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For questions about Texas expungement laws, or to discuss your case confidentially with Houston Expungement Lawyer Charles Johnson, do not hesitate to contact us at the Charles Johnson Law Firm. We offer free expungement consultations via phone anytime day or night to see if you qualify to expunge your criminal record.
A criminal conviction can certainly change your life. Even after you’ve paid your debt to society, your criminal record may make it hard to get your life back. Fortunately, Texas provides a way to set the record straight: expungement.
Houston Record Expungement Defense: Hire the Most Effective Houston Criminal Lawyers
Expungement is a legal process through which a charge or conviction could very well be erased from a person’s criminal record. Below you will discover links to in-depth knowledge on expungement.
- Expungement Basics – Introductory advice on expungement and its legal consequences.
- Eligibility for Expungement – An arrest or conviction usually must meet certain standards in order to be eligible for expungement.
- The Expungement Process – A number of steps must be taken before an expungement is granted.
- Expungement isn’t Always an Option – Expungement isn’t available in all jurisdictions, and may not be an option for certain arrests or convictions.
Expungement (also called “expunction”) is a court-ordered process in which the legal record of a charge or a criminal conviction is “sealed,” or erased in the eyes of the law. When a conviction is expunged, the process may perhaps also be often called “setting aside a criminal conviction.” The availability of expungement, and the procedure for getting an arrest or conviction expunged, will vary according to the state or county in that the arrest or conviction transpired.
Legal Effect of an Expungement
An expungement ordinarily means that an arrest or conviction is “sealed,” or erased from a person’s criminal record for most purposes. After the expungement process is complete, a charge or a criminal conviction ordinarily doesn’t necessarily need to be disclosed by the individual who has been arrested or found guilty. For instance, when completing an application for a job or apartment, an applicant whose charge or conviction has been expunged doesn’t need to disclose that arrest or conviction.
In the majority of cases, no record of an expunged charge or conviction will appear in cases where a potential employer, educational institution, or other company conducts a public records inspection or background search of an individual’s criminal history.
An expunged arrest or conviction isn’t really necessarily completely erased, in the literal sense of the word. An expungement will ordinarily be an accessible part of a person’s criminal history, viewable by certain government agencies, such as police officers and the criminal courts. This limited accessibility is in some cases known as a criminal record being “under seal.” In many legal proceedings, that include during sentencing for any type of crimes committed after an expungement, or in immigration / deportation proceedings, an expunged conviction that is “under seal” may possibly still be considered as proof of a past conviction.
When expungement of an arrest or conviction is an option in a state or county, more often than not a person’s criminal record should meet certain standards in order to qualify for the process.
Whether or not an individual is eligible for expungement will commonly depend on a number of factors, including:
- The amount of time which has passed since the arrest or conviction
- The severity and nature of the event for that expungement is sought (i.e. a conviction for a sex criminal offense could possibly lead to a denial of expungement)
- Events within the applicant’s criminal record (such as arrests or convictions in virtually all jurisdictions, not only the offender’s state/county)
- The severity and nature of various other events within the applicant’s criminal record
Special eligibility rules might exist for expungement of arrests or convictions that transpired when the offender was a juvenile, and arrests or convictions for sex offenses. Please contact the Finest Criminal Lawyer in Houston TX to talk about your readily available options.
The Expungement Process
Where available to persons who have been arrested or found guilty, expungement does not happen automatically, and is never guaranteed. A person looking to have an arrest or criminal conviction expunged from their record has to in most cases fill out an application or request, and submit the paperwork to the appropriate criminal court for a judge’s review and ruling. In most jurisdictions, a fee must be paid in conjunction with the filing of the application.
The expungement process might be complex. By way of example, a few jurisdictions require an applicant to deliver (or “serve”) papers on district attorneys, while others require the applicant to put together the legal document (or “Order of Expungement”) which will probably be signed by the judge. In certain cases, a court hearing is required, after which a judge will decide whether to grant the expungement.
The Best Houston Criminal Lawyers at the Charles Johnson Law Firm can certainly advise you regarding this challenging process.
