Do I Have A Criminal Record?
What appears on your criminal record can have far-reaching effects on your life. You can be denied opportunities in employment, education and housing based upon your record. There are options for eliminating or minimizing the damage these records can cause. First, you must know what is contained within your criminal record.
How do I know if I have a criminal record?
In Texas, your criminal record includes your history of arrests, warrants, indictments and any convictions that have not been expunged. You can obtain a copy of your record in a few ways:
- Request a copy from your county
- Request a copy from the FBI
- Request a copy from the Texas Department of Public Safety
Each method has a small fee and a brief waiting period.
How long does it take to receive results from a criminal history check?
Whether you request a paper history check or an electronic one, the results typically return in 24 to 48 hours.
Who can access my criminal record?
Any member of the public can request your criminal record. This includes employers, romantic partners, landlords and creditors. If you have had certain offenses expunged or sealed, then only law enforcement officers or court officials can see that part of the record.
Will all arrests appear on Texas DPS records?
Yes; all arrests, unless cleared through expunction or sealed through nondisclosure, are available for viewing on your record.
How long does arrest information stay on my criminal record?
Your arrests will remain on your record permanently unless you request an expunction.
Can I dispute/challenge my criminal record?
You can contact the agency that arrested you or the court that filed the record originally and inform them of factually incorrect information and request the agency or the court clerk to correct the information; if they do not, then you have the right to file an appeal.
Can I get criminal charges or arrests removed from my record?
Texas offers two options to clean up your criminal record: expunction and nondisclosure. Expunction is when the court clears an arrest or conviction from your record, effectively erasing it. Nondisclosure is the process of sealing certain offenses from public view.
Juvenile records, however, are different. Though confidential, certain parties can still view them, including employers and educational institutions. You must petition the court to seal the record. It is wise to work with an attorney, as this process is complex and has different steps than expunction for adults.
Get Guidance From An Experienced Attorney
We will use our best efforts to obtain an order of nondisclosure or expunction for you, whether you have: been no-billed by a grand jury, had charges against you dismissed or you have been found not guilty. Call our Dallas office at 214-765-8000 or contact us online to discuss how we can help you clear your criminal record and clear your name.