To be human is to make mistakes. Unfortunately, those with a criminal history are often plagued by their mistakes for years. Even without a conviction, a criminal history can bar individuals from prosperous opportunities.
We want to help those individuals carry on with their lives. Expungement in Texas is a legal process that removes an offense from an individual’s criminal history. Following an expungement, both private companies and state agencies must remove all references to the expunged arrest in their electronic files and destroy any corresponding physical files.
Expunging a criminal record has numerous life-altering benefits, including:
- protecting one’s reputation and name
- educational opportunities
- improved housing opportunities
- better job opportunities
Note, you are not obliged to inform potential employers of any expunged records. However, while potential employers won’t find the charges expunged, they will find reports of a successful expungement petition. Therefore, it may behoove oneself to emphasize reform, if relevant, in an interview. Remember, an expunction is the Court agreeing that you are a responsible member of society with the right to move on from past transgressions.
Expungement in Texas Eligibility
Your misdemeanor or felony criminal record may be eligible for an expungement if you were:
- convicted but subsequently pardoned
- acquitted of the offense
- convicted but subsequently found innocent
- formally charged, and the case was later dismissed &/or, the statute of limitations has expired
- arrested but never formally charged (following a mandatory waiting period)
Texas has varying waiting periods before an expunction may be filed, specifically if you were arrested but never formally charged with a crime. The waiting periods are as follows:
- Felony Expungement: 3 years from the date of arrest.
- Class A or B Misdemeanor: 1 year from the date of arrest.
- Class C Misdemeanor: 180 days from the date of arrest.
However, no expunction waiting periods exist in the following circumstances:
- State’s Attorney certifies files are not needed for criminal prosecution
- an acquittal was made
- pardoned of crime
- convicted but later found to be factually innocent
In some cases, if you are not eligible for an expunction, it may be possible with a petition of non-disclosure instead. Additionally, if you are a close relative of a deceased individual with a criminal record, you may seek to expunge their record on their behalf.
How long is the Expungement Process?
Following filing a petition for an expungement, a court hearing will be set. Typically, the Court schedules hearings for a month after filing. If the Court grants an expungement at the hearing, it may take upwards of six months for the decision to be registered and successfully enacted.
Schedule a Free Consult
Clearing a criminal history gets complicated fast. Each circumstance dictates different avenues to expunction. At AZ Law Firm, we champion second chances and endeavor to provide our clients with the best future possible. We’re here to help.
To find out how we can help you, contact an Criminal Lawyer at 512-400-7070 or send us a message for an Expungement in Texas. We will schedule an initial client consultation to review your case details and lay out a game plan for your expungement in Texas. AZ Law Firm will pursue the legal action necessary to secure the fairest possible outcome for you and your loved ones.
- evaluating and explaining to you the pros and cons of your individual case
- discussing with you any available options and our proposed strategies as it relates to your case
- providing guidance and recommendations regarding any proposed settlement offer
- quickly and effectively communicating with you during each step of the process so that you are not left in the dark
- taking your case solely on a contingent fee basis
- and aggressively protecting and defending your rights
We understand times are tough and that there probably hasn’t been a tougher time in your life. Although we could get away with charging exuberant amounts, we prefer not to as we are a law firm by the people, for the people. We do not want you to worry about whether you can afford to hire an attorney to protect and defend your rights. Call us and be surprised at the quality you receive compared to what other law firms will quote you!
Accordingly, the attorneys at AZ Law Firm will always provide you with a free initial consultation. During this initial consultation, one of our criminal lawyer Austin team will evaluate your case, inform you of any legal options that may be available, and allow you to ask any questions that you may have. AZ Law Firm offers affordable rates for all our clients and will work with you on payment plans. Our firm accepts checks, debit cards, and most major credit cards to cover the costs of your legal representation.