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Warrants & Sealing Records

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(1) Warrants:

I just found out I have a warrant; what should I do if I have a warrant?

First, know that not all warrants result in the Police coming to get you. In fact, typically only on a serious Felony warrant are the Police actively going to attempt to find and arrest the target of the warrant. Next, you should find out if you have to turn yourself in (most of the time) or if it can be resolved without going into police custody (sometimes) – this very much depends on the offense type. Finally, contact a Lawyer that regularly handles cases involving open warrants. Kyle Watkins can help you today. Reach out to Kyle now 254-444-9920.

If I have a warrant, do I have to go to jail / turn myself in?

Generally yes. However, depending on the circumstances of your case, we may be able to request that you do a “walk through” of the custody process. A “walk through” means that there is a bond amount set, you have been able to secure a bondsman to post that amount, and with your attorney and bondsman, you turn yourself in, and at that same time “walk through” the booking process, then are released on your bond once booking is complete. Also, depending on the level of the offense, your Lawyer is unlikely to be able to negotiate with the Prosecutor unless and until you have turned yourself into the Police; however, this is not always the case. For example, on non-violent low level Misdemeanors, the Prosecutor may be willing to at least tell us what she/ he “would be willing to do” on the case. In rare cases this can be done without the Citizen accused having to be made to appear.

If you know you have a warrant, you do not want to run. Your best option is to contact an attorney right away. Running, or committing any type of law violation, will only make it harder for you to get this resolved and behind you.

What happens if I have a warrant and get pulled over, or have to talk to an Officer?

You will get arrested. If an Officer runs across a Citizen with an open warrant, the Officer will take the person with the warrant to jail. The Officer will not be able to ignore the warrant and let you go, and you will get arrested wherever you are located. Then the jurisdiction that issued the warrant will have 10 days to come get you, unless you have a bond set and are able to make that bond. If you believe you have a warrant, you will likely want to avoid this unnecessary headache and contact a lawyer now.

(2) “Sealing” Records: Expunctions and Petitions for Non-Disclosure

How do I “Seal” my criminal record/ history?

First, you need to know what crimes are eligible to be “Sealed”. This is a non-exhaustive list of cases that can be Expunged or Non-Disclosed:

Expunged:

  • An arrest for a crime that was never charged
  • A criminal charge that was ultimately dismissed for lack of probable cause, insufficient evidence, or unavailable witnesses
  • Cases involving a successfully completed Pre-Trial Diversion
  • Certain qualifying misdemeanor juvenile offenses
  • Conviction of a minor for certain alcohol offenses
  • Conviction for Failure to Attend School
  • A criminal case resulting in a “not guilty” verdict by Judge or Jury

Order of Non-Disclosure:

  • A criminal case resulting in a successfully completed Deferred Adjudication, where the required conditions are met

What is an Expunction/ what does it mean to have the record Expunged?

An Expunction is a civil lawsuit that allows for a person’s criminal record to be effectively “erased” by the Court. The result of a successful Expungement case is that all of the records of the case are destroyed. The Court records, the Police records, all of it – gone. The exact word in the Court’s Order will be that the records of the case are to be “Obliterated”. The benefits of an Expunction far outweigh the costs – not all cases qualify, but those that do reap a tremendous benefit by taking advantage of this opportunity in the law.

Is my record clear if I successfully completed a Deferred Adjudication?

No. Many people incorrectly believe that once they have successfully completed a Deferred Adjudication for a criminal offense, that the case is no longer on their record – this is not true. While, the case does not show a conviction, a record of the arrest and the Court actions is available for anyone and everyone to see or review; including background checks for employment, housing, even to be a Sunday School teacher. To complete the process of cleaning up your record following a Deferred Adjudication, you need to successfully seek an Order of Non-Disclosure.

What is an Order of Non-Disclosure?

Once a Judge has issued an Order of Non-Disclosure, only people allowed by law to see the criminal record for that offense will be able to view it, and no one else. Most employers will not have access to the record. However, those allowed by law to continue to see the record include: Law enforcement (Police, Prosecutors, etc.) and Licensing boards/ agencies (Medical Board, Nursing Board, Education Certification Board, State Bar, etc.). These select agencies will forever be able to see the record, even after an Order of Non-Disclosure has been granted. How do I know if my successfully completed Deferred Adjudication is eligible for Non-Disclosure? There are many factors that go into whether a successfully completed Deferred Adjudication is eligible for Non-Disclosure. These include (1) offense type, (2) additional criminal history, (3) offense date, (4) date probation was completed, (5) subsequent criminal history – if any. There is no one simple answer to this question, as the variables are too many. To find out if your case is eligible for an Order of Non-Disclosure, you need to contact a Central Texas Non-Disclosure Lawyer. Reach out to Kyle now 254-444-9920.