I am often asked by individual s with criminal records whether they can get their case expunged. The reasons are obvious. Having a criminal record can prevent you from many things including getting a job or better job, getting in to school or getting an apartment. In the Internet age that we live in it is fairly easy to get a hold of your criminal record.
An expunction is the process where a person that was wrongfully arrested for a crime can have all traces of the arrest removed from the State’s records.
For example, take a hypothetical situation where a man is charged with Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child. In the hypothetical, it is later discovered that the accusations were made up after the child was coached to lie by her mother who had been left by her husband (the child’s stepfather) for a younger woman. Initially, it appeared as if the man’s life was ruined. But now the case has been dismissed and he seems to have gotten his life back. The man begans to look for work but cannot find a job. He doesn’t understand why he can’t get a job until a potential employer explains to him that he has a sex case on his record. The man is shocked because he believes that he has nothing on his record. The truth is that the case has been dismissed, but the record of being charged with a sex case is still on his record. He must get an expunction to clear his record.
This is a scenario that plays out all the time. People believe their record is clear because their case was dismissed, but they must take an additional step and file for an Expunction to clear their record. The record may read dismissed but the potential employer does not see that, all they see is the charge and don’t hire you.
Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Chapter 55 on Expunctions governs how expunctions are granted. The short answer is if you were acquitted or pardoned or you case was no-billed or dismissed, then you are eligible for an expunction. The process is a bit convoluted and you will need an attorney to file to help you but you can get your record cleared and move on with you life.
If you or someone you know is need of the help of an Houston Attorney for an Expunction, call Texas Board Certified Attorney Mario Madrid at 713-877-9400.