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Is My Texas Criminal Record Really Permanent?

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Collin County criminal defense attorney expunction

Everyone has made mistakes in their past. Maybe you got caught up with the wrong group of kids growing up, or perhaps you made a drunk decision that you wish you could take back. If you are lucky, you may be the only one who remembers the mistake. For those individuals who have been arrested or charged with a crime, the mistake remains as a mark on their permanent record. People with a criminal background—even those who were arrested but never convicted—have these decisions follow them for the rest of their lives. But what if removing this criminal mark was an option? For some, expunction may be exactly what they are looking for to move on with their lives.

What Records Can Be Expunged?

Criminal records are public, which means that anyone who conducts a background check, especially when hiring for jobs, will see anything built up on your record. An expunction allows individuals to remove information about an arrest, charge, or conviction from their permanent record, but only in certain circumstances. Once the record is expunged, all information regarding the case will be removed from the individual’s record and he or she is legally allowed to deny that the incident ever occurred. You may be wondering why everyone with a criminal record does not work to get their record expunged. The reason? Only 10 situations qualify for expunction. Records eligible for expunction include the following:

  1. An arrest for a crime that was not charged

  2. A criminal charge that was ultimately dismissed

  3. Specific misdemeanor juvenile offense

  4. The conviction of a minor for specific alcohol charges

  5. The conviction of a minor for failure to go to school

  6. An arrest that is not charged if a case is not filed and a felony offense is not connected to the incident

  7. An arrest that is not charged and if the prosecuting attorney’s office certifies that the files and records are not needed in any criminal investigations or the prosecution of another person

  8. An arrest, charge, or conviction on an individual’s record as a result of identity theft by someone else who was eventually arrested, charged, or convicted of the crime

  9. The conviction for a crime that was acquitted at a later date

  10. The conviction for a crime that was later pardoned by the governor of Texas or the President of the United States

Applying for an Expunction

As you can see, there are a number of situations in which you could qualify for an expunction. The list above is a general outline, though it is advisable to consult with a criminal defense attorney before beginning the application process to ensure that the details of your case do indeed qualify you for expunction. In order to begin your application, you must first file a Petition for Expunction with the district court. The person requesting an expunction, also known as the petitioner, will include the following information in the petition: personal identifying information, the offense charged, the dates of the arrest and alleged offense, the name of the arresting agency, and a list of all of the facilities or agencies that may have a record of the arrest. The petition should also include the case number, the name of the court, and the result of the charge. Once your petition has been notarized and properly filed, the court will schedule a hearing for your case and notify all applicable facilities and agencies to allow them to contest the expunction request at your hearing if they wish to do so. If you meet all of the requirements and there are no contests to your expunction, your criminal record will be removed.  If there are contests regarding your expunction request, your attorney will defend you on your behalf.

Contact a Frisco Expunction Attorney

Petitioning to have your criminal record erased can be life-changing, and any mistakes in the process can ruin your chances of obtaining an expunction. While the process may seem straightforward, anything to do with the criminal justice system should be left to the professionals. At The Law Offices of Biederman & Burleson PLLC, we will evaluate your eligibility for expunction and assist you with the legal process. For those who do not qualify, our legal team will steer you toward alternatives that can help you move forward in a similar manner. Contact our knowledgeable Collin County expunction lawyers at 469-333-3333 to schedule your free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/CR/htm/CR.55.htm

https://guides.sll.texas.gov/expunctions-and-non-disclosure 

 

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