Texas allows for some criminal records to be expunged in certain situations. This means that a conviction may be permanently removed from the person’s record. In order for the state to grant an expunction, several elements must be met.
Only certain crimes are eligible for expunction. By speaking with an experienced Plano criminal defense lawyer, you can better understand your chances at clearing up your criminal record.
Crimes eligible for expunction include:
Keep in mind that even if your crime falls into one of the listed categories, you are not necessarily guaranteed an expunction.
However, if you choose to begin the process of expunction, the first step is to file a petition with the appropriate court. The appropriate court is generally located where the offense or the arrest took place.
This petition must include:
The name of the person charged
The type of offense charged
When the alleged offense occurred
When the arrest occurred
The name of the agency which executed the arrest
If the offense has already been charged, the petitioner must also include the following information:
In order for the petition to be considered complete, the document must be properly notarized and also include a request for a hearing date to be set regarding the expunction request.
During the hearing, the petitioner is required to decide if the petitioner meets all the necessary requirements for an expunction. If the judge finds this to be the case, he will be expected to sign the petitioner’s Order for Expunction. Once signed, the individual granted the expunction must notify any and all agencies with records or files related to the now expunged offense.
Once properly notified, the agency will either destroy any record of the offense or return any such records to the clerk of court.
If the crime involved a juvenile (an individual under 17), the process of expunging the crime may vary.
Generally, juvenile offenses may be expunged in the following circumstances:
While parts of the process may vary, the process for a juvenile submitting a petition for expunction is the same as that for adults. In addition, a juvenile is not eligible for expunction if he has received multiple convictions. Furthermore, an individual must meet a certain age before filing for an expunction related to a juvenile offense.