If you have been arrested for committing a crime, then you know how greatly your life can be affected in the time that follows, even if you weren’t actually convicted. Simply having an arrest on your criminal record, regardless of the circumstances or the outcome, can hinder many aspects of your future. A conviction can make it difficult to find employment, rent an apartment or obtain certain professional licenses. However, there is a way to get certain crimes removed from your criminal record. Rosenthal & Wadas is experienced in clearing criminal records so you can get a new start in life.
Expunctions and Nondisclosures in Texas
With the ease of criminal background checks these days it is important to keep your criminal record clean. If you were arrested for a crime and that charge was later dismissed, you may be entitled to have your arrest record expunged. If you were placed on deferred adjudication probation for that offense, you may be entitled to have a court order issued mandating your record not be disclosed.
What is the difference between Expungement and Nondisclosure?
With an expungement, all records of your case are destroyed and cannot be used against you in the future. An Order of Nondisclosure effectively hides your record from the public by preventing law enforcement agencies from disclosing the offense. Certain government agencies can still access the information and it can be used against you in subsequent prosecutions.
Restricted Access to Juvenile Records
It is possible for a child’s records to be placed under “restricted access” if certain criteria are met. If the juvenile records are placed under restricted access, then only criminal justice professionals will have access to the records. If anyone else attempts to access the records, they will be told the records do not exist.
If you have questions about the status of your criminal record, or want to attempt to have your record cleared, contact Rosenthal & Wadas for a free consultation. We can determine whether or not your case qualifies to have your criminal records sealed or expunged.
Post-Conviction Applications for Writs of Habeas Corpus
An application for writ of habeas corpus (WHC or “writ”) is a type of legal proceeding which allows a person convicted of a crime to challenge that conviction on the ground that there was a fundamental problem with the process by which they were convicted. The types of issues that one may raise are not limited by statute but some examples involve ineffective assistance of counsel at trial or in plea negotiations, inaccurate or incomplete advice from your lawyer, judge or even an assistant district attorney, an involuntary plea or any number of other defects. A post-conviction writ is also the method by which claims or newly discovered evidence may be presented to a court. If a writ is granted, it has the effect of granting a new trial and reopening the case. In other words, it restores an accused person to where they were (legally speaking) before they were convicted. If a writ is granted the person will be able to insist on a new trial, or renegotiate a plea, or request a dismissal.
Post-conviction writ applications are legally complex and claims not presented in a writ application are, generally speaking, waived for the future and barred from being considered. It is very difficult to successfully file successive or subsequent writs. For this reason, it is very important that you consult with a qualified lawyer to review the record, the filings, the transcript, your client file with your lawyer, and perhaps interview witnesses before a decision is made to file an application for a writ of habeas corpus.
At Rosenthal & Wadas, out attorneys have successfully obtained writs of habeas corpus for multiple clients, resulting in the grant of a new trial, sometimes years after conviction. In every case where we have been successful and obtaining a new trial, the charge was subsequently reduced or dismissed outright. We file these writ applications infrequently and only where we believe the client has a genuine legal issue that may result in the issuance of a writ. If you believe that your case may benefit from review, please contact us to schedule a consultation.