What is the difference between an expunction and a non-disclosure?
Jan. 11, 2023
In Texas, an expunction and a non-disclosure are both legal mechanisms that can be used to clear or seal a person's criminal record. However, they are distinct processes and have different requirements and outcomes.
An expunction is a court-ordered process that completely erases a person's criminal record. If a person's record is expunged, it is as if the arrest or conviction never occurred, and the person is legally able to deny the existence of the record. Expunctions are available only under limited circumstances, such as when charges were dismissed or when the person was found not guilty at trial.
A non-disclosure, also known as a "sealing" of a record, makes a person's criminal record confidential and not available to the general public. However, it still exists, and can be accessed by certain entities like law enforcement, some employers, and agencies in certain circumstances. Non-disclosure are available when a person has successfully completed a deferred adjudication, or also in some other specific situations.
In summary: Expunction erases the record as if the arrest or conviction never occurred, making the person legally able to deny the existence of the record. Non-disclosure seals the record making it not available for public access but can still be accessed by certain entities like law enforcement, some employers and agencies in certain circumstances.