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Getting your record cleared of criminal charges can be the beginning of a new life. The Carlson Law Firm has a legal team backing one of the most experienced Record Expunction Lawyers in Central Texas.
Often, people mistakenly believe that they have a clean record just because charges were dismissed or they were not found guilty at trial. However, this is not the case. Many interactions with the Texas legal system, from police contact to appearing before a judge, may show up on background checks despite how the case was ultimately resolved.
Our Killeen Record Expunction Attorneys serve the following counties:
Let our Expunction Lawyers work tirelessly on your behalf to ensure you have a fresh start to move past a setback.
Expungement of Texas Criminal Records
A criminal record of any kind can hold you back from getting the job you want, certain volunteer work, getting credit, and living in a nicer area of town. In addition, certain offenses on your criminal record can stop you from qualifying for higher education financial assistance.
Fortunately, Texas has created a path that allows those with criminal records to clean up their record.
We’ve all done things we regret. We’ve all had a bad day. One mistake shouldn’t determine the quality of your life, our expunction lawyers can help.
What is criminal record expungement?
To expunge is to “erase or remove completely.” In law, an expunction is the process by which a criminal record and all related records are destroyed by the state and law enforcement agencies that hold them. In other words, an expunction order directs the court, law enforcement, and other government agencies to completely destroy all records of the arrest and charge—essentially removing them from a defendant’s criminal record, as well as the public record.
What can an expunction remove?
In Texas, expunction can apply to the following:
- Class C misdemeanors that resulted in deferred adjudication
- Offenses that did not result in conviction regardless of level, where charges were not filed, charges were dismissed, or the person acquitted or pardoned.
When am I eligible for an expunction?
For charges eligible for expunction, there is a waiting period to have the records destroyed. In Texas, the minimum waiting period before filing an application for expunction is the following:
- Class C misdemeanors: 180 days
- Class A and B misdemeanors: 2 years in most cases, but 1 year in some cases
Felonies can be expunged in very limited cases. If your felony is eligible, the waiting period to apply for expunction is three years.
If you completed a qualifying veteran’s treatment court, pre-trial intervention program, or mental health court to obtain the resolution in the charge, it may be eligible for expunction sooner than these timelines.
What is the Procedure for Expunction in Texas?
The first step in filing for an expunction is to seek counsel from a qualified lawyer. Expunction costs may vary, but our Criminal Record Expunction Lawyer offers free consultations and will discuss your options and costs during your consult.
Once you’ve retained a lawyer, the attorney will file a petition on your behalf to have your criminal record expunged. Typically, you will have to appear in court at a hearing usually held 30-60 days after your initial filing. The court will usually make a ruling granting the expunction at the hearing for those that qualify for the expunction.
If your expunction is granted, it generally takes around six months for local, state and federal agencies to destroy their records and update any databases.
What crimes cannot be expunged in Texas?
A run-in with the law can happen for any number of reasons. In most cases, a defendant cannot have a criminal record expunged if they pled to a charge other than a class C misdemeanor. However, there may be other options available in these situations, such as an order of non-disclosure.
For answers about an expunction unique to your situation, schedule a free consultation with an experienced Criminal Record Expungement Attorney at 254-526-5688.
Expunctions vs. Non-Disclosures in Texas
An order for non-disclosure seals criminal records but does not destroy them. In other words, certain government agencies will be able to see the records, but the general public will not have access to the information. An order for non-disclosure can be available to those defendants that are not eligible for an expunction. There are specific criteria you will need to meet to qualify for non-disclosures.
Eligibility for non-disclosures
According to the Texas Penal Code, certain crimes are not eligible for non-disclosure. The qualification for non-disclosures are very similar to that of expunctions. Generally speaking, you may not qualify for non-disclosure orders if you have ever been convicted or placed on deferred adjudication for any of the following:
- Offenses requiring sex offender registration
- Capital Murder
- Human trafficking
- Injury to a child, elderly or disabled person
- Aggravated kidnapping
- Violation of court orders (or conditions of bond in a family violence, sexual assault, abuse or stalking
- Repeated violation of specific court orders
- Other offenses involved family violence
Orders for non-disclosure can be helpful when looking for housing or jobs. An order of non-disclosure effectively hides the criminal record from the general public.
How much does it cost to expunge a criminal record?
In Texas, the cost of a criminal record expunction usually involves court or administrative fees, plus any additional attorneys fees. Our Record Expunction Lawyers can give you an estimate of the cost of your specific case through a free consultation.
If you’re interested in learning about how juvenile records are sealed, contact our team to schedule your free consultation.
Texas Criminal Record Expunction FAQs
In Texas, individuals who were acquitted of a crime, had their charges dismissed, completed deferred adjudication, or were pardoned by the governor are typically eligible for expunction.
You must file a petition for expunction in the court where the case was filed. You may want to consider consulting with a knowledgeable attorney to guide you through the process.
Deferred adjudication is a form of probation where a defendant pleads guilty or no contest to a charge, but the judge defers finding the defendant guilty. If the defendant successfully completes the probationary period, the case is dismissed.
In most cases, DWI convictions cannot be expunged in Texas. However, you may be eligible for a nondisclosure order which would seal your criminal record from public view.
Yes, once an expunction is granted, all records related to the arrest or charge will be destroyed or returned to you, and you can legally deny that the charge or arrest ever occurred.
No, if your criminal record has been expunged in Texas, you are not required to disclose that charge or arrest on job applications or other forms.
Having a criminal record expunged is like it never happened. However, some crimes can never be expunged. If you’re thinking about joining the military and have a criminal record, consult with a Killeen criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options.
Contact a Criminal Record Expunction Lawyer
Having a criminal record can make life incredibly difficult. It can affect loan approvals, signed leases and even landing a new job. A Criminal Record Expunction Lawyer is available at 254-526-5688. The Carlson Law Firm is located in Killeen at 100 E Central Texas Expy. Killeen, Texas 76541.
There’s a Carlson Law Firm Near You
With over a dozen locations throughout Texas, there’s a Carlson Law Firm near you. We have law offices located in Killeen, Temple, Waco, Round Rock, Austin, San Antonio, Kerrville, Laredo, Bryan, Lubbock, Midland, and Corpus Christi.