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If a Criminal Case Is Dismissed, Does It Stay on Your Record?

If you’ve ever been charged with a crime, you know how scary a situation that is. Whether your case went to trial or not, just being charged with a crime can be an ordeal, even if the charges were later dropped or dismissed. But if your criminal case is dismissed, does it stay on your record?

Some people think a dismissal means they go back to having a clean record. Unfortunately, this isn’t necessarily true. After a case is dismissed, the charge may remain on your record alongside a note that shows that the case was dismissed.

The charge can remain there forever—unless you get it expunged.

Expunctions and Nondisclosure Orders

A criminal lawyer can help you file an order of expunction with the court. Expunging your record means the charge will be permanently removed. Your Texas criminal defense attorney can take a look at your case to see whether you meet the criteria for expunction.

Even if you don’t meet the criteria for expunction, you may qualify to have your record sealed, also called an order for nondisclosure. When your record is sealed, it is no longer viewable by the general public. This can also mean most employers won’t be able to view your record.

To see whether your case qualifies for an expunction or nondisclosure order, speak with your criminal attorney.

Eligibility for Expunctions and Nondisclosure Orders in Texas

Here are some of the conditions your case may need to meet in order for you to qualify for expunction or sealing:

  • You were arrested but never charged.
  • You completed a pretrial diversion program or deferred adjudication.
  • Your case was dismissed or you were acquitted (found not guilty).
  • Someone else was arrested after stealing your identity.
  • You were convicted but later pardoned.
  • You paid all related fines or fees.
  • The waiting period following your offense is over.

Speak with a Criminal Attorney

If you have a criminal case that has been dismissed but hasn’t been expunged, now is the time to get it taken care of. Call a criminal expunction lawyer with Tillman Braniff, PLLC at 512-236-0505 or fill out the form below.


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