Although the two concepts are very similar, expungement, which is also called expunction, and record sealing are two distinctly different methods of securing information about your arrests. Expungement actually wipes away your record of arrest completely, while record sealing only hides the information from public view. With record sealing, someone must obtain a court order to view your records.
A person in Texas is eligible to have an arrest expunged if you were arrested but not charged, if you were charged and then later your charge was dismissed, if your offense was a qualifying misdemeanor juvenile offense, if your offense was a minor alcohol-related offense, if you were arrested and charged with identity theft but then someone else was actually convicted of the crime, if you receive a governor's or a presidential pardon after your conviction, if you were convicted of failing to attend school, or if you have been acquitted by the court of appeals for your conviction in a lower court.
If you were convicted of child molestation, prostitution, sexual battery, theft and certain traffic offenses such as DWI, vehicular homicide or fleeing the scene of an accident, you are not eligible under Texas law to have your record expunged. Also, if you have received a deferred adjudication or probation, or you have been convicted of a felony within 5 years after your arrest, or you were arrested, not charged, and the statute of limitations for that crime have not passed yet, you cannot have your record expunged.
For more information on expungements, please call the Law Office of A. Oliver Hassibi.