If you have a criminal record, it will show up when someone performs a background check, and you will usually have to explain the details about your conviction.
However, under certain circumstances, you may qualify to have your record expunged, and you can go on with your life as though your arrest and conviction never happened.
The expungement of a criminal record means to seal or destroy that record so that it is no longer viewable by the public. Furthermore, the person to whom it belongs will never have to divulge information about the incident connected with the record.
If you seek record expungement, you will have to meet one or more of the following requirements:
- A judge found you not guilty of the offense or acquitted you following a trial.
- You received a pardon after your conviction.
- A judge dismissed the charges against you.
- You met the required waiting period before petitioning the court for expungement.
- You paid any fines or restitution required.
- You completed any diversion or education programs or any community service requirements.
Guidelines vary throughout the country, but in your case, Texas law determines the offenses that are eligible for expungement.
How expungement helps
Once your expungement is complete, you will be able to truthfully state that you have no arrests or convictions. This will be very important when you are applying for a job or a mortgage, trying to rent a house or apartment, buying a car or working on similar pursuits.
For example, a potential landlord or employer may well call up your personal history. Where before, your criminal record was on display, now nothing of a criminal nature will pop up, and that may make all the difference in whether you get the apartment you want or the job you applied for. Expungement is a powerful tool. If you are eligible to have your record cleared this way, you can start your life over and enjoy a bright future.