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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.
by Charles Johnson
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