Sealing and Expunging Juvenile Records
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A criminal conviction can pose serious challenges for a minor in the future. With a permanent criminal record, they will likely find it difficult to rent a place to live, land a job, get accepted to college, and secure scholarship and loan money. The good news is that they may benefit from having their criminal record expunged or sealed, so their future can be protected.
If your child has been convicted of a crime and you are wondering whether they can get their criminal record expunged or sealed, you should contact a Houston expungement lawyer from The Law Offices of Ned Barnett right away at (713) 222-6767. We’ll evaluate your child’s situation and inform you of their legal options.
Record Expungement vs. Record Sealing
Sealing and expunging records are two separate options for juvenile offenders in Texas. When a record is expunged, all criminal history is completely wiped away from their record. If a juvenile gets their record expunged, they’ll have the right to deny that they were ever charged with a criminal offense. In the event that a juvenile does not qualify for expungement, record sealing may be an option. A sealed record prevents any information listed on their criminal record from being seen by the public. A juvenile attorney at the Law Offices of Ned Barnett can help.
Determining Whether Expungement or Sealing is Appropriate
Although expungement is ideal for any minor with a flawed criminal record, it is not always possible. According to Texas law, your child only qualifies for expungement if they were:
- Arrested but never charged.
- Charged but the case was dismissed due to insufficient evidence, unavailable witnesses, or lack of probable cause.
- Not found guilty by a judge or jury.
- The victim of identity theft.
Basically, if guilt was found in your child’s case, their record cannot be expunged. The only exception to this rule is for Class C misdemeanors in which deferred adjudication took place. Deferred adjudication is a special type of probation that gives those with criminal offenses the chances to keep their conviction off their criminal record.
There is still hope If your child does not qualify for expungement because sealing their record may still be an option if:
- They have not received a determination sentence in a juvenile penitentiary.
- They are not a registered sex offender.
- No pending proceedings exist.
- They were a minor when they were tried.
- It has been two years since they were discharged. If adjudication did not take place, the two-year waiting period can be waived and they can seal their record right away.
- They have had no convictions since their discharge.
- Their charge was not sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, murder, capital murder, aggravated kidnapping, stalking, or another serious offense.
How The Law Offices of Ned Barnett Can Help
If you would like your child’s record expunged or sealed, it’s essential that you consult The Law Offices of Ned Barnett. We’ll investigate their specific situation and inform you whether they qualify for expungement or sealing.
Once we determine which option could improve their situation, we’ll take care of all of the entire expungement or sealing processes and keep you informed every step of the way. Our firm understands how stressful it can be to know that your child’s criminal record can cost them their future and are therefore committed to protecting their rights.
Call a Houston Expungement Lawyer Today
Don’t let your child’s mistake ruin their future. Call (713) 222-6767 to speak to a Houston expungement attorney at The Law Offices of Ned Barnett. We’ll make every effort to help seal or expunge your child’s criminal record so that you as a parent can enjoy the peace of mind you deserve.