Always Honest. Always Accessible.

Charles T. Ganz
  1. Home
  2.  » Expunction

Your Past Should Not Define Your Future

Last updated on June 21, 2024

Anyone is capable of making a mistake. However, no one should have to suffer for the rest of their life due to a poor choice in the past. When it comes to past criminal offenses, you may have the chance to clear or seal your record so that you can have a fresh start.

I’m attorney Charles Ganz, and I can help you with this. At the Law Offices of Charles T. Ganz, I work with clients throughout Houston and statewide to expunge or seal their criminal records. In my career as an experienced criminal defense lawyer, I have earned a reputation for success by helping numerous clients move forward from their pasts and on toward brighter futures.

Expunction Vs. Nondisclosure: What Do They Mean?

You have two options for cleaning up your criminal record: expunction and nondisclosure. The methods are slightly different:

    • Expunction: Expunction permanently clears an arrest or charge from your record. However, it cannot clear convictions.
    • Nondisclosure: A nondisclosure seals certain offenses in your criminal record from public view. Law enforcement and the court can still view your record.

The law is very strict and very complex when it comes to clearing or sealing an offense. There are numerous conditions that you must meet before qualifying for either procedure. I can sit down with you and determine which option you qualify for if any.

Frequently Asked Questions About Expunctions In Texas

The law regarding expunction in Texas is complicated. While you should always seek advice from a lawyer about your specific circumstances, you can learn more about expunctions in the answers below.

What exactly is an expunction?

An expunction is a civil lawsuit that requires the petitioner – the person arrested – to sue all parties that have records of the arrest. If the petitioner meets all of the elements and is entitled by law, the parties will either enter into an agreement or a show cause hearing is held and the judge rules on whether to grant the expunction.
 
Expunctions are the most important aspect of a successful defense of a criminal charge because whether you are found not guilty or the case was dismissed, without an expunction, the arrest and all records of the case will remain on your permanent record and can be used against you in the future. Expunctions should only be done by an experienced lawyer.
 
Obviously, a lawyer that knows how to get the parties to agree to an expunction is always better than one that does not. An expunction is a civil lawsuit and jeopardy attaches or in civil law, res judicata i.e. if an expunction is filed and improperly handled, the petitioner can be barred from filing the same expunction. It must be done right the first time.

Are you eligible for an expunction?

Not all cases are eligible for expunction. Only those that were dismissed or resulted in an acquittal, where the judge or jury found you not guilty, are eligible to be expunged. Every case and every county is different. Some charges have a waiting period and others do not. An experienced lawyer will know whether you are eligible.
 
If you agreed to deferred adjudication on a Class B misdemeanor or higher, you are NOT ELIGIBLE for an expunction but may be eligible for nondisclosure, which hides the records from public viewing.

Why hire an attorney?

Although you have the option of filing the petition for expunction or nondisclosure yourself, this is not necessarily wise. The procedure is incredibly technical; if you make a minor error, it can permanently jeopardize your eligibility. Having petitioned for numerous expunctions and nondisclosures successfully, I will help you with every step, answer your questions and address any roadblocks if they arise.

Ask How To Clear Or Seal Your Record For A Brighter Future

Seeking to clean up your record is a very promising first step on the road to a successful future. I am here to help you when you are ready. Feel free to reach out to me to schedule an initial consultation. Call 713-364-0953 or send me an email.