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Secrets of the Texas Criminal Justice System and Your Rights
Texas allows expunction – or expungement, as it is also sometimes called – of criminal records under certain circumstances. If you or a loved one have dealt with an arrest for a criminal offense and are seeking to clear your name, an Amarillo expungement lawyer can help you protect your reputation. For those who are concerned about background checks, whether, for professional or personal reasons, it is important to make sure any old, dismissed charges are no longer appearing when a person’s background is searched. Speak to a skilled criminal attorney as soon as you can regarding your criminal history.
Texas Expunction Eligibility
Not all cases are eligible to be expunged from a person’s record. Unfortunately for those with prior convictions, most expungements only deal with charges or arrests that never resulted in guilty convictions. In other words, only cases that were dismissed, dropped, or acquitted are likely to receive expunction under Texas law.
One occasional exception allowed is for juveniles convicted of low-level misdemeanors that qualify for possible expunction. An Amarillo expungement lawyer who handles expungement cases can determine whether a particular record might be eligible for removal from a person’s official record.
Pardons and Expunction in Amarillo
Texas also allows expunction for adult convictions under one condition – that a pardon is received. If a person convicted of a crime that has been pardoned – for whatever reason – they then become eligible to have the conviction record expunged.
Common Types of Expunctions
While Texas law does not allow for expunctions post-conviction, except in the case of a pardon, there are a number of other non-conviction records that may be eligible for an expungement or expunction, including but not limited to cases in which a person:
- Was arrested but not charged
- Was charged but not convicted
- Had their charges dropped or dismissed
- Was found not-guilty or acquitted
- Was convicted of certain juvenile misdemeanors
Certain types of especially egregious cases like sexual abuse, child molestation, habitual DUI offenses, and others are not eligible for expunction. An experienced Amarillo attorney can examine the circumstances surrounding a case and determine whether it meets the eligibility requirements for pursuing expunction. Because these types of pursuits can be complex, only an Amarillo expungement lawyer can advise a person looking to have their Texas records cleared.
Expunction Time Limits
For felony arrest and non-conviction records, defendants must wait at least five years before seeking to have the records removed. For both misdemeanor and felony arrests, persons must also wait out the so-called statute of limitations for which prosecutors have to bring a case against them.
Non-Disclosure vs. Expunction
Even when a person’s conviction is not eligible for expunction, they may still be able to receive non-disclosure or have records sealed from public view. While a nondisclosure is different from having a criminal record of conviction removed altogether, it can still serve as a benefit for persons looking to move forward in their lives without such a damaging mark against them.
No matter what type of charges or arrest you are seeking to have cleared from your record, an experienced Amarillo expungement lawyer can work to clear your name from certain old or dismissed charges and ensure you are not being held back in either a personal or professional capacity.