a Class B or A misdemeanor, 3 years for a felony).
• You were arrested because of a clerical error.
Yes, in some cases, you may be able to expunge multiple criminal records. Each case will be considered separately based on eligibility criteria. Our experienced Dallas Expungement Lawyers can help you assess each record and determine your options.
Yes, you may be able to expunge multiple charges from your criminal record if you meet the eligibility criteria for each charge. However, it is essential to consult with a Fort Worth Expungement Lawyer to determine the feasibility of expunging multiple charges.
The expungement process can vary depending on the complexity of your case and the court’s caseload. Generally, it can take several months to complete. Having an experienced Fort Worth Expungement Lawyer by your side can expedite the process and ensure that all necessary steps are taken promptly.
Expungement is typically available only for cases that did not result in a conviction, such as charges that were dismissed or cases where you were acquitted. However, certain convictions may be eligible for nondisclosure, which seals the record from public view.
Once your criminal record is expunged, it should not appear in most background checks conducted by employers, landlords, or educational institutions. However, some government agencies and law enforcement may still have access to the expunged information.
Fort Worth Expungement Client Story
This client story is for educational purposes only.
Miranda’s Journey to Redemption: A Second Chance with Deandra Grant Law
In the bustling city of Fort Worth, Texas, Miranda’s life was forever changed when she faced an arrest for a crime she did not commit. The weight of the accusation hung heavily on her shoulders, and she feared that her dreams and aspirations were slipping away. But little did she know that her path to redemption was about to be illuminated by a guiding light – the compassionate and skilled Fort Worth Expungement Lawyer, Sorsha Huff, from Deandra Grant Law.
Feeling lost and disheartened after her trial, where she was thankfully acquitted of all charges, Miranda yearned for a chance to erase the stain on her record. She believed that an expungement of her criminal history would give her the clean slate she needed to rebuild her life. That’s when Sorsha Huff, the seasoned and empathetic lawyer from Deandra Grant Law, stepped in as her guiding hand.
From their first meeting, Sorsha made it clear that Miranda’s dreams of a brighter future were not out of reach. With genuine care and a deep understanding of the complexities of the legal system, Sorsha listened intently to Miranda’s story and reassured her that she was not alone in her journey. This glimmer of hope was the spark that ignited Miranda’s determination to seek a second chance.
With Sorsha as her legal guide, Miranda embarked on the expungement process with newfound confidence. Sorsha meticulously analyzed Miranda’s case, leaving no stone unturned in her quest to pave the way for redemption. As she navigated the intricacies of the legal procedures, Sorsha showed Miranda the power of hope and the value of perseverance.
As the days turned into weeks and the weeks into months, Miranda’s anticipation grew. She knew that Sorsha was working tirelessly to achieve the expungement that would give her the fresh start she craved. The day finally arrived when Sorsha called to deliver the life-changing news – Miranda’s criminal record had been expunged. Tears of joy streamed down Miranda’s cheeks as she realized that the burden she had carried for so long was lifted, and she could finally breathe again.
Contact Our Experienced Fort Worth Expungement Lawyers at Deandra Grant Law
If you are seeking to clear your criminal record and embrace a fresh start in Fort Worth, TX, Deandra Grant Law is here to be your trusted legal partner. Our experienced Fort Worth Expungement Lawyers understand the challenges you may be facing and are dedicated to helping you achieve a positive outcome for your case.
Don’t let a criminal record define your future. Take the first step towards a clean slate and a brighter tomorrow by contacting us today. Our Fort Worth Expungement Lawyers are here to be your ally and advocate, fighting for your rights and paving the way for a hopeful future.
If you are looking to get your criminal record expunged or seek a nondisclosure in Fort Worth, TX, Deandra Grant Law is the team you can trust. Contact us now to schedule your free consultation, and let us be the guide that leads you towards a clean record and a fresh start. Your path to a brighter future starts with Deandra Grant Law.
“Deandra Grant Law handled my case with diligence and professionalism. Deandra Grant’s reputation is stellar and now I know why. She has a team of individuals who provide quality service.”