Making a mistake in life shouldn’t follow you forever. Having an arrest and charge for a crime on your record can haunt you. Causing more problems as you try to move past the mistake. Even without a conviction, a criminal charge can affect your job options, insurance rates, your credit, and the reputation you have. This can happen to anyone, from being in the wrong place at the wrong time – to just making a mistake when you’re young. Things happen in life, and we can’t always control it, but we can learn from these mistakes. Luckily, there are ways to fix this situation in most cases by looking into an expunction.
What Is An Expunction?
An expunction will legally clear a criminal charge off of your permanent record completely. This will remove this information from state agencies and private companies in both electronic and physical form, leaving no trace that the charge ever occurred. For this to happen, most often, it requires your case marked as dismissed or found as not guilty. The process can happen as soon as the case ends, or take months or even years later.
Where To Start?
In the state of Texas, to get a criminal charge cleared through an expunction, you can take a few steps to start the process. It’s best to first look into Chapter 55 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, which gives a more in-depth explanation of what can or cannot get expunged. It also goes into detail about the requirements for the charge that you’re trying to expunge. You must first file a Petition for Expunction with your district court so they can send an Order of Expunction. A well-trained attorney can assist you with all the information needed fo this process. Once this has pushed through, the court will set a hearing on the issue. Depending on the offense’s severity, it will get appointed to the municipal, county, or the district court.
Although, not all charges can get cleared with an expunction. An expunction can only occur for Class C Misdemeanors that do not have a conviction. If the case was acquitted, dismissed, or a judge applied for a pardon, then you can successfully have it removed from your record.
You can also look into the Fresh Start app to see if you’re eligible for an expunction or a nondisclosure. There are some requirements to consider before you use the app, such as:
- If you pardoned, acquitted, or released due to innocence,
- If charges had not yet filed, the statute of limitation has not expired
- If you have not been tried and expunction has been recommended
- If your case involves a waiting period or discretionary expunctions
- If you have an error in your criminal history file
- If you have similar past crimes on your record
- If there’s multiple crimes and your waiting for conviction or can still get prosecuted for.
Order of Nondisclosure
An expunction does differentiate from a nondisclosure. A nondisclosure, also known as record sealing, has a similar effect as an expunction. While an expunction will completely and permanently remove the criminal history, a nondisclosure will hide the charges from the public. Still, it can stay visible to a small group of criminal justice, licensing, and government agencies. Taking this route if an expunction cannot happen means you will most likely require probation.
Although a nondisclosure does not completely take away the charge on your record, it has its benefits. This will hide charges from employers, which makes the biggest difference for many looking for an expunction. Although, many crimes can’t get sealed off. Crimes such as murder, kidnapping, any violent sex or family crome, or stalking. In some rare cases, if these happened to a minor, there’s a chance that they can get sealed.
How Long Does For An Expunction To Take Effect?
This will depend on the severity of the charge. For example, a DWI can take up to two-five years, depending on the probation given, and only receive a sealed record, not a full expunction. It can take up to a year for all the files to get destroyed for a full expunction. A sealed record will move much faster since the process doesn’t go as in-depth as an expunction.
Once everything has moved forward, an expunged record can take 60-90 days to take full effect. If you need the process done faster, let your lawyer know and see what they can do to help you.
Come to Aranda For Expunctions
The Aranda Law Firm can help with your expunction. If you have criminal charges, it can have major effects that could even stop you from voting. We understand all the requirements and the process for expunctions. It’s best not to do this alone due to all the information and the vital steps that you must take. If you need your record cleared or sealed, contact us today so we can help in clearing your history!