The Difference Between Expunction and Nondisclosure

You can apply to the court to have your criminal records sealed. This can allow you to wipe your slate clean by clearing your criminal record. You can take two avenues toward achieving this, expunction and nondisclosure. 

Expunction vs. Nondisclosure

What is expunction? You should know that expunction is the most effective way of wiping your slate clean after acquiring a criminal record. Under this provision, your criminal record not only gets sealed, but it also goes away for good. This means that your get destroys and will never see the light of day again. On the other hand, nondisclosure means that your criminal record will be sealed and will never be opened, but it will still exist. 

How Does Expunction Work? 

Now that you know what expunction is, you must understand how it works. First, you should know that the right to get an expunction on a charge that never went to trial has numerous facets. These include that there was no final conviction and no criminal case still pending in any court. Additionally, there shouldn’t be any court-ordered deferred adjudication or probation due to your charge. The charge needs to have been dismissed before the indictment is filled. 

Moreover, various time requirements determine someone’s eligibility to file for an expunction. First off, if the crime you were charged with is a Class C Misdemeanor, you can only make the application after 180 days. If it was a Class A or B Misdemeanor, at least one year has to pass. In case the charge was a felony, three years must pass. There are certain special circumstances under which a prosecutor can tell the court that your criminal records are no longer needed. 

How Does Nondisclosure Work? 

If you aren’t eligible for an expunction, a nondisclosure is your next best option. However, you need to keep in mind that, unlike expunction, your records will still be there, but they will be sealed. The sealing implies that no private entity can access your criminal records, but public and governmental agencies can. Thus, if you want to pursue a profession like a doctor or investment advisor, the relevant licensing bodies can still access your record. 

You can only be eligible for nondisclosure if you weren’t convicted. This means you got a deferred or dismissed ruling but not any probation or jail time. If you have a minor misdemeanor charge, you can file for a nondisclosure the same day that the court dismisses your case and two years after for a “serious” misdemeanor. For a felony, you can file your application after five years have passed. 

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