A felony has a big impact on a person’s life and if you live in Texas, you’ve come here trying to find out how to get the felony off your record. Realize that with all felony records, there are three options you can take. 1) Expunge Your Record 2) Seal Your Record 3) Request a Pardon of Your RecordThe problem though is that all states don’t offer all three of these options. But before we get into what Texas offers, let’s review what each of these options actually mean.
If you get your record expunged in Texas it’s as if your arrest and/or charges never happened. Your record is completely destroyed, including all physical and public records. When asked if have a criminal record, after expungement, you can truthfully answer “no”.
Sealing your record in Texas is similar to expungement, but your record still exists in a limited form. The public does not have access to your record, but there are some exceptions. Your records can still be accessed by law enforcement and the courts. Record sealing is not as secure as expungement, but it is a reasonable alternative that is comparatively easier to obtain if your state offers it.
If you receive a pardon in Texas, you still have record of your arrest or charge, but your guilt is exonerated. That is, you have proven that you are rehabilitated and forgiven for your crimes. You can also get relief in terms of having various rights restored, such as your right to vote. The requirements for pardons vary between states, but typically there is a lot of documentation required, and includes lengthy waiting periods to apply and receive a pardon.
Things to Know Before You Start
First: It’s important to understand that every state is different in terms of what methods are available for felons to remove their record and the information below will help you understand what you can do in Texas.
Felony Expungement in Texas
Yes, it is possible to expunge your your record in Texas but it depends on the felony.
Sealing a Record in Texas
Yes, it is possible to seal your your record in Texas but it depends on the felony.
Getting a Pardon in Texas
Yes, it is possible to get a pardon off your record in Texas but it depends on the felony.
Second: When trying to clear your record, you really have two options. The first is to get a free consultation from a lawyer to see what they think of your case, and the second is to try to do all of the paperwork yourself.
Third: We HIGHLY recommend that you get a free consultation from a lawyer prior to taking any action. We say this because whether you want to expunge, seal, or pardon your record, it’s an extremely complicated process. Failure to follow the process properly can end up with you being denied for the request and having to wait additional time (sometimes several years) before you can file again. In addition, getting an expungement lawyer can increase your odds of succeeding and sometimes it’s more affordable than you think. The first step is to click on the button below to confirm that you’re eligible for the expungement/sealing off your record.
Can You Expunge a Felony in Texas?
A felony in Texas can negatively affect your life. This is true especially in Texas where the Texas Department of Public Safety makes it a snap for anyone to find criminal records. There are solutions, but the expungement process is very difficult in Texas. You might make a mistake on a form that would force you to begin the process all over again and cause your case to get delayed for years. Once you have expunged your record, you will need to clear your past criminal record with over 600 background check companies. If these companies are not notified about your expunged records, the record will remain out there for employers to find.
CANNOT EXPUNGE IF…
Your case resulted in a conviction, you are a sex offender that requires you to register, felony murder, stalking, family violence, the statute of limitation is still in effect.
How to Expunge a Felony in Texas
Before you begin this process, we insist that you take this eligibility test to determine if you’re eligible to expunge your record. If you are eligible, you should talk to the lawyer that we refer you to so that you get an idea of the price for their services (it’s likely cheaper than you think because expungements are mostly paperwork) and see what other helpful information they can give you. If you are not eligible for expungement based on our test, then you should stop here. If you are eligible based on our test and want to do this without a lawyer, continue reading. Get the required forms from the clerk at the District court where you were arrested. ‘Petition for Expunction and Order for Expunction. The clerk will give you the pertinent details regarding fees and scheduling court dates. Obtain a copy of your criminal record, fingerprinting, and any other information needed. File a petition of expunction in the same court where the charges were filed, give notice of the filing of the petition to the district attorney who managed your case, the clerk, the arresting police authority, and the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Can You Seal Your Criminal Record in Texas?
Sealing records in Texas is different from expunging your records. Expunction requires your criminal records to be physically destroyed. Non-disclosure or sealing orders do not destroy any of your records. Sealing does restrict who can look at your criminal information. Your records will not be turned over to the general public, background search companies, or credit reporting agencies.
Sealing records is not simple. You must meet all the qualifications, hand over a Petition for Non-Disclosure to the Courts, and wait for a judge to approve the non-disclosure. Sealing records is at the discretion of the judge.
CANNOT SEAL IF…
You have been convicted or placed on deferred adjudication for sex crimes, capital murder, aggravated kidnaping, injury to children, the elderly or disabled individuals, child abandonment, family violence, endangerment or stalking someone, you have not concluded probation, you were convicted, have a DWI.
How to Seal Your Criminal Record in Texas
Sealing your records in Texas is like expunging these same records. Once your records have been officially sealed or non-disclosure agreement in place, no one can see you records except under a court order. You are not obligated to tell a prospective employer that you have a record. Before you begin this process, we insist that you take this eligibility test to determine if you’re eligible to seal your record. If you are eligible, you should talk to the lawyer that we refer you to so that you get an idea of the price for their services (it’s likely cheaper than you think because expungements are mostly paperwork) and see what other helpful information they can give you. If you are not eligible to seal your record based on our test, then you should stop here. If you are eligible to seal your record based on our test and want to do this without a lawyer, continue reading. Get a fingerprint card and a copy of your criminal record. (Get the finger print card from L-1 Enrollment Services). You can get this information by calling 888-467-2080 or by checking out this website. Wait the determined period of time before filing. This varies and depends on how your case was concluded. Class A or B misdemeanors require a two-year wait. For felonies, the waiting period is five years.
Can You Apply for a Pardon in Texas?
A pardon is forgiveness for a crime without clearing your record. You can apply for a pardon if you feel your sentence was too hash or you did not deserve the punishment given.
A pardon is essentially clemency. It does not erase your conviction, but it does go on your criminal records that you have been legally forgiven for the crime.
CANNOT PARDON IF…
You have committed treason, you have an arrest with no conviction, early dismissal from probation, class C misdemeanors, denied a pardon in the past, you do not have a compelling reason for asking for a pardon, you have committed other infraction or crimes in a 12-month period.
How to Apply for a Pardon in Texas
A pardon in Texas is a lengthy application process. You need to gather offense reports for any arrests, certified court documents for those arrests, official criminal history statement, three current letters of recommendation, not from family members.The Board of Pardons and Parole will not consider a pardon for any crimes committed in another state or in a federal criminal case. Before you begin this process, we insist that you take this eligibility test to determine if you’re eligible to request a pardon for your record. In most cases, if you are eligible for expungement on our test, then you’ll be eligible for a pardon. If you are eligible, you should talk to the lawyer that we refer you to so that you get an idea of the price for their services (it’s likely cheaper than you think because requesting a pardon is mostly paperwork) and see what other helpful information they can give you. If you are not eligible based on our test, then you should stop here. If you are eligible based on our test and want to do this without a lawyer, continue reading. Have all the documents required to finish the application. This includes offense report for all arrests. You must also turn in the records for those arrests that did not result in a conviction. Prove that your sentence has been dismissed, disposed, or discharged. Three current and dated letters of recommendation from people who are familiar with you. (These cannot be from family members.)
So, there you have it. Three separate ways to get rid of your record in Texas. As we’ve said numerous times throughout this page, this is a really complicated process and we highly recommend that you take this eligibility test prior to taking any action to determine if you are eligible for any of these options.
Please note, the information contained here is not legal advice and is strictly informational and some sections may be outdated. If you have any further questions about the information above, or in general, you need to contact a lawyer directly.