These records can be accessed by either utilizing the online name-based search function or by submitting a completed authorized fingerprint card along with the appropriate fee to the Department of Public Safety. As with criminal and arrest histories, the Texas Department of Public Safety is responsible for issuing official state background checks.
State or county level court records can be obtained through the Texas Office of Court Administration. Overseen by the Texas Supreme Court, the Office of Court Administration is responsible for maintaining and providing information, documents and resources involving the court system of the state of Texas. More information regarding the procurement of court records can be found on the official Open Records Policy webpage.
Juvenile Records Sealing Project | Houston Bar Association
Contacting the specific county or municipal court in which the case was tried may also yield results. Birth, death, marriage and divorce certificates can all be ordered online using this application to order Texas Vital Records. Payment for these orders can be made with a credit card or major debit card, and they are usually processed within 10 to 15 business days.
Amendments to Vital Records can be requested by following the guidelines listed on the Texas Vital Statistics website. Verification of existing records may also be requested through the Texas Department of State Health Services, but the fees associated with locating the document are nonrefundable, even if the documents does not exist.
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First Name. Last Name. Which State? There is a widespread belief that the dismissal of a criminal charge or an arrest without criminal charges being filed will cause the sealing or destruction of all records of the charges or arrest. This is not true in Texas where the person arrested or charged has the burden of filing a petition to expunge the records.
Other frequently asked questions include:. A non-disclosure order , which is also referred to as record sealing, makes it difficult for someone to gain access to your criminal record.
Misdemeanors in Texas
Non-disclosure does not, however, eliminate your records as would an expungement order. The danger with sealed records is that they continue to exist.
What one court order seals, another court order can open for view by a government agency. Records ordered expunged are destroyed or otherwise obliterated.
Sealing Non-Disclosures Houston Lawyer
As a general rule, non-disclosure orders are available to someone who completes deferred adjudication under probation supervision following a conviction. It is not, however, to those individuals convicted of number of criminal offenses including the following:. When the deferred conviction involves a felony, an individual may not file for a non-disclosure order during the five-year period following completion of probation supervision.
There is a long list of misdemeanors, that includes public lewdness, assault and discharge of a firearm, for which you must wait two years before a requesting an order sealing the record. Other misdemeanors do not have a waiting period. Conviction of another criminal offense following the dismissal of a charge under a deferred adjudication will disqualify you from obtaining a non-disclosure order. This disqualification does not apply if the conviction is for a traffic offense for which the penalty is a fine.
Unlike petitions for expungement that must be filed in the district court, a petition for non-disclosure is filed in the court in which the criminal case was originally heard. In fact, the original case number is used to identify the non-disclosure petition. Once a petition is filed, the court schedules a hearing.
At the hearing, the petitioner must prove that the original charge was dismissed after deferred adjudication was successfully completed. The petitioner must also prove that he or she is eligible for non-disclosure and that sealing the record is in the best interest of justice. It is important, when preparing for the hearing, to keep in mind that the decision to grant or deny the request for non-disclosure is left solely to the discretion of the judge to whom the case is assigned.
The laws authorizing the expungement and the non-disclosure of criminal records are complex and must be followed to the letter to avoid having the request denied or delayed. When so much is at stake, you need the services of a skilled and knowledgeable Houston, Texas, expungement and non-disclosure attorney working on your behalf. Call or email for a free consultation. Toggle navigation. Expunction Houston Expunction Attorney — Greg Tsioros The courts and law enforcement agencies throughout Texas maintain databases containing information about every person arrested or charged with committing a crime in the state.
What is an Expungement of Records? Record Expunction Process in Houston Expunging your criminal records in Houston begins by filing a petition with the district court in which your criminal trial was held. Reasons to Have Your Criminal Records Expunged As you walk out of court, or as you are released from jail, your determination to put the unfortunate incident that led to your arrest behind will only take you so far. If you are eligible to have your records expunged, doing so could help you to avoid situations such as the following: Negative information appearing on a background check done by a prospective employer Being denied a professional license because of your criminal history Immigration issues if you not a citizen of the United States Refusal of some landlords to rent to tenants with other than a clean criminal background Being treated differently by police officers who can access your criminal record history State laws are constantly changing.
Records Eligible for Expunction in Texas Expunction does not apply to all defendants in criminal cases, and it does not apply to all situations in which a person is arrested, charged or convicted of violating state laws in Texas. Records pertaining to the following situations are eligible for expunction: Arrest where no criminal charges were ever filed Conviction of a minor for not going to school Conviction for certain alcohol-related offenses committed by a minor Criminal charges that were filed but dismissed Criminal charges for which the defendant has been acquitted An arrest or criminal charge resulting from identity theft provided another person was ultimately arrested or charged with the crime A criminal conviction overturned by the state appellate court A pardon is granted by the governor or the president of the United States Juvenile offenders convicted of a qualifying misdemeanor Who Is Not Eligible for Expunction in Texas A deferred adjudication or a sentence of probation supervision could make you ineligible for expunction of your criminal record.
Crimes Not Eligible for Expungement Certain violations of the Texas criminal code cannot be expunged. A record of conviction for any of the following crimes may not be expunged: Prostitution Sexual battery Child molestation Theft DUI Vehicular homicide Fleeing the scene of an accident If you are unsure if your criminal record is eligible for expungement, a Houston criminal defense attorney might be of assistance by reviewing your record of arrests and convictions and advising you accordingly.
Expungement Frequently Asked Questions There is a widespread belief that the dismissal of a criminal charge or an arrest without criminal charges being filed will cause the sealing or destruction of all records of the charges or arrest. Other frequently asked questions include: Can the record of a guilty plea be expunged? No, a guilty plea is the equivalent of a conviction after trial and is generally not eligible for expungement. If I complete my sentence of probation, am I eligible for expungement? Unless the probation was in connection with a deferred adjudication that might be eligible for a non-disclosure order, probation following a guilty plea or a conviction is not eligible for expungement.
How can someone find out about a criminal history?
The Texas Department of Public Safety will provide a copy of your criminal history upon request.