Expunction: Criminal Record Clearing in Texas
Expunction refers to a legal process where individuals can have their criminal records cleared in. In a perfect world, those with criminal records that have properly served their mandated penalties and obligations should be able to go back living their old lives. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Many individuals continue to find it difficult to rebuild their reputations after receiving a criminal charge or conviction due to extreme prejudice.
Fortunately, the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure provides leeway for these individuals, giving them several options so they may be able to be free of any stigma about having criminal records. The first option is called expunction, and it’s available for individuals that were found not guilty or were acquitted of a criminal offense. Particular circumstances that may allow you to qualify for expunction include the following:
- Getting charged of a criminal offense that was eventually dismissed;
- Getting convicted for a criminal offense but was eventually pardoned;
- Getting convicted for a criminal offense but was later found to be innocent.
The court may also have to look into the specific circumstances of your case in order to qualify for criminal record clearing in Dallas and other places in Texas. For example, individuals that were convicted of Class A, B, or C misdemeanors might still be able to file for expunction as long as they wait out a specified time period before pursuing their petition. Those found ineligible to file for expunction could instead try petitioning to have their criminal records sealed from the public through an order of non-disclosure.
Starting over after receiving a criminal offense can prove to be an uphill battle. Having the tiniest blip on your record could prove to be an impediment from pursuing new employment, education, and financial opportunities. Fortunately, the law provides recourse for these situations. If you think that expunction may help in your rehabilitation, contact an experienced lawyer to learn more about your available options.