Can Criminal Records Be Expunged in Houston, TX?

21 Aug 2023
Greco Neyland, PC

One of the hardest parts of receiving an adult criminal conviction is how your criminal record continues to follow you long after you get out of jail or prison. Many Texans struggle to secure employment or housing because of criminal history records, which can make it difficult for them to avoid recidivism or rejoin society in any meaningful way.

This leads many convicted individuals to ask whether their records may be expunged.

In Texas, an expungement is known as an expunction, but the definition is the same: permanently removing an entry into your criminal history record. Some adults may also benefit from nondisclosure or the “sealing” of criminal records in a way that prevents private interests from accessing them.

Who is eligible for an expunction in Texas?

You may benefit from an expunction in the following cases:

  1. You were charged with a Class C misdemeanor which resulted in deferred adjudication.
  2. You were charged with a crime at any level, but those charges did not result in a criminal conviction because charges weren’t filed or were dismissed.
  3. You were charged with a crime at any level but were acquitted or pardoned.

Nondisclosure is automatic for first-time misdemeanors dismissed or discharged after August 31, 2017. If the court has failed to do so, your lawyer will need to file a form on your behalf.

Is there a waiting period for an expunction in Texas?


First, the statute of limitations must expire for every crime you were arrested for. Note that this includes crimes for which you might not have been ultimately charged.

In addition, you must wait a minimum of 180 days before applying for expunction for a Class C misdemeanor, one year before applying to expunge a Class A or B misdemeanor, and three years before applying to expunge a felony.

Applying for Expunction

To apply for Expunction, you must file an Application for Expunction in the arresting county and enclose a fingerprint card from the Department of Public Safety. Courts will set a hearing date.

What happens after expunction or nondisclosure?

Your criminal records will only be available to public safety officials in the government. You do not have to disclose these convictions or arrests on any job or licensing application, and private interests will not be able to access them.

Get Help Today

In theory, expunction or nondisclosure orders should be relatively routine if they meet the requirements. In practice, the courts often drag their feet and find reasons to keep your criminal record open to the public.

Working with one of our criminal lawyers can help improve your chances of achieving an expunction or nondisclosure order. Contact us to get started today.

See also:

7 Common Myths About Criminal Law in Texas

3 Reasons You Need a Private Criminal Lawyer for Your Houston, TX Case

How to Help a Loved One Accused of a Crime in Houston, TX

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