Expungement is not Always an Option
It is very important to understand that expungement of an arrest and/or a criminal conviction is not really an option in virtually all states and counties (named “jurisdictions”). Depending on the jurisdiction in that the arrest or conviction transpired:
- Expungement may not be available at all
- Expungement may be an option for arrests, but not for convictions
- Expungement may be an option only for certain criminal convictions
- Expungement may be an option only for arrests and/or convictions that occurred while the offender was a juvenile
- Expungement may be available only after a person is acquitted (cleared) of an offense (i.e. charges are dismissed)
- Expungement may be possible only when a criminal conviction is reversed (i.e. after a successful appeal of the conviction).
Hire The Most Respected Houston Criminal Lawyers! The Charles Johnson Law Firm
In Texas, criminal record expunction or an action to seal your criminal record may help you move on with your life. There are many benefits which flow from misdemeanor or felony expunction or record sealing, including no longer needing to list a prior conviction on a job application or worrying about the possible consequences of an employer’s discovery of your criminal record. The Charles Johnson Law Firm will do everything possible to clear a client’s record. If you are interested, contact the Best Houston Expungement Attorney today.
Need Help Acquiring an Expungement? Hire the Best Houston Criminal Lawyers
by Charles Johnson
News Stories Related to Expungement in Houston, TX:
Expunged records still accessible in Virginia database
The Virginia Supreme Court's Office of the Executive Secretary recently admitted that it still possesses copies of expunged records that were overlooked during the initial expungement process. Assistant executive secretary Edward Macon says he doesn't know ...
fiercecontentmanagement.com - May 27 2015
Was it ethical for a judge to expunge Josh Duggar’s police record?
Judge Zimmerman has not responded to any requests for comment, but the document approving the expungement request said she agreed to expunge Duggar’s record because the 2006 police report “contains information, which may directly or indirectly identify ...
Starcasm - May 25 2015
Acting Governor Vetoes Misdemeanor Expungement
Lt. Gov. Osbert Potter, acting as governor in Gov. Kenneth Mapp's absence, vetoed legislation to make it much easier in the U.S. Virgin Islands to have misdemeanors and records of charges that never led to convictions expunged from one's record. Potter ...
stcroixsource.com - May 21 2015
Second Chance Clinic gives Bibb offenders new options
Each month, the clinic can accept 25 clients referred from those agencies. With expungement law changing continually, Deadwyler-Heuman says working with the clinic also helps attorneys stay abreast of ways to help their clients. “If they’re a defense ...
The Telegraph - May 25 2015
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Virtually all drug charge convictions bear severe consequences, but the state of Texas makes every effort to crack down on drug manufacture cases. From meth laboratories to marijuana grow houses, in the event you or a loved one faces criminal charges surrounding the cultivation of drugs; you need to speak to the Finest Houston Attorney at the Charles Johnson Law Firm prior to taking any sort of legal action on your own.
The Top Houston Drug Crimes Attorney Charles Johnson will have many years of experience protecting the accused within the courts throughout Texas and is going to be willing to respond to your questions and reduce the damages facing you following your drug manufacture arrest.
When you initially step into their office, the Top Houston Drug Crimes Attorney at the Charles Johnson Law Firm will talk about your case, talk about what happened, and how the criminal charges you face might be affected by a prior criminal record. Listening to your side of the story, they’ll help you explore any and all potential defenses.
Understanding your side of the story is important. They will tell you about the court in which your charges are being heard. In all instances, they will want to hear your side of the story before beginning to fully evaluate your choices.
Hire The Recommended Houston Drug Crimes Attorney at the Charles Johnson Law Firm
Texas defense attorneys see many drug distribution cases due to the sheer volume of interstate highway traffic. Sadly, it’s all-too-easy to move drugs along the interstate highway system in all directions. In particular within the Houston area, our law enforcement officers have noticed patterns when searching for drug traffickers. It is common for vehicles to be stopped along northbound interstates and for big amounts of drugs to be found. When suspect automobiles are stopped heading southbound, big amounts of currency are occasionally found. Whether the criminal arrest will be sale, distribution, or drug trafficking depends upon the kind and also the amount of drugs in question. However the difference you face in penalties is substantial.
