If a Criminal Case Is Dismissed, Does It Stay on Your Record?

By Jeff Kennedy

If a Criminal Case Is Dismissed, Does It Stay on Your Record?

If you’ve ever been charged with a crime in Texas, you may be asking yourself this question: If a criminal case is dismissed, does it stay on my record?

That’s an excellent question, and the answer is yes. Many people don’t realize that, though. They think that, if a case is dismissed, the record of that crime will be destroyed. Not so.

On your criminal record, the charge will show up with a statement beside it saying “dismissed.” Unfortunately, just having a charge on your record is enough to keep a lot of employers from hiring you. They don’t care that the case was dismissed, and they may wrongly assume you committed the crime but “got away with it.”

So what can you do about it?

Expunction and Non-Disclosure Orders in Texas

To get rid of a charge on your record, you can petition the court for an expunction order. That’s a mouthful, but “expunction” means to expunge your criminal record, or erase the charge. The expunction order is a court order that tells the criminal record-keepers to destroy the record of that arrest or charge. It will be like it never happened.

If you don’t qualify for expunction, there is another way to “hide” a charge or conviction from view. This order also comes from a judge and is called a non-disclosure order. Your record will not be entirely destroyed, but it can be hidden from the view of the public and potential employers.

Getting a Dismissed Charge Off Your Record

Back to your question: If a criminal case is dismissed, does it stay on your record? Yes—unless you get it removed.

To learn more about expunction and non-disclosure orders and to see if you qualify, call a record-clearing attorney with the Law Offices of Jeff C. Kennedy. We can be reached by calling 817-605-1010 or by filling out the contact form below.


Jeff C. Kennedy was the light of hope at the end of very dark storm. He was not only able to defend my case swiftly, but had the alleged charges dismissed completely. His calm and empathetic demeanor offered emotional succor to myself and those I care about most. My children and I are eternally grateful for his excellent service and I hereby recommend Jeff C. Kennedy without reservation.


Jeff Kennedy truly cares. He and his staff kept me informed all the way throughout my case and provided me with all my options and the potential outcomes for my case. When the day finally arrived to resolve my case, Jeff was able to negotiate a reduction to a lesser charge. He was well prepared and coordinated everything perfectly. Jeff is not only a good lawyer, but a good man.


I hired Mr. Jeff Kennedy to handle a DWI charge. From day one, I knew I had picked the right attorney. Jeff always took the time to answer any of my questions, treated me very professionally, and truly cared about my case. I have never been in any kind of trouble before and I was very nervous about the thought of going to trial. Jeff thoroughly explained the entire process to me and made me feel at ease. Jeff took my case to trial and the jury found me NOT GUILTY!


Jeff Kennedy is a professional, intelligent, easy-to-talk-to lawyer with an excellent understanding of how the system works. Jeff was able to get my twice the legal limit BAC thrown out and he kept me from having an interlock device put on my car. This has been my only big mistake in life so far (hopefully the last) and I am glad he was there to walk me through it. You will not regret hiring him.

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Fort Worth, Texas 76104
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Texas 76010
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