All states have some form of record removal for certain criminal cases. And while some states will allow for the sealing of a criminal conviction case, Texas is not one of those states. Texas statutes set the scope for what records can be expunged in the state, and those records are limited even further with specific rules. Each case is sealed separately and orders for both nondisclosure or expunction are based on how the was adjudicated.
Criminal cases where an individual was acquitted or a case was dismissed are eligible for a “sealing” of the record from public viewing. This process is not a total expungement, but criminal background reporting companies cannot list it on a report and the defendant will be not required to disclose the information to third parties. The record of the case will still exist for state officials.
An actual expunction of a criminal record is formally destroying all records associated with a case that ended in an acquittal or dismissal. It also includes cases where an individual was wrongly named in an investigation and arrest. Just as with nondisclosure, criminal record reporting companies must remove any and all records from their database and it will totally disappear from the record as though the incident never happened.
Texas also restricts the removal of juvenile records, including criminal cases, but juvenile criminal histories are typically held confidential even after the subject becomes an adult. This is an added protection for younger defendants that precludes the need to expunge any type of criminal record. Petitioners for expunction will also pay a fee for removal, which is $28 in Texas.