Record Sealing

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The Houston Record Sealing lawyers at Benavides & Serrano can help you fix the mistakes you have made in the past.  It is extremely difficult for people with criminal records to find a job, an apartment, or get into schools.  Many times people are eligible to seal/non-disclose/expunge a record.  Below we will give you a brief description on the three main types of relief.  For a more personal evaluation contact us today at 713-222-2828.  Many times we can look your criminal record up while you are on the phone and let you know whether or not you are eligible.

Motion for Non-Disclosure

The biggest mistake lawyers make is telling their clients that after a deferred adjudication probation, that your record is clean.  Deferred adjudication is a type of probation where your case is dismissed if you finish the probation successfully.  So it is true that you do not have a conviction…BUT THE ARREST RECORD REMAINS VISIBLE TO EVERYONE!

The problem with deferred adjudication is that everyone who works in HR departments understands that you pled guilty to be placed on deferred, and the only reason that your case was dismissed was because you did probation.  To employers, apartment complexes, and schools, that dismissal is the same thing as a conviction.  They don’t care that you have a piece of paper saying that your record is clean.  In order to seal your record after you finish deferred, you need to file a motion for non-disclosure.

A motion for non-disclosure does not completely wipe your record clean, it will still be visible to governmental agencies and law enforcement, but THE GENERAL PUBLIC WILL NOT HAVE ACCESS TO THE RECORD!

Apartments, schools, and public jobs will no longer see that you were arrested, thus making your life less stressful.  In order to be eligible you must have finished your deferred adjudication probation.  With some misdemeanors you must wait two years after you finish probation to file for the non-disclosure.  Other types of misdemeanors allow you to file immediately upon completion of the probation (some judges has rules that you must wait a certain amount of time depending on the type of crime.  Call 713-222-2828 to get a more personal evaluation).  HOWEVER, IF YOU WERE ON DEFERRED FOR A FELONY YOU MUST WAIT FIVE YEARS AFTER YOU COMPLETE YOUR DEFERRED ADJUDICATION PROBATION BEFORE YOU CAN FILE.

There is always one big catch.  You are NOT ELIGIBLE TO A NON-DISCLOSURE if you have been previously convicted of or placed on probation for any of the following:

  • Sexual performance by a child
  • Possession of production of child pornography
  • Unlawful restraint, kidnapping, or aggravated kidnapping of anyone under the age of 17
  • Attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of these listed offenses
  • Capital murder
  • Murder
  • Indecency with a child
  • Sexual assault
  • Aggravated sexual assault
  • Prohibited sexual conduct (incest)
  • Aggravated kidnapping
  • Compelling prostitution
  • Injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual
  • Abandoning or endangering a child
  • Violation of protective order or magistrate’s order
  • Stalking
  • Burglary of a habitation with the intent to commit any of the above offenses
  • Any other offense involving family violence

You also will not be eligible to get a non-disclosure if you were convicted of another crime after you finished your deferred adjudication!

For any questions, or to start the process of getting your life back, call Houston Non-Disclosure Attorneys Eric Benavides & Sammy Serrano today at 713-222-2828.

Expunction

The expunction rules are much easier to understand.  When someone pulls your criminal record they can see pretty much every arrest you have had.  You might have gotten your case dismissed, and you might have been completely innocent, but people can still see that information.  It could be quite embarrassing to have a theft, prostitution, dwi, etc. on your record.  The sad reality is certain people (see: jobs, schools, apartments) will frown upon any arrests EVEN IF YOU WERE INNOCENT AND FOUND NOT GUILTY!  It doesn’t make any sense, but it is a sad reality of the civilization we live in.

To combat this, the State of Texas allows you to destroy (expunge) your criminal record.  Unfortunately this is a very complex process that takes time and knowledge.  If you have an adult arrest record, you can have it expunged if:

  • You went to trial on your case and you were found NOT GUILTY
  • Your case was dismissed by the State (not through deferred adjudication)
  • You complete deferred adjudication probation for a CLASS “C” misdemeanor
  • Another person was accidently arrested under your name
  • You are victorious in an appeal in the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
  • You receive a pardon from the President of the USA or the Governor of Texas

Once you get through the process of destroying the record the benefits are great.  It erases your criminal arrest record and allows you to deny you were ever arrested in the first place, giving you an upper hand when applying for new jobs, apartment leases, and schools.

To inquire on getting your arrest record expunged call Houston Record Sealing Attorneys Eric Benavides and Sammy Serrano today at 713-222-2828 for a FREE CONSULTATION.

Sealing Juvenile Records

In the State of Texas you can seal most juvenile criminal records.  The Houston, TX juvenile record sealing lawyers at Benavides & Serrano, PLLC can help you in this IMPORTANT step.

At Benavides & Serrano, PLLC we handle juvenile crimes.  The most important thing to us is THE FUTURE OF THE CHILD.  Luckily in Texas the juvenile system is set up help the juveniles once they become adults.  Many lawyers handle juvenile defense, but what most lawyers don’t tell their clients is that YOU NEED TO SEAL THE RECORD after the case is closed.

Sealing the record makes sure that nothing is visible on the juvenile’s record once they start applying for college and for jobs.  Nothing is worse than getting turned down for a job, or getting a rejection letter from your dream college because you never sealed your criminal record.  Trust me, we have seen it happen, and we have heard the stories.  Again, if you made it to this point of our website you care about your record, or you care about the record of your child.  We care too, and we want to make sure that the mistakes of youth are not held against any of our clients in the future.

The big difference with juvenile sealing is that YOU MAY BE ELIGIBLE EVEN IF YOU WERE CONVICTED!  The only time your juvenile record will not be sealed is if:

  • The juvenile received a determinate sentence (time in juvenile prison, TYC, prior to being transferred to adult prison (TDCJ)
  • The juvenile is currently registered as a sex offender
  • The juvenile was certified and tried as an adult

Many lives are destroyed before the age of 17.  Mistakes can be forgiven.  Contact us today at 713-222-2828 for your free personal case evaluation.

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