Clearing a record in Texas is called an “expunction” and the process is called “expungement.
Be aware that not all arrests qualify for clearing but it’s helpful to try for an expunction so you can get a fresh start.
Individuals with arrest records often find it hard to obtain jobs, housing, or financial aid for college.
Qualifying for an Expunction
Under Texas law, your case MAY qualify for an expunction if any of the following apply:
- You were arrested but the prosecuting attorney NEVER FILED a charge or the charge was “no billed” by a grand jury,
- You have a criminal charge that was DISMISSED,
- You successfully completed a DIVERSION PROGRAM, such as Pretrial Diversion, Drug Court, etc.,
- You were ACQUITTED on your charge by a judge or jury (usually by a finding of “Not Guilty”), or Texas appellate court.
- You were convicted of a crime but later PARDONED by the Governor of Texas or the President of the United States.
If any of the above apply, your case MIGHT qualify for an expunction.
If you have a felony case that may qualify based on one of the categories listed above should seek a consultation with a Blizzard and Zimmerman attorney.
Be aware that there are some court fees involved with the expunction process.
There is a fee you need to pay to file a Petition for Expunction of Criminal Records and additional fees for notifying agencies.
The fees vary by county across the state.
Not Qualifying for an Expunction
According to Texas law, your case does NOT qualify for an expunction if any of the following apply:
- Your case is STILL PENDING in the courts;
- You were CONVICTED in the case you want to be expunged, even if you just paid a fine (convictions on other cases from the same arrest do not prevent “misdemeanor” expunctions, and “unlawfully carrying a weapon” convictions are exceptions to this rule).
- You were placed on PROBATION, COMMUNITY SUPERVISION, or DEFERRED ADJUDICATION for any felony or Class A or B misdemeanor you want to be expunged, even if your case was later dismissed (Class C deferred adjudication is the only exception. Deferred Prosecution qualifies for an expunction too, IF the conditions have been successfully completed).
Not everyone can get an expunction. In some cases, you may be able to seal your record even if you cannot expunge it, that’s by using what’s called an “Order of Nondisclosure” and here is more information on the order.
If you’re interested in an expungement or Order of Nondisclosure, contact Blizzard and Zimmerman Attorneys to set up a confidential consultation with one of our criminal defense attorneys to review your record and get beyond a mistake you made in the past.