The act of having a criminal record expunged or completely erased from your personal record can be made much easier when you have an experienced Midland expunction lawyer on your side. A knowledgeable defense attorney can help you understand and fill out the many forms associated with getting a record expunged, while they let you know what the steps for expunction are.
Gathering Records for Expunction
Before filing an application for expunction with the court, individuals need to collect some data and records. People will need:
- A copy of their criminal record, which can be obtained from the Texas Department of Public Safety.
- If a person does not already have a fingerprint card on file, they can obtain one from the L-1 Enrollment Services. Expunction paperwork requires at least two copies.
If someone has trouble obtaining either of these items, it is even more important to retain the services of a Midland expunction attorney that knows how the system works and how to get clients the things they need.
The next step in the expunction process is to apply to the courts to actually have the record expunged. This needs to be done at the district court that originally filed the arrest. There, the court clerk will provide applicants with a Petition for Expunction form, as well as an Order for Expunction. At this time, the clerk will also let people know more information about the process, including what the filing fees are, and any court dates that are scheduled.
After an individual has collected the documents they need from the courts and public offices, they will need to notify the Texas District Courts. Doing so will notify the District Attorney that the person is filing a Petition for Expunction. In addition to the District Attorney, the district clerk, the arresting police officer, and the Texas Department of Public Safety also all need to be notified that the person is filing.
Once the necessary paperwork has been filed, and notice has been given, individuals will need to attend a court hearing with their expunction lawyer. At this hearing, a judge will listen to the person’s argument for expunction, as well as any arguments for or against it from those that are also in court, as anyone who is listed in the petition may also attend the hearing.
At the hearing, the judge will determine whether or not they believe the expunction should be granted. If it is, the record will be expunged and the person petitioning for expunction will need to notify everyone listed on the petition that the record has been expunged. An expunction lawyer in Midland can best help guide an individual through the approval process when attempting to achieve an expunction.
Benefits of a Lawyer
The process for applying for an expunction may be relatively straightforward, and some individuals may feel comfortable enough with the wording to fill out all the paperwork on their own. However, the petition will need to be notarized at signing, and dealing with the courts can be quite complicated. While it is not required that people have an attorney help them with the process, it can be incredibly beneficial. Even the smallest mistake can cause a long delay in the process, which means that it will take that much longer to have the record expunged.
If you have a criminal record you want expunged, and you do not want to navigate it alone, it is important to contact an experienced Midland expunction lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer will know the Midland courts, and is extremely familiar with the expunction process in Texas.