Second Chances: How to Clear Your Criminal Record

What if you could wipe your record clean? Whether you made a small mistake that seems to be haunting you, or you were arrested for something but not convicted, having a criminal record can make life a lot more difficult. It can get in your way when you’re applying for jobs, for certain licenses, or for housing. Fortunately, in some situations, it is possible to expunge (or expunct as it’s referred to in Texas law) your record and get a fresh start. Expunging your record is also known as the “records restrictions” process.

What exactly happens when your record is expunged? 

When you expunge your record, you are, of course, not completely erasing the past. Those within the judicial branch of the government, like judges and other court officials, will still be able to see your full history. However, outside of the criminal justice world, like when you’re applying for employment, your record will not be accessible.   

Who is eligible for records restriction?

In general, you are entitled to expunction if your case was closed without a conviction, if your case was dismissed and the statute of limitations has expired, if you were acquitted, or if you were pardoned post-conviction.

You can also expunge records of many types of crimes if they occurred before your seventeenth birthday. However, certain serious, violent, and sexually-motivated crimes are exempt (such as child molestation, pimping, sexual battery, obscene telephone contact with a minor, and computer pornography). 

An experienced criminal defence attorney can help you navigate the complicated rules about who is and isn’t eligible and/or entitled, and determine if expungement is possible in your unique circumstances.

How do I apply for expunction in Texas?

To apply for expunction, it is necessary to file a Petition for Expunction with the court where your case was handled. If you want your records sealed, you will also need to file a Petition for an Order of Nondisclosure. You may need to obtain records about your case in order to properly fill out these petitions.

More questions about expungement? 

If you have more questions about the ins and outs of Texas expunction and whether or not you are eligible, Bobby Dale Barina, Attorney At Law is here to help. We can help you understand whether or not you are eligible or entitled, and we can help you endure that your petition is properly filed. Don’t delay! Call us today at 254-523-4446.