Giving You a New Lease on Life
If you have ever been arrested or accused of committing a crime in Texas, it could affect your ability to get a job, even if the charges were dismissed or a jury determined you were not guilty. There is no reason to live with a criminal record. Our Austin expunction attorneys successfully use expunction to free clients from the stigma of a criminal record.
Who Is Eligible for Expunction in Texas?
Texas Code of Criminal Procedure §55.01 provides for expunction of the criminal record of an individual. You are generally eligible to have your criminal record cleared if you meet one or more of the following scenarios:
- You were arrested and released without being charged.
- Criminal charges filed against you were dismissed.
- You were accused of a class C misdemeanor that was dismissed after deferred adjudication.
- Criminal charges were filed, but you were acquitted at trial.
- The arrest, charges, or conviction was the result of someone stealing and using your identity, and the person was ultimately charged and convicted of the theft.
The best way to determine if you are eligible for an expunction of your criminal record is to have our Austin expunction lawyers review the record and offer their trusted advice about how to proceed.
How Do I Get an Expunction in Austin?
Expunction begins by meeting with your lawyer to provide him or her with the information needed to prepare the petition asking the court to expunge or remove your criminal record. Once the petition is filed with the court, a hearing is scheduled at which your attorney presents evidence, including witness testimony, in support of the petition.
Attempting to file a petition for expunction on your own without an experienced criminal defense law firm representing you through the process is difficult. The rules and eligibility requirements pertaining to expunction must be followed to the letter of the law.
Expunction vs. Record Sealing in Texas
Expunction and nondisclosure (also known as record sealing) are two legal processes available under Texas law to clear a person's criminal record.
Expunction is a process that allows an individual to completely erase their criminal record from public access, essentially giving them a clean slate. On the other hand, nondisclosure is an order that seals the record from being accessed by the general public, but some licensing agencies and government agencies, such as law enforcement, and anyone that has been granted access to the records can still view it.
Choosing between expunction and nondisclosure depends on several factors, including the severity of the offense, the amount of time since the offense, and the individual's personal goals. Understanding the difference between these two options can be overwhelming, but Cofer & Connelly can help you make an informed decision.
Benefits of Criminal Record Expunction
Expunction in Texas can have significant benefits for individuals seeking to clear their criminal record. Upon expunction, records of an individual's arrest, charge, and conviction are permanently erased or sealed from the public record. This provides relief from the stigma and discrimination associated with a criminal record, opening up opportunities for housing, employment, and educational opportunities that were previously inaccessible.
Expunction is particularly valuable for those who were wrongfully charged or had their cases dismissed, as it allows them to fully move on from their past and enjoy the benefits of a clean record. Seeking expert legal advice is crucial when pursuing expunction in Texas, as the process can be complex and time-consuming. However, the rewards of a cleared criminal record can be life-changing.
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