What is a Petition for Expunction? Expunctions are a complete destruction of all criminal records. Expunctions are the best thing possible for your criminal record.
Why do I Need an Expunction?
When someone pulls a background check on you they can see every arrest that you have had. Even if you were found Not Guilty, or your case was dismissed, or it was only a misunderstanding, it doesn’t matter, the information is still public record.
Imagine applying for a corporate job and a Prostitution charge pops up, or applying for a driver position and a DWI pops up. Do you think the job is going to care that it was dismissed? No. Whether they mean to or not, they are going to look at you a little differently, it is basic human nature.
Dismissals, and cases where you were innocent should not be held against you, but that is the world we live in. Strangers are not going to give you a second chance if they see something on your record. It is your job to protect yourself!
Luckily it is possible to wipe your record clean through an expunction and make sure unjust arrests do not follow you through life.
You are Eligible for an Expunction if:
- Your case was dismissed outright
- Your case was dismissed through a pre-trial intervention (contract stipulations apply)
- You went to trial and were found Not Guilty
- Another Person was arrested under your name
- You win an appeal in the appellate courts
- Your case was no billed by the grand jury
- You were arrested, but never actually charged
- You were convicted, but your case was pardoned
- Class C cases that ended with a successful deferred adjudication
Once you get through the process of destroying the record the benefits are wonderful. It wipes your criminal arrest record and allows you to deny you were ever arrested in the first place, giving you an upper hand when applying for new jobs, apartment leases, schools, etc.
What is the Process for an Expunction?
Once you hire me I will sit down with you and get all of your basic information. We will have to get some private information such as social security number, drivers license number, birthdate, etc in order to properly fill out the petition for expunction. Once I prepare all the forms I will submit them to the court.
What happens next depends on the county. Most of the time, once the court accepts the petition, a court date will be set and hearing will be held on the matter.
In Harris county, if the district attorney’s office agrees to the petition, once the hearing date is set, I will waive that hearing. We will convert the petition to an “Agreed Petition” and we will never need to go to court.
The expunction can take a few months, as all of the agencies who have your record will have to be contacted, and they will need to sign off on the expunction. Once all signatures are obtained, it will be re-filed with the court where the judge will sign off on the executed expunction.
It is complicated, but luckily I have a ton of experience in the area, and can navigate the waters for you.
Can I Deny the Charge After the Case is Expunged?
Yes! Once the expunction is final, you can deny that you have ever been arrested. One exception is in immigration proceedings, many immigration applications ask you to disclose expunged cases. In these situations, you would have to disclose the charge, however Immigration would not hold that against you as the case was dismissed.