Who Qualifies for Expungement in Texas?
A criminal record can reflect an arrest, charge, or conviction. However, no matter what your criminal record looks like, the bottom line is that it can significantly hold you back. Valuable opportunities in life such as employment, housing, higher education, financial aid, and professional certifications may be limited or entirely unavailable to you because of your criminal record.
As such, you may question if there’s any way to make your criminal record disappear, never to be seen again. The answer? Expungement.
“Expunge” means to “erase or remove completely,” meaning your criminal record could be permanently destroyed or sealed from public, state, and/or federal record. Simply put, an expungement requires the court to treat a conviction like it never happened. This will allow you to have a clean slate and a fresh start as you move forward in life.
So, who is eligible for expungement in Texas? Records eligible for expunction include:
- An arrest that didn’t result in a criminal charge
- An arrest that didn’t result in a criminal charge because the prosecutor decided that a criminal investigation or prosecution isn’t needed, regardless of whether or not the statute of limitations expired
- A dismissed criminal charge
- Certain misdemeanor juvenile crimes
- Certain convictions for juvenile alcohol-related crimes
- A conviction for failure to attend school
- A non-felonious arrest that didn’t result in a charge because the case wasn’t filed
- An arrest, charge, or conviction on a person’s record due to identity theft by another person who was actually arrested, charged, or convicted of the crime
- A conviction for a crime that was later acquitted by the trial court or the Court of Criminal Appeals
- A conviction for a crime that was later pardoned by the governor of Texas or the U.S. president
How Can I Get My Criminal Record Expunged?
If you qualify to get your criminal record expunged in Texas, you should get familiar with the process. Importantly, it is in your best interests to hire a lawyer to uphold your rights and help you avoid making mistakes in the expungement process. Any minor error could result in the denial of your Petition for Expungement, which is the last thing you want.
To apply for an expunction in Texas, follow the steps below:
Complete a Petition for Expunction, which requires the following information:
- Personal identifying information
The offense charged. If the offense was charged:
- Case number
- Name of the court
- How and when the charge was resolved
- The date of the arrest
- The date the alleged offense occurred
- The name of the arresting agency
- List of agencies that may have a record of the arrest
- A blank “notice of hearing” so the court can set a hearing date
- File the petition with the proper court
- The court will schedule a hearing to allow parties to contest the expunction
- The court will grant the expunction if you meet all the requirements
- Have a judge sign your Order for Expunction and submit it to any agencies or organizations that may have documentation of your expunged offense
Wait no longer to see if you are eligible for expungement and get started on the process. Contact attorney Roland Jeter at (972) 330-4050 today!