Unbeknownst to many citizens, the Texas Legislature passed a law which allows more individuals to seal their record. Known as the Second Chance bill, SB 1902 took effect in September 2015 with tremendous opportunity for those charged with certain crimes and placed on deferred adjudication probation or regular probation. If you have been charged with a non-violent misdemeanor such as theft, criminal trespass, possession of marijuana, or other drug-related offense, you may have the chance to clean your record from the public.
Your Right to Seal Records
Certain first-time offenders may have the right for an automatic sealing of their record from the public. To be eligible for this streamline process, you must have not been charged with a misdemeanor in Chapters 20, 21, 22, 25, 42, 43, 46, 71 Texas Penal Code or any charge associated with family violence. Also, you must have successfully completed deferred adjudication probation, qualified by the judge for automatic sealing, and not received any new charges.
For others who received deferred adjudication for other misdemeanors and felonies, you may have the right to petition the court for the sealing of your record if you abide by the waiting period upon being released from probation.
Non-disclosures are not Expunctions
It is important to realize that an order of non-disclosure is not an expunction so law enforcement and state-licensing agencies will always have access to your record. However, a clean record is important for background checks ran by employers and landlords. This expansion of record cleaning is a second chance for many Texans to better their lives as they seek job opportunities without the embarrassment or fear that a potential employer will find their history.
If you have recently been placed on deferred adjudication in Texas for one of these charges, and believe that you are eligible for record cleaning, it is important that you consult an attorney who can help you determine if you qualify under the new state law.
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Gilbert Garcia has been Passionately Pursuing Justice for over 30 years and founded The Gilbert G. Garcia Law Firm in 2008. The Gilbert G. Garcia Law Firm is a boutique law firm, specializing in Criminal Defense. Gilbert represents adults and juveniles accused of a crime and who have with a felony, misdemeanor or record cleaning case. Conveniently located on the courthouse square to serve Montgomery and Walker Counties. Gilbert became Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in 1989. The Gilbert G. Garcia Law Firm is located at 220 N. Thompson St., Suite 202, Conroe, TX 77301. www.ggglawfirm.com