Understanding Texas Expunctions
July 28, 2022
In 2021 in the state of Texas, 210,934 felony cases and 306,6699 misdemeanor cases were filed, according to the Annual Statistical Report for the Texas Judiciary. While many cases are filed, not all cases result in a conviction. A person may be accused of a crime, arrested, and acquitted of all charges.
However, in most cases, an arrest will remain on your criminal record, even if you are not convicted – unless you take steps to have the arrest expunged from your record. As an experienced criminal defense attorney, I can help you understand your legal options and, if you are eligible, guide you through the expunction process. My firm, Rick Davis & Associates Attorneys at Law, provides legal guidance to clients in Bryan, Texas, and the surrounding areas, including College Station, Brenham, Anderson, Franklin, Cameron, Caldwell, and Madisonville, Texas.
What Is an Expunction?
In Texas, an expunction can, in certain situations, remove entries from an adult criminal history record. An expunction, also sometimes called an expungement, is similar to sealing records through an Order for Non-Disclosure but is much better. When an Expunction is granted, the Court orders criminal records to be erased, deleted or shredded.
Who Is Eligible for an Expunction?
There are certain circumstances that must be met in order for an individual to be eligible for an expunction. First, Class C misdemeanors that resulted in Deferred Disposition are eligible for expunction if the Defendant successfully completes its terms. You cannot seek an expungement for a Class C misdemeanor until after the Deferred Disposition case is dismissed. Speak with an experienced Texas criminal defense attorney to learn more.
Also, you may have been charged with a Class A or Class B misdemeanor or even a felony charge and still seek an expunction. For these charges, if the offense did not result in a conviction, and charges were either not filed in Court, charges were filed in Court but later dismissed, or if you were acquitted of the charges or pardoned, then you are eligible to file for an expunction.
Who Is Not Eligible for an Expunction?
There are many conditions that must be met to successfully obtain an expungement.
It is also vital to pay attention to the statute of limitations. If charges were brought against you, then the statute of limitations (the deadline after which a criminal case can no longer be brought) must expire for each crime that you were arrested for, even if you were not actually charged with all of them. Sometimes, however, prosecutors will allow a Defendant to file for an expunction even before the statute of limitations has run.
What Are the Benefits of an Expunction?
There are several key benefits to obtaining an expunction. First of all, if you get an Expunction, the charges will be erased from your criminal record. You also can legally deny that you were arrested or even charged if you get an expunction.
When you are applying for a job, you do not have to disclose your arrest or the charges to your prospective employer if they have been expunged from your record. Additionally, if a potential employer performs a background check, criminal records that have been expunged should not show up. Having criminal charges erased through an Expunction can lead to far better career and work opportunities in the future.
What Is the Process?
A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can guide you through the process of getting an expunction. First, you must observe the waiting period that applies in your case. If you were convicted of a Class C misdemeanor, you must successfully complete your deferred adjudication.
You must meet the conditions for eligibility, and you need to file an application for an expunction in the county where the arrest occurred. You must also submit a fingerprint card.
Turn to Reliable Representation
After an arrest, you may feel like your life and future are spinning out of control. Protect your rights and understand your legal options with the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. I have more than 30 years of experience, have tried more than 160 case to juries as a Judge and I have tried more than 80 cases to a jury as a lawyer. We understand the urgency of your case. Contact me at Rick Davis & Associates Attorneys at Law today for legal help. I proudly represent clients in Bryan, Texas, and the surrounding areas, including College Station, Brenham, Anderson, Navasota, Conroe, Huntsville and Madisonville.