How to Seal a Class C Misdemeanor in Texas

Attorney Marsh
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At this point I’ve already covered the broad overview of record sealing in Texas. When most people talk about getting their record sealed, they probably mean getting their record Expunged or getting an Order of Non-Disclosure. These are important because the outcome of your criminal case is what determines whether or not you can file a Petition for Expunction or a Petition of Non-Disclosure. Click on those two links to read about the differences and similarities. Class C Misdemeanors in Texas can be a mix of the two.

What is a Class C misdemeanor in Texas?

Class C misdemeanors in Texas are the lowest level of criminal charges. The maximum fine for them is $500 and there is no jail time attached. I’m just going to call them Class C’s. Class C’s include traffic tickets, public intoxication, minor in possession of alcohol, minor in consumption, theft under $50, and assault by threat, just to name a few. Most clients who come in with these charges are concerned with the effect of a conviction on their record. As other criminal charges, a conviction can stay on your record for life. However, you may be entitled to have your record expunged (the ideal type of “record sealing”) under certain circumstances. It is important to have a lawyer explain the consequences to you and help you get the best outcome possible.

Does my Class C Misdemeanor case qualify for Expunction?

Remember earlier when I said that Class C record sealing was a mix between an Expunction and a Non-Disclosure? Let me explain why. First, to qualify to have you Class C expunged, you must have completed a deferred adjudication probation. This is not the same thing as “straight probation.” Click that link to read about the difference between types of probation. Second, you must not have been convicted of a felony, five years prior to the date of your arrest on the Class C.

How to Seal a Class C Misdemeanor in TexasClass C’s are a odd because normally a deferred adjudication qualifies for an Order of Non-Disclosure. However, the law allows for an Expunction when a Class C deferred adjudication is successfully completed AND there has been no felony conviction within 5 years of the date of your arrest on the Class C. After you complete the deferred adjudication you will have to wait 180 days until you can file your Petition for Expunction.

What this means for you… This means that you can take advantage of having this charge expunged from your record. This means that it is wiped clean. It will not show up on background checks online or through employers. Also, once expunged, it will be out of the Police and DPS’ database!

How much does it cost for a Class C expunction?

A Class C expunction generally costs in the neighborhood of $1,000. Now, that’s not a hard number and other factors can come into play. For example, how many Class C’s do you have that you want expunged? Do all of them qualify for expunction? Has the proper amount of time passed for you to file? These considerations should be discussed with your lawyer. In addition, you should strongly consider hiring a lawyer at the beginning of your Class C case (right after you’re arrested). The best reason is that they can protect your rights, talk to you about expectations, and help you get the best outcome possible.

Summary

Quite a few clients have asked me lately about record sealing. Most recently the question that has come up again and again is “how to seal a Class C Misdemeanor in Texas?” This question focuses on the original charge, how that charge is dealt with, and the final outcome of the charge. Class C’s that you have received deferred adjudications on and haven’t been convicted of a felony within 5 years can qualify you to have those Class C’s expunged. The cost of the Class C expunction should cost around $1,000. This price may or may not include filing fees. Talk with your lawyer while your Class C case is still active so that you can look to the future for an expunction. Don’t let Class C’s you got as a kid in college or as an adult affect your life and your employment opportunities. Having your Class C misdemeanor record expunged can help you move forward.