Clearing of criminal records can drastically improve the lives of those with a criminal background. The benefits of criminal record clearing include:
- Increased career and job opportunities (higher earnings potential)
- Ability to select the housing of your choice
- Attending college and receiving financial aid
- Firearm rights restoration
Texas permits the early termination of probation for those who are eligible and meet certain criteria. It’s in the judge’s complete discretion to rule on the early termination and they’ll look to many factors including:
- Compliance with all terms and conditions of probation
- Recommendation from both the probation officer and prosecutor.
- Seriousness of the offense
- Prior criminal history
Despite a criminal case being never being filed following an arrest and or dismissed either by the prosecutor, court or via a deferred disposition for a Class C misdemeanor, doesn’t mean that your record for that offense and arrest automatically is erased and restricted from public view. To have records erased from public view you’ll need to petition for an order of expungement if you’re eligible. Once an order of expungement is filed your entire record concerning the arrest including the offense report, fingerprints and case disposition will be destroyed and out of public view. The order for expungement is a very valuable tool to prevent prospective and future employers, colleges and housing facilities to have access to this information.
In Texas a person who has been convicted of a specific felony may have their conviction Set Aside and or their guilty plea withdrawn by a Judge as an act of “Judicial Clemency” while their on probation, or shortly following their termination of probation. It’s in the sole discretion of the Judge to set aside the conviction. If successful, the conviction will show it was dismissed on your record. The complaint and or indictment of the defendant on this charge would also be dismissed.
While misdemeanor offenses in Texas are less serious than felonies, they still can have significant negative consequences if convicted of such offenses. Consequences of a misdemeanor conviction are serious and can result in the inability to get jobs of your choice, procure certain professional occupational licenses, obtain housing of your choice and attend a college that you prefer.
When a person successfully completes their term of deferred adjudication for Class A and B misdemeanors despite their “charges being dismissed”, they will remain on their criminal record and open for public view. An Order For Non-Disclosure is a very important tool to prevent disclosing information on these offenses to the public including employers, housing authorities and educational institutions.