Most people understand that a criminal conviction will remain on their record. However, even an arrest that does not result in a conviction will also appear on a criminal record. This could affect many portions of your life, from job applications, to rental agreements, to your eligibility for government benefits.
While Texas offers no way for a person to clean a criminal conviction off their record, the process known as expunction may remove any arrest that does not result in a conviction. This applies regardless of how or why the court disposed of the case.
A Frisco expunction lawyer may be able to help you get a fresh start. If retained, your dedicated criminal defense attorney could work to explain the expunction process, gather the necessary information to make the request, and file the required paperwork with the courts and District Attorney’s office.
Eligibility for Expunction in Frisco
Many jobs require an applicant to submit to a background check, and a mark indicating an arrest that did not result in a conviction will appear on these checks. Employers may refuse to hire an applicant based upon these marks. Negative marks can also affect a person’s ability to rent a home or work with children.
The legal basis for criminal record expunction is contained in Texas Code of Criminal Procedure §55.01. This statute outlines who qualifies for expunction and for how long they must wait to request this procedure.
In short, any arrest that does not result in a conviction is eligible for expunction. If the case ended with acquittal following a trial, a defendant may immediately request expunction. Most other dismissals require waiting period as follows:
- 180 days from the date of arrest for Class C misdemeanors
- One year for all other misdemeanors
- Three years for all felonies
Tex. Code of Crim. Proc. §55.02 provides the procedure for expunction. The process begins with the applicant sending a request to the court that handled the original charge. This request must include:
- The date of the offense
- The date of arrest
- The name of the charge
- The name of the arresting agency
- The case number and court hearing the charges
The court would hold a hearing concerning the request no more than 30 days from receipt of the application. Both law enforcement and the District Attorney would have the opportunity to object during this hearing. An expunction lawyer in Frisco could help file these requests and represent their interests during these hearings.
A Frisco Expunction Attorney Could Help Provide a Brighter Future
Many people do not realize that a mere arrest for an alleged criminal act will appear on a background check. They also do not realize that most arrests which do not result in a conviction are eligible for expunction. However, courts will not expunge your record independently—you must petition a court for expunction and would only be successful if your case qualifies.
For some people, they may be eligible as soon as their case ends. For others, they must wait a set period of time before requesting expunction. Either way, a Frisco expunction lawyer could work with you to determine if you qualify and help you take the necessary steps to provide a brighter future. Call today to schedule an initial consultation.