A first degree felony drug conviction usually results in a minimum five-year prison term, but in large-scale drug manufacturing or drug distribution cases, jail terms can jump to a minimum of 15 years.
If excessively big sums of U.S. currency are found inside your vehicle (or perhaps a vehicle you are riding in), you may face charges of money laundering. Amazingly, the penalties at the federal level for possessing big amounts of money are similarly severe to those for possessing big amounts of drugs.
You might also discover yourself dealing with conspiracy charges, something federal prosecutors might add on to drug crime cases.
The Recommended Houston Criminal Defense Attorney Charles Johnson will have handled numerous state and federal drug cases in Texas courts, from drug manufacturing cases involving meth laboratories and marijuana grow houses to international drug trafficking. No case is too big or complicated for their firm to handle.
Seizure of Assets
Law enforcement officers doing drug interdiction work have the legal right to seize assets that had been utilized in furtherance of a criminal offense or purchased using the proceeds of criminal activity. This indicates they not only confiscate drugs; they also seize money, cars, boats, various other personal property and even real estate. The police or law enforcement agency is able to then sell the assets and keep the proceeds or just keep the property altogether for their own purposes. This is especially typical with vehicles.
Asset forfeiture sometimes goes too far, with the police taking property that doesn’t belong to anybody charged with the criminal offense, property and assets that in fact belongs to totally innocent family members or third parties. The Most Dedicated Houston Drug Crimes Attorney at the Charles Johnson Law Firm handles asset forfeiture cases, helping customers fight to recover seized assets .
Creating Your Drug Manufacture Defense
Most drug manufacturing criminal charges, whether they involve marijuana or methamphetamines, are heard in state court. Quite often, marijuana grow houses and meth houses are discovered following informants report activities to the authorities.
If you have been turned in by a third party, the Best Houston Drug Crimes Attorney at the Charles Johnson Law Firm will attack the reliability of the source. Nevertheless, in every case the quality of the evidence is different. That is why we analyze possible actions on a case-by-case basis.
Contact the Recommended Houston Drug Crimes Attorney Charles Johnson for a free consultation. They’ll fight hard to protect your rights throughout the legal process.
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Hire the Finest Houston Drug Crimes Attorney!
Drug possession is a severe criminal charge in Texas carrying a wide range of punitive measures from probation to lengthy prison sentences, depending on the quantity of the drug. A conviction on drug possession charges could have serious implications for you mainly because of the likelihood that you might have to go to jail and pay stiff fines reaching into the thousands of dollars, in addition to the probability the authorities may perhaps seize your vehicle or other assets.
Drug possession charges will follow you with a criminal record which can also keep you from certain jobs and professional licenses. If you are charged under the possession law, it means the state has arrested you for transporting or having access to a controlled substance including marijuana, cocaine, or Ecstasy.
A drug possession conviction may possibly bring about a six month driver’s license suspension under Texas statutes, so it makes sense to contact an criminal defense attorney for more information on alternatives to pleading guilty should you require the ability to drive. Law enforcement will be able to charge you with drug possession should they find drugs in your pockets or anywhere else on your body, or they can certainly charge you under a claim of “constructive possession“. This means the drugs had been in a place that you normally control or could very easily reach, that could be your car, your apartment, or the cushions of a couch where you had been sitting when police officers entered.
Speak to a Houston, Texas law firm to schedule a free of charge preliminary consultation with a qualified, aggressive Drug Possession Defense lawyer.
Aggressive Drug Possession Defense
The Most Effective Houston Criminal Lawyer will have a great deal of working experience providing vigorous defense for adults and juveniles confronting defense criminal charges for possession of illegal substances, that include:
- Crack cocaine
- Methamphetamines (meth
- Other illegal drugs
The penalties for a drug conviction can range from fines of $2,000 and 180 days in jail to fines of $50,000 and an entire lifetime in prison. The level of misdemeanor or felony charge is based upon the amount of drugs confiscated. By way of example, possession of five ounces of marijuana would lead to state felony charges with a sentence potential of up to $10,000 and a couple of years in prison.
