Expunction is designed to give you a second chance, but it is still the criminal justice system. Meaning, it is not just about what is in your best interest.
Once any record of your investigation and arrest are destroyed, no one has access to them anymore—not the prosecuting attorney, not the police, not the government, not anyone.
That is the end of it. However, there are certain requirements for Texas expunction eligibility that you must be able to meet. If you want to know more about your eligibility, or need help starting the expunction process, consult an experienced expunction lawyer today.
Circumstances That Qualify Someone For Expunction
For that reason, there are four main circumstances that must be met for someone to meet the requirements for Texas expunction eligibility:
- The charge against the person was never filed
- The charge against the person was filed but dismissed
- The District Attorney certifies the records regarding someone’s arrest are not needed for any other criminal investigation
- The individual qualifies for discretionary expunction (such as if their conviction was later overturned), which can be granted based on the discretion of the judge or court
Miscarriage of Justice
All four of the circumstances listed above have to do with miscarriage of justice in some way. Why would charges never be filed, and why would they be dropped?
Often, the reason is because someone was arrested without a warrant and without probable cause. It may have just been a bureaucratic oversight that their charges were never filed, but the person should not have to be kept in a holding pattern with a stain on their record because someone else did not do their job.
If someone found themselves in jail because someone gave their name and identifying information instead of their own, in fairness the consequences should not be their burden to carry and they should see whether they meet the requirements for Texas expunction eligibility.
Why the Prosecution Would Be Against Expunction
At the same time, if records of someone’s arrest and investigation might still prove helpful in a criminal investigation, it is likely that the police and the attorney representing the state will strongly advocate that those records do not get destroyed.
It is not a matter of principle or even a matter of keeping organized the zillions of records that land in archives and depositories. When a person’s case is no longer of use, it does not impact law enforcement if it is no longer in existence.
Value of an Expunction Attorney
Determining whether Texas expunction eligibility applies to you can be difficult to do alone, which is why it is vital to consult a skilled expunction lawyer. An attorney can potentially examine the facts of your case and arrest and help you determine whether there was a miscarriage of justice. If justice was miscarried, the lawyer can attempt to help you file for expunction, and can advocate for you. Work with an experienced legal advocate today, and know that you are in capable hands.