The experience and record of a criminal charge and an arrest can have long-term negative effects on your personal life and professional career.  Even if you were acquitted, your case was dismissed or you completed deferred adjudication or deferred disposition, records of the accusation, arrest, and charge may be accessible to anyone doing a routine background check.  This information can affect your ability to gain meaningful employment, possess a firearm, obtain a loan, find housing for you and your family and even participate in your child's school activities.  Our Fort Worth expunction and non-disclosure attorneys have experience with the legal processes that are used to clear records:


Expunge means "to erase, remove or wipe out". When a case is expunged, the judge issues an order that the charges and all related documents to the charge must be destroyed from your records including police reports, arrest records and court papers. Any governmental entity that has a copy of these documents must comply with the judge’s order and destroy the records in their possession.


Your case was dismissed; however, the criminal charge does not disappear from your record when the case was dismissed. Even though you were not convicted, background checks can show that you were charged with the offense. The truth is that the charge will remain a matter of public record and may show up in pre-employment background checks and online database searches until you get an order granting expunction from the appropriate court.

An expungement order prevents potential employers, landlords, law enforcement, and anyone else who conducts a thorough background check on you from seeing that you were charged with the criminal offense. In fact, once the case is expunged, you can legally deny that the incident ever occurred in most cases.

A misdemeanor charge can be expunged if you were found not guilty, or the charge was dismissed. If you have a Class C offense, you can obtain an expunction after successful completion of deferred disposition or probation. Felonies can also be expunged in certain instances. Expunction is the only way to have these charges fully erased from your record for all employment and governmental purposes.


An order of nondisclosure is not the same as an expunction order. This type of order hides an offense from the public by ordering that it not be disclosed. Non-disclosure orders are available if you have successfully completed a particular type of probation called deferred-adjudication.

A major difference between a non-disclosure order and an expunction order is that with non-disclosure orders the records are not destroyed, but rather, kept from public view. Only law enforcement and certain other governmental agencies can have access to the records, and the case may be used against you for enhancement of future charges. Still, friends and most employers will not be able to see the charge or arrest, thereby protecting your reputation.

If you are seeking to clear your record or to at least restrict public access to your record, Hawkins & Walker may be able to help you. Depending on your circumstances, we may be able to completely clear your record. For Fort Worth expunction, non-disclosure, or any other attorney service, contact us today!


There is a misconception that juvenile records will seal themselves. This is simply not true.  There are steps to take to make sure that a juvenile record does not become an issue later in life. If you have a juvenile record we suggest speaking with one of our criminal defense attorneys to see if charges can be sealed or even better expunged.


In order to know if you qualify for expunction or a non-disclosure order, it is necessary to speak with an experienced attorney. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys can help determine if an expunction order or a petition for non-disclosure is available for your particular circumstances.

Our society is becoming increasingly less forgiving, and more people get arrested today than ever before; in fact, we have the largest prison population in the world. The internet and other technologies have made it easy for law enforcement, employers, and even friends to access your criminal background. You need to protect your name. Expunctions and petitions for nondisclosure can be your opportunity to clear your criminal record.

At Hawkins & Walker, PC, our mission is to provide clients with quality legal services and personalized attention. We offer affordable prices and payment plans in some cases. For more information, or to schedule an appointment with one of our knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys, please contact us today.

Free Initial Consultation — it costs you nothing to talk to our Fort Worth expunctions & non-disclosure attorneys about getting a clear record.

Free Case Evaluation Form

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