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Expunctions and Non-Disclosure   Tags: clear your record, expunge, juvenile records, seal your record  

Information about expunctions (i.e., clearing your record) and non-disclosure (i.e., sealing your record, including juvenile records) in Texas.
Last Updated: Mar 25, 2014 URL: http://guides.sll.texas.gov/expunctions-and-non-disclosure Print Guide RSS Updates
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Resources at the State Law Library

Below are some library resources that can provide more details about expunctions and nondisclosure. Please call us at (512) 463-1722 if you have questions about these materials.

Expunction and nondisclosure - Andrea Westerfeld and Katharine Decker
Call Number: REF DESK KFT 9690 W47
ISBN: 9781934973370
Publication Date: 2011
Put out by the Texas District & County Attorneys Association, this publication goes over the "nuts and bolts" of expunctions and non-disclosures, explains how one petitions the court for either, and includes sample forms to guide you through the process.

Texas criminal lawyer's handbook - Mark G. Daniel
Call Number: KFT 9619 M3 2000
Publication Date: 2000, updated annually
This handbook contains a section dedicated to expunging one's arrest records.

Texas practice guide: criminal practice & procedure - D. Mark Elliston
Call Number: KFT 209 T5 CRIM.
Publication Date: Annual
The third volume of this 3-volume practice guide contains information on expunging arrest records.

About This Guide

In certain cases, Texas individuals are able to have their criminal record "expunged" or they may petition for their record to be sealed ("non-disclosure").

The information on this page can help you understand the difference between an expunction and non-disclosure, who is eligible for this, and how the process generally works.

Texas Law

Below you will find references to the areas of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure and the Texas Government Code that govern expunctions and non-disclosure. If you find these statutes difficult to understand, you may want to look at the "plain English" resources on this page or speak to an attorney.

Forms

  • Expunction of Records in Texas
    TexasLawHelp.org publishes this guide that answers frequently asked questions about expunctions. It also includes sample legal forms one may use when petitioning for an expunction.
  • Petition for an Order of Nondisclosure
    A law passed in 2013 (Senate Bill 107) ordered the Office of Court Administration (OCA) to prescribe a petition for an order of nondisclosure. You can now find the model petition for an order of nondisclosure, related documents, and instructions on the OCA website.

Explained in "Plain English"

Because state law may not be easy to understand, below you'll find a collection of resources that help to explain the law in "plain English."

  • Clearing Criminal Records in Texas [PDF]
    This article was originally published in the Texas Bar Journal in 2006 and describes the differences between expunctions and non-disclosure.
  • Expunction of Criminal History Record Information & Related Issues
    This information page from the Texas Dept. of Public Safety explains how the agency handles expunctions and non-disclosure orders. It also provides information about the sealing of juvenile records.
  • Expunctions in Texas [PDF]
    This brochure, published by the Texas Young Lawyers Association, explains both expunctions and non-disclosure orders in Texas. It is a great "plain English" explanation of these two procedures.
  • Expunctions vs. Deferred Adjudication Nondisclosure
    This brief 2007 article from the Texas Young Lawyers Association serves as a good initial explanation of the difference between an expunction and nondisclosure in "plain English."
  • I'm Innocent! Now What? [PDF]
    This article originally appeared in the Texas Bar Journal and is publicly available on the Texas Bar's website. It provides a great, easy-to-understand summary of expunctions and non-disclosure in Texas.

Who Can I Contact?

  • Texas Dept. of Public Safety, Criminal Records Service Division
    The Criminal Records Service division of the Texas Department of Public Safety handles expunctions and non-disclosures. They are not able to offer any legal advice, but you may want to contact them with other questions or visit their site for more details.
 

Legal Research Guides from the Texas State Law Library

The Texas State Law Library reference librarians have compiled legal research guides for specific areas of the law. These guides contain resources that can help you research a legal issue. The American Association of Law Libraries has a guide for Non-Lawyers on How to Research a Legal Problem. If you have any questions, please contact us at (512) 463-1722 or at library@sll.texas.gov.

Important:

The information provided on this page has been prepared for general information purposes only and should not be construed as, nor substituted for, legal advice. It is strongly recommended that you contact an attorney for advice specific to your fact situation. Your local bar association or the State Bar of Texas Lawyer Referral Information Service (1-800-252-9690) can assist you with locating an attorney.

Some of the electronic resources we refer to in this guide may be in PDF format. Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view PDFs.
 

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