Austin & San Antonio Post-Conviction Relief Attorneys
Compassionate Legal Advocacy
A criminal conviction will confer wide-reaching negative consequences. In addition to direct and immediate penalties, a criminal record can make it drastically more difficult for someone to obtain housing or employment. Depending on the circumstances of the conviction, one or more forms of post-conviction may be available.
Our Austin & San Antonio post-conviction relief lawyers are committed to helping you move forward with your life and can help you explore all available remedies. We have many years of experience and can leverage our knowledge and resources to identify and implement creative, outside-the-box solutions. Our team at Peek & Toland is prepared to assist you with record expungements, orders of nondisclosure, and early releases from probation.
Having any trace of a criminal record can lead to a flagged background check and limit your future opportunities. In some cases, you can file to expunge certain types of criminal records. To expunge an arrest or conviction means to eliminate it entirely from your record.
In Texas, you can potentially secure an expungement for:
- Convictions where you were subsequently pardoned
- Convictions where you subsequently determined to be innocent
- Charges where you were ultimately acquitted
- Arrests where you were ultimately not charged
- Charges where you were indicted but the case was ultimately dismissed or expired due to the statute of limitations
If you were arrested but not charged, you cannot immediately request an expungement. You must first wait a specified amount of time before the record can be expunged. The duration of the wait will depend on the severity of the offense you were originally arrested for.
If you were arrested but not charged and wish to expunge the record, you must wait:
- 180 days for Class C misdemeanors
- 1 year for Class A and B misdemeanors
- 3 years for felonies
If your loved one passed away with a criminal record, they can also qualify for post-humous expungement if they meet any of the above conditions. An immediate relative can make the request. Our Austin & San Antonio post-conviction relief attorneys can guide you through this process and work to secure the appropriate expungements as efficiently as possible.
Orders of Nondisclosure
You will not be able to expunge certain types of convictions from your record, but you can potentially “seal” them. An order of nondisclosure prevents public, government entities from sharing information about your conviction. As a result, details of the offense will in most cases no longer appear on criminal background checks.
In Texas, you can request an order of nondisclosure for most misdemeanor convictions once certain requirements are met. If the sentence consisted only of a fine, there is no waiting period, and you can generally request an order immediately once the fine has been paid. In other situations, you must wait at least 2 years from the date you complete all elements of your sentence before you can request relief.
You may also be able to seal more serious convictions, including felonies and serious misdemeanors, if you pled guilty or no contest and completed deferred adjudication community supervision. If you were convicted of a felony, you must also wait at least 5 years before making the request. If convicted of a serious misdemeanor, you must wait at least 2 years.
Certain types of crimes cannot be sealed in Texas, including:
- Family violence-related offenses
- Sex crimes that require the convicted individual to register as a sex offender
- Aggravated kidnapping
- Human trafficking
- Any offense that causes injury to a child, disabled person, or elderly person
Early Releases from Probation
When you are convicted of a crime, a judge may decide to order probation in lieu of incarceration. This allows you to remain in the community so long as you consistently meet certain requirements. Maintaining those requirements can be burdensome, however.
In certain situations, it may be possible to secure an early release from probation. To do so, you must generally complete at least two years or one-third of your probationary period, whichever is less. You must also have paid all fines associated with the probation and be in good standing with the judge and your probation officer. In many cases, whether to grant an early release is subject to the discretion of the judge. Note that cannot request an early release from probation if you have been convicted of certain types of crimes, including some sex crimes.
Our Austin & San Antonio post-conviction relief lawyers will do everything possible to help you obtain an early release from probation. Our team at Peek & Toland understands how judges think about and review these cases and can work to build a persuasive argument that puts you in the best possible position.