How to Expunge or Seal an Adult Criminal Record in Texas

Expunging or sealing an adult criminal record — which means that it is no longer visible to the public — can be done if you meet certain qualifications. Many people who have adult criminal records are interested in having them expunged or sealed so they no longer have a criminal record that must be reported on an employment application.

The following types of criminal records — whether a misdemeanor or felony — qualify for expungement in Texas if you were:

  • Acquitted of the crime for which you were charged
  • Convicted, but then found innocent
  • Convicted but pardoned
  • Charged but the case against you was dismissed
  • Arrested but not formally charged and satisfy the following waiting periods for:
    • Class C misdemeanor — 180 days from arrest date
    • Class A or B misdemeanor — one year from arrest date
    • Felony — three years from arrest date

In addition, if you are a family member of someone who died with a criminal record and want to have that record expunged, you can do so if the decedent met the rules described above.

In order to have an adult criminal record sealed in Texas — known as an order of nondisclosure — you must have been found guilty or pled guilty or no contest to any criminal offense other than a Class C misdemeanor and completed deferred adjudication community supervision. At that time, you may petition a court for an order of nondisclosure, which will prevent most state criminal justice agencies from reporting your criminal record to the public.

To expunge or seal an adult criminal record, you must file a petition for expunction or nondisclosure with the district court located in the county where you were arrested or where the crime took place.

If you have a prior criminal history that you would like expunged or sealed, you should consult with a qualified Texas criminal law attorney who can advise whether you qualify and guide you through the process.

The Cogdell Law Firm is a full service criminal litigation and appellate law firm. We provide client-focused representation at all stages of the process, whether our clients are seeking to avoid charges, have been charged, or are seeking reversal of a conviction on appeal. When results matter most, contact Dan Cogdell at (713) 426-2244 or