Expunction and Record-Sealing If you've been arrested in the past, chances are high that a record of that event is kept in the public records of numerous State and Federal agencies. If your arrest was formalized into a criminal charge, the existence of a criminal record is virtually guaranteed. Even if your criminal matter was dismissed or no billed by a grand jury, a criminal record still exists and can be found by the average citizen with minimum effort. And don't be fooled, it will come back to haunt you. College admissions personnel, landlords, employers, credit bureaus and even paramours now routinely conduct extensive criminal background checks on citizens. The companies or investigators providing the background checks frequently misinterpret criminal records and provide faulty information that can damage a citizen's lifestyle or career. The only safe outcome is to take any available opportunity to clear your criminal record wherever possible. There are three primary tools used to clear a person's criminal record: Expunction: An expunction is a civil lawsuit ordering all State and Federal Agencies to destroy all records relating to a citizen's arrest. Expunctions are very restricted: those citizens whose cases were merely arrests, or whose charges were ultimately dismissed or no billed by a grand jury are often eligible for expunctions. Orders of Nondisclosure: An Order of Non Disclosure is an order that effectively seals the records of arrest and dismissal for those citizens whose cases resulted in a successfully completed term of deferred adjudication. Not every type of deferred adjudication is eligible for an Order of Non Disclosure, but many are. The Order is issued by the Court that placed the citizen on deferred adjudication and the decision to grant such a request is discretionary. Pardons: A Governor's pardon is granted in those cases in which the Governor himself determines that a citizen should be entitled to a fresh start. It is available to every person convicted under Texas law and is limited only by the Governor himself. The application process is rigorous and is conducted by the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles. Please contact Mr. Threadgill today if you are interested in pursuing any of these options to clear your name.