If you have run afoul of the law, an expunction may be an option for you. This is a court-ordered process where your record of arrest or a criminal conviction is "sealed”. This basically means it’s erased in the eyes of the law. Sometimes this is also called "setting aside a criminal conviction”. In Texas, expunging your record might be possible in certain cases. The law offices of Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes may be able to help. To get started, here are three essential things you should known about expunging your record.
1. Not Every Crime is Eligible For Expunction
You may not be able to have your record expunged, depending on what the circumstances are surrounding the incident. Not all crimes can be expunged. In Texas, only the following types of crimes are eligible for expunction:
- Arrests in which no criminal charges were filed.
- Criminal charges that were dismissed.
- Alcoholic offenses of minors.
- Misdemeanor juvenile offenses.
- Arrests and convictions deemed to be the result of identity theft.
- Convictions that were later acquitted.
- Convictions that were later pardoned.
Consult with your attorney to find out if your particular situation warrants a possible expunction.
2. There is a Waiting Period for Expunctions
While you no longer have to wait until the statute of limitations has run out, or a felony indictment has been dismissed in Texas to file for an expunction, there are still waiting periods in place. The waiting period varies according to the class of crime that was committed. In addition, you would still have to show proof that the case is no longer pending and that you have been released. If the case is still pending, or the authorities are still in the midst of investigating, you can’t file for an expunction in Texas. The waiting times according to the class of crime are:
- Felony – 3 years
- Class A or B misdemeanor – 1 year
- Class C misdemeanor – 180 days
If you think you might be eligible for an expunction, the best thing you can do is to consult with an attorney about expunging your record. An experienced attorney like Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes can represent your interests and help you go about getting a clean record if possible.