Juvenile Sealing Records in Houston
Expunction and non-disclosure are the two main mechanisms to clear an offense that occurred as an adult.
When a juvenile record is sealed, all of the records are destroyed except the court file which is kept by the court clerk. Any mention of the record in computer or paper indices is removed.
If the juvenile has received a determinate sentence, any juvenile record that the petitioner has can never be sealed.
Eligibility of Felony Adjudications (Non- Determinate Sentence)
- Must be twenty-one years old.
- The petitioner must never have been certified for any offense.
- The juvenile record must not have been used in the punishment phase of an adult prosecution.
- The petitioner cannot have been convicted of a felony since turning seventeen.
- In this instance, the court has discretion whether to grant or deny the sealing of records.
Felony Dismissal, Misdemeanors
- Right–The juvenile has a right to seal his felony dismissal, conduct in need of supervision case, or misdemeanor adjudication if:
- two years has elapsed since the juvenile exited the system and
- in that two year period, the petitioner does not have a felony conviction; a conviction for a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude; has not been found to engage in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision; and does not have a pending criminal proceeding.
- Discretion—the judge has discretion to seal a dismissed felony or a non-felony adjudication without the two year waiting period if the petitioner since exiting the system does not have a felony conviction; a conviction for a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude; has not been found to engage in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision; and does not have a pending criminal proceeding.
The judge shall immediately seal a record when the juvenile is found not guilty after a trial.
Agencies that have a record of the arrest must return the records to the juvenile court within 60 days of receiving the order. All index references to the record must be deleted within 60 days of receipt of the order.
The petitioner is allowed to deny the arrest, even in a subsequent criminal proceeding.
Possession of Alcohol by a Minor
Section 106.12 of the Texas Alcohol Beverage Code allows a minor who has a conviction for possession of alcohol by a minor to expunge the arrest if he reaches the age of twenty-one and does not have another conviction for the offense.