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Old 09-06-2007, 06:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Felony Expungement Texas Law

Hi, I have 2 felonies from 10 years ago in Texas. I know Tx does not make exceptions for felony expungement. Could I move to another state and claim not to have any criminal record? I am stuck because my skills are marketable but my record prevents me from furthering my career.

Thanks for any help
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Old 09-06-2007, 07:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by MadeMyLawyerRich View Post
Hi, I have 2 felonies from 10 years ago in Texas. I know Tx does not make exceptions for felony expungement. Could I move to another state and claim not to have any criminal record? I am stuck because my skills are marketable but my record prevents me from furthering my career.

Thanks for any help
The question on standard employment applications isn't 'state specific' when it asks if one has ever been convicted of a crime. You're free to state whatever you like, but you should know it takes only moments to conduct an identity search/background check by an employer. That public record is probably still available, no matter what you state on your application. If you answer incorrectly on the application and the contrary is discovered, that can be considered grounds for termination, in most (if not all) states.
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Old 09-06-2007, 07:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadeMyLawyerRich View Post
Hi, I have 2 felonies from 10 years ago in Texas. I know Tx does not make exceptions for felony expungement. Could I move to another state and claim not to have any criminal record? I am stuck because my skills are marketable but my record prevents me from furthering my career.

Thanks for any help
"A person may petition a court for an order of nondisclosure five years after the discharge and dismissal of enumerated misdemeanor offenses and ten years after the discharge and dismissal of felony offenses for which the person was placed on deferred adjudication and successfully completed the required community supervision [Tex. Gov't. Code 411.081(d)(1)(2) ]."

While expungement isn't an option, per se, with regard to the felony, you may be able to accomplish the same thing regarding background searches via an order of nondisclosure.
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Old 09-07-2007, 07:19 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi, I have 2 felonies from 10 years ago in Texas. I know Tx does not make exceptions for felony expungement. Could I move to another state and claim not to have any criminal record? ...
You posed an interesting question that made me dig a little deeper. You'll need to check with the particular state's labor law to make that determination. Check the employment application carefully. Standard verbiage on most applications doesn't merely refer to any prior convictions but specifically asks:

"During the past (fill in the number) years, have you ever been convicted of, or have you pled guilty or no contest to, a felony offense? If yes, please explain in the space below." Look familiar? Again, I'd strongly suggest you answer that one honestly.

Employer guidelines as put forth by the Texas Workforce Commission suggest (to employers) the following: "do not ask only about convictions – under the law of deferred adjudication, if the person given such a sentence satisfies the terms of probation, no final conviction is entered on their record, and the person can legally claim never to have been "convicted" of that offense – however, they cannot claim never to have pled guilty or no contest to the charge (such a plea is necessary in order to qualify for deferred adjudication), so ask about convictions and guilty or no contest pleas – see discussion directly above about job-relatedness of an offense." (See References and Background Checks) If you were asking about employment only in Texas, and if you received probation on both cases, yes, you could answer "no" to the conviction section, but must answer truthfully on the rest. Again, this is only Texas law only...other states may have their own statutes and procedures involved and without carefully investigating the particular state's employment and labor law, it's impossible to answer your original question accurately.

You're correct in that Texas doesn't allow felony expungement (as in most states,) and I'd urge caution that may also follows for a non-disclosure petition you might consider. I don't think it's necessary or appropriate to discuss the particulars of your prior convictions here, but you can compare them yourself against the list on the following link: FAQs – Deferred Adjudication Non-Disclosure Procedures. (Houston DA office; check your jurisdiction if different.) There is contact information provided on the site .. because your case is unique with its own set of circumstances, you may want to contact either the Houston DA or your own district attorney's office for specifics. *Even if you succeed, there are certain agencies exempt from the non-disclosure order and you need to investigate which agencies that would involve. The DA or an attorney could help you with that one.

Again, if you're considering a move elsewhere, I'd stress both careful research and strict compliance with the particular state's law when you complete that employment application. I'd also recommend you check that particular state's laws to see under which circumstances an employer cannot deny you a job under. Hope this helps a bit.

And again, good luck to you.

Last edited by TheJury'sStillOut; 09-07-2007 at 07:30 AM. Reason: added *
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Old 06-23-2009, 10:58 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Expungement in TX

I think this article may help you out: Expunging a Conviction in Texas
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