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Secrets of the Texas Criminal Justice System and Your Rights
When your records are expunged, they are destroyed. That means no one will see or hear of them again under penalty of Class B misdemeanor. Expunction is a permanent procedure—it cannot be undone—which is why so many agencies must be notified when you file your petition. Any of these agencies have the right to oppose the expunction. These are agencies that either have your records on file or can request access to them. Speak with a distinguished criminal attorney about how to avoid opposing Texas expunction should you later want to remove evidence of criminal offenses.
Impact of a Criminal Record on Active Investigations
If a police department believes that someone’s records can still be helpful in a criminal investigation, they have the right to oppose expunction of those records. If someone’s information is not deemed useful, their records will be considered useless to their investigation.
When someone files an expunction petition, a hearing date will be set in no fewer than 30 days from the date filed. At the same time, all agencies listed must be served notice of the hearing at least 30 days prior to the hearing date. They can either file a denial or appear at the hearing if they wish to oppose the expunction.
If this happens, the individual and their lawyer must present new evidence to strengthen their claim to support the expunction in the face of opposition. For this reason, when someone goes about arranging their petition, they need to prepare for the possibility of opposition.
What is the Appealing Process?
If expunction is granted, any agency listed in someone’s petition has six months to appeal the expunction order only if they were not notified of the petition in time or another clerical error prevented them from exercising their right to oppose.
If one agency is able to successfully appeal an expunction request, the entire request is overturned and all agencies listed can retain or continue to access that person’s records. The ruling applies across the board. As such, if an expunction is approved, all agencies across the board must comply.
Another reason opposing Texas expunction could be if they agreed to waive the right to expunction in pretrial negotiations. This is why it is important to be extra careful when making plea deals and go over every last word in the agreement with a lawyer.
Impact of Waiving the Right to Expunction
If opposing Texas expunction or waiving the right to do so is a condition for your charges being dropped, work with an attorney to remedy the situation. Never sign anything without first carefully reviewing the document and your options in depth with your lawyer.
From the very beginning of the case, make the decision whether or not expunction is a priority for you. If expunction and a clean record is the ultimate goal it is important to know, never to sign away the ability to do so.
A criminal record is only eligible for expunction if the individual walks away without a conviction, without probation, and without having signed away their right to expunction. Stick to those three main criteria and a fresh start will likely be in your future.