Record Expunction in Texas

May 08

Record expunction offers individuals charged or convicted of a crime to start over anew. In an ideal scenario, anyone convicted of a crime will be able to properly reintegrate back to their old lives after properly serving their mandated penalties. However, rebuilding one’s reputation isn’t always easy. Most of the time, convicted individuals face extreme prejudice for crimes they have committed and properly served obligations for. This prejudice can severely limit someone’s educational and employment opportunities, along with other financial prospects.

According to the website of The Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter, the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure offers convicted individuals several different avenues to avoid the stigma associated with a criminal charge. A person who has been convicted of a criminal violation can opt to petition for non-disclosure of their record. This means the court will grant that their record be sealed and allow that they not disclose the information on official records that would otherwise ask for it.

Certain circumstances can also allow an individual to petition for record expunction, which allows a criminal charge to be permanently removed from their record. In particular, record expunction is application for Texan residents whose experience falls under the following scenarios:

  • Charged with a crime but later acquitted
  • Charged with a crime but the case was later dismissed
  • Arrested for a crime but never formally charged
  • Convicted for a crime but later found innocent
  • Convicted for a crime but later received pardon

The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure also requires an individual to wait a specific amount of time before filing a petition for record expunction. Charged with a Class C misdemeanor, an individual will need to wait for a total of 180 days from the day of the arrest. Meanwhile, individuals charged with a Class A or B misdemeanor will have to wait for 1 full year. In cases involving a felony, the charged individual can only file their petition after 3 years.

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