From your very first encounter with law enforcement—whether it is getting word that there is a warrant out for your arrest or actually being arrested, speak with an established expunction lawyer as soon as possible. The sooner you seek legal counsel, the better off you will be.
Before formulating a defense strategy for expunction in Texas, do not talk to the police or anyone else about the details of your case. It is recommended that you not speak to anyone on the phone about your case, even your attorney. Anything you say can and will be used against you and all calls from jail, even those to your attorney, are recorded.
Mistakes to Avoid
If you want to keep an incident off your record, be careful not to accidentally waive your right to expunction. This can and does happen before someone has a chance to begin formulating a defense strategy for expunction in Texas. It is easy to fall into a trap if you do not review the fine print of any plea agreements or settlements carefully with your lawyer.
Here are some traps to watch out for:
- Plea agreements that settle for a lesser conviction. A conviction is a conviction, and that means you cannot get your records expunged. A conviction without deferred adjudication is also ineligible for non-disclosure.
- By agreeing to a lesser charge, you commit yourself to a criminal record that cannot be sealed off.Waiving your right to expunction. Some plea agreements include waiving your right to expunction.
- Thoroughly understanding every bit of your plea agreement before you sign it. These are binding and you will be held to the consequences.
If a lawyer has already been able to negotiate avoiding a conviction, do not settle for a tarnished record until you have carefully weighed all your options with your lawyer. There may be other options that will not disqualify you from expunction.
It is important to never agree to anything without first consulting a skilled criminal defense attorney who will fight for expunction or non-disclosure for you at every opportunity.
Contact an Expunction Lawyer
When formulating a defense strategy for expunction in Texas, take an honest look at your current health, finances, career, and family. If you know you cannot afford to have an arrest on your record, lawyers may automatically take a more aggressive approach to your case.
If walking away from this whole experience without a conviction so your record can then be expunged is your goal, it is important to communicate that with your attorney. They can help you begin taking actions that could disqualify you from expunction.
If the crime you are charged with falls outside the scope of what qualifies for non-disclosure, legal counsel may try to get charges reduced, changed, or dropped.
If you have prior convictions that disqualify you from non-disclosure and expunction in the first place, you must tell us this so an attorney can amend your expectations while still working toward getting you as close to your desired outcome as possible.