Expunction is the legal process of completely removing either an arrest or conviction, or both, from the criminal history of an individual. It is as though the event never happened. The citizen’s record is completely washed and restored to that which existed before the arrest.
NonDisclosure is the legal process of ‘cloaking’ or hiding a guilty conviction or deferred adjudication from the citizen’s history records or background check, but a conviction or deferred still remains on the citizen’s criminal history records. A nondisclosure is only available for a first offense, not subsequent.
There are only three issues which can be expunged:
- An arrest after which no criminal case is filed into court by the prosecution and the arrest charge ‘dies’ due to the Statute of Limitations.
- An arrest which is filed into court, but subsequently completely dismissed by the prosecution.
- An arrest filed into court which is later found Not Guilty by a jury or bench trial.
[Caveat: an expunction is only available for a citizen’s first arrest. It is not available for any subsequent charges.]
Likewise, there are conditions and restrictions for a nondisclosure. Such will depend upon the charge and outcome, which is too varied for further comment.
[One should contact an attorney if such question exists.]