From an email:

If you have the time, and don’t mind, may I have your perspective on Article 42.12 – the specified portion:

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If the judge discharges the defendant under this section, the judge may set aside the verdict or permit the defendant to withdraw his plea, and shall dismiss the accusation, complaint, information or indictment against the defendant, who shall thereafter be released from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the offense or crime of which he has been convicted or to which he has pleaded guilty,
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Does this mean there is no longer a conviction on an individual’s record after the judge "sets aside the verdict". May I interpret this as meaning there is NOT a verdict (or case) if the judge has set it aside? How about the original conviction popping up on One’s background check?

Thanks for your insight – I remember reading the case of Cuellar v. State. And one final thing, might a person qualify for the 55.01 since the case has technically been dismissed – or worded as such?  Again Sir, thank you for your time and attention.

My Answer:

The section of 42.12 (which is unbelievably complicated) that you quote is actually from the early termination part of the statute, which may be what you are referring to in your individual case.  

But there’s also similar (or should I say similarly deceptive?) language in the portions of the probation statute about successful completion of deferred adjudication probation. I’m not sure in your case whether you’re talking about the fact that you were released from probation early or simply completed a deferred.

Either way, Houston criminal defense lawyer Mark Bennett just addressed this issue, and unfortunately the law is clear: as far as Chapter 55 expunctions go, you are not eligible for one.

And as Mark’s post makes clear, chances are better than 50/50 that you got some not-the-whole-truth advice from your original lawyer.

If your case was a successfully completed deferred, you may be eligible for a Motion for Non Disclosure, which may be of some help to you. It’s surely no substitute for the correct legal advice from the start, but it may be something…