Even if an individual is never convicted of a crime, criminal records remain. An individual’s arrest record, any criminal charges that were filed, and trial proceedings all will remain public records, even if a criminal case is ultimately dismissed or an individual is found not guilty. These records can have a negative effect on a person’s career, social life, and overall ability to function normally in society. Therefore, it is not uncommon for an individual in this situation to try and have those records removed from the public record.
The process of expunction, which is often referred to as expungement in other states, is available only in narrow circumstances under Texas law. This is the process that you must go through in order to get rid of criminal records. Essentially, expunction occurs when you file a lawsuit to clear your criminal record, or to have the records resulting from a criminal arrest destroyed. You may qualify for an expunction of your criminal records if you meet the following criteria:
- You went to trial and were acquitted or found not guilty.
- You were pardoned.
- You completed pre-trial diversion or intervention.
- Your criminal charges were dismissed due to fraud, a lack of probable cause, or a similar situation.
- Your criminal charges were dismissed and unless it was a Class C misdemeanor, you had no court-ordered probation, and the statute of limitations has expired.
Additionally, many counties have their own policies and procedures regarding expunctions, so having an attorney who is accustomed to handling expunctions in the county at issue can be key to a quick and successful resolution of your case.
If you find yourself charged with any type of criminal offense, you need legal advice that only experienced Texas criminal defense attorneys can offer you. As a result, you should immediately contact a skilled defense lawyer for help if you have been accused of a criminal offense. Peek & Toland provides strong legal representation on a regular basis for individuals who are charged with various crimes. It is our priority is to represent your interests and protect your rights. Call us at (512) 474-4445 and schedule an appointment to speak with us today.