What Do I Do If I Want My Record Expunged?

The key word here is “expunged!” Please do not confuse an expunged record with a “sealed” record. An “expunged” record has been completely destroyed, as if the arrest and outcome of the case never happened. A “sealed” record still exists, but is simply hidden from certain agencies.

Most employment applications only ask about convictions, so read carefully. It is rare if an employment application asks you about an arrest, but we’ll talk about both, “convictions” and “arrests”.  Carefully read over the application and contact us for help if you are confused.

If you have had your criminal record expunged, you can 100% deny both the conviction AND arrest on a job application. The Code of Criminal Procedure specifically allows denying the arrest and outcome of the case. You can also deny the existence of the expunction. You can act as if the arrest never happened and that is the best way to handle this situation. If you admit to the Expunged record on an employment application, you are weakening the strength of your expunction. By revealing the arrest, you are essentially making a new record of it.

If you have not gotten your record expunged yet, and you were arrested for an offense, but not convicted: please carefully read the employment application. You only need to answer “yes” if the question asks specifically about an “arrest”. This is why we advise our friends and clients to get an expunction as soon as possible so you can deny the whole incident. If the question is “have you been convicted of…?” You can confidently answer, “no”. If you are eligible for an expunction, you should pursue one so that you can answer “No” to both questions.

Not all offenses are eligible for expunction, but another option may be available. In some instances, a “non-disclosure” or “sealing” your record is possible. When your records are “sealed”, they are not allowed to be disclosed to companies by law enforcement or court staff. However, many professional agencies will still be able to view those records, like the State Bar of Texas, the Nursing Board, and police agencies.

If you’re eligible, you should pursue an expunction. Please call our offices for help. You will need an attorney to assist in the process.

Austin area: 512-278-0935 

San Antonio area: 210-394-3833.


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