Helping Clear Your Record With An Expunction
If you have been convicted of a crime and want to receive an expunction (or get your public criminal record cleared), it is advised that you contact a Plano criminal lawyer who can properly guide you through the process. When you are successful in completing the expunction process, you are able to get a previous arrest or criminal conviction removed from your record that had previously been accessible by the public. When individuals have criminal records, they can end up losing important opportunities for employment or housing for which they might have otherwise been eligible. Employers and landlords generally do not care what the story is behind an arrest or conviction – they would just rather avoid any risk altogether by simply denying an applicant who has a “spotty” record. When an expunction is granted, the court orders the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and the Texas Department of Public Safety to delete or redact from their own public records all files related to the specific arrest or conviction that is being expunged. This means that records of the arrest or conviction will not show up on a background check, and they will not be available to the public. The individual with the expunction will then be able to deny any occurrence of the arrest or conviction, except for in certain situations specified by law (such as when he or she is being questioned under oath). Expunctions provide greater levels of record protection than nondisclosure orders.
Understanding Your Right To Expunction
There are many scenarios in which a Texas resident can be eligible for expunction. According to Texas Code of Criminal Procedure §55.01, an individual can get all records related to an arrest expunged if that person was tried for the offense and one of the following occurred:
- The defendant was acquitted;
- The defendant was convicted of the offense but later pardoned or granted relief;
- The defendant was convicted of the offense but later pardoned for another reason; and
- The defendant was released and the charge did not result in a final conviction and is no longer pending. This only applies if there is no court-ordered community supervision.
Changes in recent years have added new provisions for individuals trying to obtain expunctions before the passage of the statutes of limitations for certain crimes. A knowledgeable attorney can explain these changes and how they affect your case. There are also other circumstances in which arrests can and cannot be expunged. An attorney can review these circumstances with you as well.
Steps For Expunction
When filing for expunction, a petitioner must file within a district court for the county where he or she was arrested or where the offense allegedly occurred, according to Texas Code of Criminal Procedure §55.02. The individual must include certain personal information and details about the alleged offense. Once this information is received by the court, a hearing must be set to occur within 30 days of the petition filing date and the appropriate officials or agencies must be notified. Once a court determines that the petitioner is eligible for expunction, it must issue such an order.
Speak With The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC, Today!
Texas’ laws regarding expunction can be very complex. It is important to have a full understanding of the laws regarding your expunction petition so that you can increase your chances of completing the process with success. At the Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC, we not only have the knowledge you need, but we are also able to provide you with step-by-step guidance. We can help you determine whether you qualify, what time restrictions you might be subject to, what rules you must follow after expunction and more. Contact our Plano defense lawyer today for top-quality assistance!