A drug possession conviction might lead to criminal penalties, including fines and incarceration, and other penalties, such as license suspension, damage to reputation and loss of ability to acquire student loan financing. The Most Qualified Houston Criminal Lawyer will make every effort to minimize or altogether avoid such drastic repercussions through providing zealous defense counsel.
Drug Possession Sentencing
Judges will typically attempt to determine if the drugs had been for personal use or drug possession for sale and distribution when sentencing. Quite often the fines are quite major and quite often the sentence will include at least random drug testing and probation if not some jail time. Drug awareness classes and community service hours are quite often the initial option for the majority of judges, once it has been confirmed that the drugs had been for personal use.
Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer Charles Johnson can help prove this, or simply prove that the drugs were definitely not yours in situations where they were recovered from an automobile or residence.
Protect Your Rights
You have a right to remain silent and the right to a lawyer – USE THEM. The Recommended Houston Drug Crimes Attorney investigates the methods in which the evidence was acquired in order to uncover violations of your constitutional rights.
Elicited confessions and the seized drugs are quite often the only evidence creating a case against you. This will certainly provide leverage in plea negotiations and even lead to dismissal of drug criminal charges. Any evidence that is obtained in violation of your legal rights is inadmissible in court – which means the evidence can’t be utilized in a case against you. Any time a confession was obtained unlawfully or unlawful drugs had been confiscated with an invalid search warrant (illegal search and seizure), your attorney should fight to suppress the evidence. As a highly skilled drug possession criminal defense lawyer, Charles Johnson understands how to mitigate damaging evidence.
Will I have to go to Jail on my Drug Possession Criminal Charge?
State possession law allows counties to set up diversion programs for men and women charged with offenses concerning the use or possession of drugs, including marijuana. And, judges are required to give probation, or community supervision, in certain drug possession court cases.
The state health code also requires any county with a population of more than 200,000 to establish a drug court program to send some drug offenders to treatment as opposed to jail.
The punishment primarily depends on the quantity of drugs involved and your prior conviction history, but it is very conceivable you could possibly not have to serve time for a drug possession conviction if it’s your initial offense for a relatively small amount./p>
The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure makes community supervision and mandatory drug treatment programs a sentencing requirement for folks convicted of possessing:
- Less than 1 gram of drugs such as crack or meth.
- Less than 5 units of drugs that include LSD.
- Less than 1 gram of drugs including Ecstasy (MMDA) or PCP.
- Less than one pound of marijuana.
Nevertheless, the judge doesn’t have to sentence you to probation if you have been found guilty of a previous felony, or in the event you have violated an earlier probation sentence. In those cases, it is up to the judge whether or not you go to jail or get probation.
If your attorney can show the officers did not have probable cause, your consent, or a search warrant, your attorney may possibly be able to challenge the legality of the search that turned up those drugs and get the evidence suppressed, keeping the state from making its case against you.
To do that, the prosecutor must show that law enforcement officials found the drugs on you or in your control following a legal search. The judge also can sentence you to serve three to six months in jail before starting probation. Bear in mind, the state must first prove the criminal charge of drug possession before you may be sentenced. I highly recommend you get in touch with your lawyer for a free of charge consultation on your Texas drug possession charge, and your lawyer will walk you through the basic facts of your case, and your ideal legal defense solutions. As you can see, drug possession court cases get complicated very quickly.
Hire The Very Best Houston Drug Possession Defense Attorney: The Charles Johnson Law Firm
If you are confronting misdemeanor or felony drug possession charges following a drug charge in Texas, defend your liberties and future. Contact the Best Houston drug crime defense lawyer to schedule a free preliminary consultation. Many times the first arrest on Drug Possession criminal charges can be dropped down to a disorderly conduct, resulting in less significant penalties that usually do not include incarceration. Additionally, the Best Houston Drug Crimes Attorney could possibly even be able to have the criminal charges dropped in situation where you had been merely within the vicinity where the drugs had been located.
Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer Charles Johnson will definitely negotiate these types of arrangements to avoid you from having a drug related charge on your record.
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