Attorney Steve Toland continues his series on expungements and non-disclosures.
What is an expungement?
Expungement is the process by which you file for a court order requesting every agency that ever had any contact or any knowledge about you — if you were arrested or charged — to remove any record of you. It can be a mugshot, fingerprints, or any information about you.
If you are considering an expungement here in Texas, here are four questions you should ask yourself
1. Am I Eligible for an Expungement?
To be eligible, you must have been arrested and charged with a crime, and it was dismissed. Or you’re arrested or accused of a crime, and it was filed and then dismissed. As long as the offense was dismissed or never filed. You can also be eligible if you went to a jury trial, and you were acquitted or found not guilty. For these scenarios, you are most likely eligible for an expunction.
2. Do I Need a Lawyer for an Expungement?
You don’t necessarily need a lawyer. However, because there are time periods attached to expungements, you are better off to hire an attorney to ensure it’s done efficiently and correctly to avoid any mishaps. An attorney can ensure that every agency that ever had any contact with you removes any information.
3. How Long do Expungements Take?
The procedural process takes about 30 days from when you file it to get your court date. Then it could take another 180 days or so to have all the agencies respond to the court order, requiring them to remove everything about you. There’s also a statutory time period called a statute of limitations. That’s dependent upon whether it’s a class C misdemeanor, class B misdemeanor, class A misdemeanor, or a felony.
4. Do I need to hire a lawyer locally for Expungements?
Let’s say you were charged or accused of a crime, and it was dismissed out in Lubbock, but you now live in Austin. Do you need to hire a local lawyer out in those remote parts of Texas? No, you don’t. Our firm handles expunctions all over the state of Texas.
If you have any questions about this process, reach out to us, and we’d be glad to help you. We help clients clean up their records in preparation for job interviews, background checks, and other important life events.