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What can an expunction do for your criminal charges?

On Behalf of | Jun 3, 2024 | Expunctions/Nondisclosures

A criminal conviction can result in consequences that may affect you for the rest of your life. It may be difficult to find work or get custody of your kids with a conviction on your record, depending on the severity of the charges.

What records are eligible for expunction?

While most convictions will stay on your criminal record, it may be possible to have certain information related to your arrest/conviction removed from your record through a process known as expunction (sometimes referred to as expungement). Certain records are eligible for expunction, including:

  • Some misdemeanor juvenile offenses
  • A dismissed criminal charge
  • An arrest that did not lead to charges

How do I file for an expunction?

If you choose to file for an expunction in Texas, it is important that you follow the process carefully. First, you file a Petition for Expunction with the proper district court, seeking an Order for Expunction. Generally, your petition must include:

  • Details of the arrest: Where and when the arrest occurred, the name of the arresting agency, and a list of agencies that have a record of the arrest.
  • Details of the charges (if any): Cause number for the case, name of the court, date of the charge, and how the case was resolved.

Once you have completed the petition, ideally with the help of an attorney, you must have the petition signed and notarized. You should also include a blank “notice of hearing,” as the court will be setting a hearing date. The notice of the hearing must be sent out to all relevant agencies, so that they will have a chance to tell the court if and why they believe the expunction should not be granted.

After the hearing, if the court finds that you have met the requirements for expunction, the court will grant it. The judge will then sign the Order for Expunction, which you will provide, and the order will be sent out to any agencies that have a record of the relevant arrest or offense. As per the terms of the order, the records will then be deleted or returned to the court clerk.

If you meet the eligibility requirements, it may be in your best interest to file for an expunction. An expunction can lead to new opportunities and change your life for the better.