Sealing and Expunging Records

Getting your record sealed or expunged sounds complicated. The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy in Dallas County know the step by step process and will easily clean up your record.

Sealing and Expunging records attorney in Dallas, TX

One of the telephone calls I probably take four or five times a day is people calling me up saying “Richard, I want to get my record expunged. Richard, I want to get my record non-disclosed.” And they don’t know exactly what they’re asking for or dealing with. They just want it off their record. The law is very distinct with the two methods. An expungement is an erasing or destruction of the record in essence. But you have to have very specific outcomes to achieve that. If you receive a not guilty from the judge or a jury, you’re eligible to receive it, and you’re eligible to receive it immediately. If you receive a dismissal, and if that dismissal is given with prejudice, which means that the district attorney cannot bring the case anymore and they basically abandon the case, you can get it immediately. However, if they dismiss your case without prejudice, you’re not able to receive an expungement until the statute of limitations on the crime your accused of has passed. Unfortunately for certain crime categories, child sex offenses, murder, there is no statute of limitations on it, so you can never get your case erased in those particular instances. Now, on the other end there is what is called a non-disclosure. Non-disclosure is where you actually have received a probation. It’s a differed probation, and you’ve lived out that probation either the entire probationary period or been released early, and then there is a cooling off period or waiting period the court wants you to do to make sure you don’t commit any crimes before approaching the court to ask for this record to be sealed. That is the difference, one is a destruction, one is a sealing of the record. In addition to that, the courts sometimes by a matter of fact will grant the motion but other courts in other instances will need you to prove that there is a specific need because you’re suffering a harm, like not being able to rent apartments or receive jobs. It doesn’t need to be an actual harm, but a potential harm. But it is very important that you understand what type of crime category you had, what type of exit did you receive on your case for an expungement or nondisclosure and also what your waiting periods are. The expungement and non-disclosure processes was intentionally designed to be confusing. It was designed by a gang of bureaucrats and they want you to go basically through a legal maze that either you’re going to quit halfway through or you’re going to be so frustrated that you’re going to mess up on your paperwork and be denied. So, what do we provide here in this firm? We handle hundreds of these types of issues a year; we have our staff who have been trained on filing proper petitions. We know the time constraints, we know the limitations, we know the proper coding. And so, what can we do? We can cut right through the issue and get the results that you need. The process takes time though. We’re at the mercy of the court. And so, at first, we’re going to have to look at your record to see if you’re qualified. Then the next process is following the case and getting it in front of the district judge. And then the most important part is trying to get the district attorney not to object so that we can basically have what is called a summarial granting, or, not speaking lawyer, the judge simply signs the motion. Once we receive that, some people become frustrated because it doesn’t go off their record right away. And, as I tell everybody, the government is a big gigantic moving brontosaurus. The court is not expecting them to comply with magic just like that. So, cities are going to get a thirty-day grace period to comply with the court order. Counties are going to get six months. The federal government is going to get up to a year. After that point, if they fail to remove the record, whether it’s an expungement or a non-disclosure, they subject themselves to fines. If you run yourself into this situation, get lawyers who know how to handle this defense.

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