Being arrested for a crime can have severe consequences both personally and professionally. A conviction can be even more devastating. If your criminal record contains arrests or charges, you may face obstacles to housing and professional opportunities. At Boswell Legal Group, we can help clear your record and protect your future.
If you want to learn more about clearing or erasing your criminal record through an expungement, contact us for a free initial consultation. Call 940-382-4711 or 1-800-927-4652 toll-free.
Expunctions in the Denton County Courts
Expunction (also known as expungement) is the process through which your criminal record is cleared or erased. This option is only available under limited circumstances, but is especially useful in situations when clients have been arrested but never prosecuted or found not guilty at trial. Even if charges are dismissed or you are never prosecuted following an arrest, these events must be affirmatively removed from your record to prevent others from gaining knowledge of the incident.
An expunction affects all the criminal records, including booking photos, police reports, jail records, case records, and anything else at all related to the crimes being expunged. Once the expunction is complete, you are legally allowed to deny the original criminal case in full, including the arrest and the expunction itself. There are exceptions to this – but they exist within a court of law during a criminal proceeding.
The Process of Expunction in Texas
Here is a brief overview of the expunction process in Texas:
- Step One: The first thing you need to do is have your record evaluated by an experienced attorney in Texas who understands the requirements and eligibility for expunctions.
- Step Two: Next you’ll want to get together all the information you are going to need to file the petition. This is something you’ll definitely want your attorney to help you with.
- Step Three: Filling out and drafting the actual petition and order come next. The expunction process is complicated legally. Without getting into the specifics here, you’ll need your attorney to make sure you file your petition appropriately.
- Step Four: The actual expunction hearing comes next. Depending on the situation, this is something for which we may be able to appear on your behalf. We’d be happy to discuss the specifics of what you can expect from such a hearing if you have questions.
- Step Five: Finally, if the hearing goes in your favor, the expunction order is disseminated and all criminal records related the expunged offenses is destroyed and removed.
At this point, your record would be fully expunged and you’d be legally able to deny the original charges as well as the expunction in all circumstances expect when testifying in a court of law concerning criminal proceedings.
Why Seek an Expunction?
Although your criminal matters may be behind you, they can continue to affect your life. You may not be aware that your criminal record is essentially public information, easily accessible to millions over the Internet. A criminal history can affect your ability to gain employment, rent an apartment, successfully file a loan application or carry a firearm. If these are concerns of yours, the expungement attorneys at our firm may be able to help clear your criminal record.
Another option for protecting your privacy and criminal history is through a non-disclosure order. However, you must have successfully completed deferred adjudication probation.
Eligibility for Expunction in Texas
Only certain individuals in the state of Texas are even eligible for expunction. The following is a list of qualification criteria. However, it should be noted that even if you meet this list, the law does not mandate the court grant your request for expunction:
- There were never any actual charges filed in your case
- The charges filed in your case were dismissed
- You were acquitted of all charges against you
- You were pardoned or granted other relief based upon evidence of actual innocence
- There has not been a trial for your crimes and the prosecutor for your case is instead recommending expunction
- You meet all of the other requirements the state of Texas has for the expunction of your criminal record.
In essence, the charges on your record cannot have resulted in a conviction. There are some exceptions to this, but they are tricky and far between. However, there is also a less-strict order of non-disclosure that you may qualify for if it is determined your criminal record cannot be expunged.
Contact Our Denton Office
Eligibility for expunction (expungement) varies. Our experienced lawyers will consult with you and see what solutions work for you. Contact Boswell Legal Group online or call us at 1-800-927-4652 toll-free or 940-382-4711 for a free and confidential consultation.