You found yourself locked up and jammed into a daunting and confusing court system. But you made it out unscathed! You (or more likely your lawyer) ere able to get the charges DISMISSED!
All good, right? WRONG!
Just because you got your charges dismissed does not mean that your record is clear. Far from it. ALL of the information about your case is still public information that is available to anyone to find. That means that employers, apartment complexes, state licensing agencies, etc. will see the case on your record, even though it was dismissed. A distinction needs to be made here: it is still on your record, but it does show as “Dismissed.” You do not have a conviction for the offense on your record.
So What shows up whenever the charges are dismissed?
EVERYTHING. That means the mug shot, the probable cause statement that is often contained on the Criminal Complaint or Indictment. The case disposition, including the judgment and terms of probation is also visible to anyone that wants to see it.
That means you may have had that drug case, assault or theft dismissed…but everyone can still see it!
What can I do about things on my record that are dismissed?
Expunctions – Who is eligible?
ONLY for offenses where you have been found not guilty (Acquittal), MIsdemeanor offense was dismissed, Felony charge was No-Billed, Felony Complaint was dismissed, or the Felony Indictment was dismissed. Also, those that have completed deferred adjudication for a class-C misdemeanor are eligible.
Expunctions – What is the process?
You may file for an expunction to have records relating to the offense taken off your criminal record. Some may qualify for expunction immediately (No-Bills), but for felony indictments…Two Routes, (1) Statute of limitations has run, or (2) you meet one of the waiting periods once the indictment was dismissed (you meet the 3-year catch-all under Tx R Crim P. 12.01(7), 5-year wait period for Theft, Robbery, or burglary, 7 year waiting period for Credit Card abuse, or 10 year waiting period for forgery).
Expunction – One major exception
Defendant convicted of or remains subject to prosecution for the same criminal episode. (Ie…you could still be charged for other offenses relating to the same conduct).
Non-Disclosure – Who is eligible?
Anyone who has successfully completed deferred adjudication. You have not been released from deferred adjudication for one of the exceptions.
Non-Disclosures – What is the process?
File a petition for non-disclosure and pay the applicable filing fee in your county. Certain waiting periods are in place for certain offenses, and are as follows: 5-years for all felonies, 2-years on some misdemeanors (abuse of corpse, public lewedness, bigamy, cruelty to animals).
Non-Disclosures – Who is NOT eligible?
Anyone that has completed deferred adjudication for a sexual offense, violent offense, for harming children, or for a charge of family violence.
Non-Disclosures – WHEN YOU STILL MAY NOT BE ELIGIBLE
It is at the judges discretion whether or not to grant the non-disclosure, and it is the burden of the petitioner to prove that granting the non-disclosure is in the best interest of justice, and the person applying for the non-disclosure.
NEED HELP CLEANING UP YOUR RECORD?
Call Houston Criminal Defense Attorney Tristan LeGrande
Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Tristan LeGrande IMMEDIATELY by calling 281-684-3500.
Houston Criminal defense attorney Tristan LeGrande