Expunction of Records in Texas
Texas Expunction Attorney
Texas allows for some criminal records to be expunged in certain situations. This means that a conviction may be permanently removed from the person’s record. In order for the state to grant an expunction, several elements must be met.
To begin with, only certain crimes are eligible for expunction. These include:
- An arrest for a crime that was never charged;
- A criminal charge that was ultimately dismissed;
- Certain juvenile misdemeanor offenses;
- Certain alcohol offenses involving a minor;
- Failure to attend school;
- Arrest, charge, and/or conviction on a person’s record due to identity theft by another individual;
- Conviction of a crime that was later acquitted by either a trial court or the court of appeals;
- Conviction of a crime that was later pardoned by the either the governor of Texas or the President of the United States.
Keep in mind that even if your crime falls into one of the listed categories, you are not necessarily guaranteed and expunction.
The Expunction Process in Texas
However, if you choose to begin the process of expunction, the first step is to file a petition with the appropriate court. The appropriate court is generally located where the offense or the arrest took place. This petition must include:
- The name of the person charged;
- The type of offense charged;
- When the alleged offense occurred;
- When the arrest occurred; and
- The name of the agency which executed the arrest.
If the offense has already been charged, the petitioner must also include the following information:
- The case number;
- The name of the court; and
- How the charge was resolved.
In order for the petition to be considered complete, the document must be properly notarized and also include a request for a hearing date to be set regarding the expunction request.
During the hearing, the petitioner is required to decide if the petitioner meets all the necessary requirements for an expunction. If the judge finds this to be the case, he will be expected to sign the petitioner’s Order for Expunction. Once signed, the individual granted the expunction must notify any and all agencies with records or files related to the now expunged offense.
Once properly notified, the agency will either destroy any record of the offense or return any such records to the clerk of court.
Expunging a Juvenile Crime in Texas
If the crime involved a juvenile (an individual under 17), the process of expunging the crime may vary. Generally, juvenile offenses may be expunged in the following circumstances:
- A misdemeanor punishable by a fine;
- An offense committed by a minor under the Alcoholic Beverage Code; and
- A conviction for a failure to attend school.
While parts of the process may vary, the process for a juvenile submitting a petition for expunction is the same as that for adults. In addition, a juvenile is not eligible for expunction if he has received multiple convictions. Furthermore, an individual must meet a certain age before filing for an expunction related to a juvenile offense.
Do You Need an Attorney?
If you have been charged with a crime and have questions about expunction in Texas, contact The Wilder Firm to speak with an experienced professional who can answer your questions and work with you to achieve the best outcome for your case.
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