Having a criminal conviction on your record can create all sorts of problems in your life. It can affect your job prospects, your ability to get a loan, and even your chances of getting into certain schools or colleges.
The good news is that there are ways that you can have your criminal record expunged. This means that it’s erased, and the public won’t be able to see it. Call a Fort Worth expunction lawyer for help removing prior convictions from public view. The lawyers at Hoeller McLaughlin PLLC are here to help you get your life back on track.
What is an Expunction?
An expunction, or expungement, is a court order that seals your criminal record, preventing it from being disclosed to anyone. It will also allow you to legally deny any prior arrests or convictions. An expunction lawyer can guide you through the process of having your record expunged.
If your record has been expunged, it can no longer be used against you in a court of law. A criminal record that’s been expunged will not appear on background checks and can no longer be used against you in sentencing in a future criminal case.
Under Texas law, whether you were arrested for a misdemeanor or a felony, your criminal record may meet the requirements for expunction if:
- The judge ruled in your favor and you were acquitted
- You were wrongfully convicted
- You received a presidential pardon or pardon from the governor
- Your case was dismissed
- The statute of limitations, or deadline, expired
- You weren’t formally charged after arrest and the waiting period is over
What Criminal Records Can Be Expunged?
Convictions usually stay in your file for several years after you’ve been arrested or convicted of a crime, depending on the seriousness of the offense. Your lawyer can help you expunge your criminal record in Texas with the following guidelines:
- Misdemeanor – Your record can be sealed immediately after the completion of deferred adjudication probation. Your lawyer can help you act quickly, so you don’t have to worry about suffering the penalties of these charges.
- Felony – You’ll have to wait five years for your lawyer to expunge a felony record. After the five-year waiting period, you have an opportunity to act.
- Aggravated Offenses – These types of cases may never be expunged. If you’ve been charged with one of these offenses, reach out for a lawyer’s help in reducing the penalties.
Some very serious charges can’t ever be sealed. These include murder, assault, some sex crimes, and kidnapping, among others. Your lawyer can help you determine whether you’re eligible.
Texas’ Expunction Process
The process for getting your criminal record expunged in Texas isn’t easy. It requires a lawyer and can take months to finish, but if your expungement is successful, the offenses on your record may be permanently gone. If you’re not sure whether you qualify or what steps to take, contact our Fort Worth expunction lawyers, who have extensive experience.
The first step your lawyer will take is filing a petition for expunction with the court. This petition must include:
- A certified copy of your arrest warrant or citation
- A certified copy of the judgment of conviction or plea agreement
- A sworn statement from the defendant stating that he has no other pending charges against you
- A sworn statement from the prosecutor stating that there are no other pending charges against you
The petition also has to include proof of payment of all the fees required by law or court order, such as filing fees. Your lawyer will be able to help determine whether these fees apply to you and how much they’re likely to cost.
You may also need to provide proof that you have completed any probation or other requirements imposed by the court after your conviction. If you have been convicted multiple times, then you will be required to wait until all of your sentences have been served before filing for an expunction.
Finally, a hearing will be scheduled within thirty days from when you filed your petition with the court clerk’s office. The judge will then review all of the documents provided by both sides before making a decision as to whether or not to grant an expunction. If granted, then all of your criminal records are expunged.
We’ll Help You Start The Expunction Process
The option to get rid of your criminal records means you have a chance to move forward with your life without worrying about the past coming back to haunt you. You have the chance to apply for jobs, housing, and other opportunities without worry or fear.
A Fort Worth expunction lawyer can help you get the process in motion and change your life. Give the attorneys at Hoeller McLaughlin PLLC a call at 817-334-7900 or complete our online form so we can get in touch with you.