Can Criminal Charges Be Expunged From My Record?

Daren Brown
By Daren Brown | March 21, 2019
Can Criminal Charges Be Expunged From My Record
If you have been charged with a crime, such as a DWI/DUI, you may wish to expunge your offense from your record. “Expunging” criminal charges refers to removing them from your record. Expunged criminal charges do not show up on your public police record. 

What Criminal Charges Are On My Record?

Normally, all criminal charges brought against you appear on your police record. This includes those charges for which you were charged, convicted, received and completed deferred adjudication probation or for which you were placed on probation.

Can My Entire Criminal Record Be Expunged?

Only criminal charges for which you were not convicted can be expunged. This includes charges that a grand jury decided not to pursue, were dismissed, for which you were later acquitted or for which you were subsequently pardoned. 

Pleading no-contest and being placed on probation are considered criminal convictions. For example, if you were arrested and charged with a DUI, but never convicted, you may be able to remove the arrest and charge from your record, but if you pled guilty and were placed on probation, you cannot expunge the conviction.

Some charges can be expunged if they are of a certain type, such as a Class C misdemeanor. You might also have the option to seal your record for these cases. 

Sealing is different than expunction in that it involves your record from being accessed by the general public but that the charges remain on your record for government access (in other words, the police can still see your history if you are ever in trouble again). Sealing records or requesting nondisclosure of records is sometimes possible when you successfully complete deferred probation. DWI/DUI cases in Texas are not eligible for deferred probation, only straight probation.

How Can I Get Criminal Charges Expunged?

If you were acquitted of the charges brought against you after a trial, the prosecutor must draft, obtain the court’s signature on, and submit an order of expunction to the Texas Department of Public Safety.  However, it is a good idea to make sure this gets done properly in your case.

In other situations, you must petition the court to have those charges eligible for expunction removed from your record. This petition is normally referred to as a “Petition for Expunction” and must be filed with the court in the county in which the charges were filed against you. Among other things, the petition must include your full contact information, the date and type of offense you were arrested for, and the names of all public safety agencies with an interest in your petition; for example, the police department that arrested you and the district attorney’s office in the county where you were arrested.

How Long Will the Expunction Take?

A court must wait at least 30 days before reviewing a petition for expunction to allow all interested parties time to respond. In most Texas counties, a judge reviews expunction petitions within 40-60 days after its filing. If granted, it may take a few weeks for the state’s Department of Public Safety to officially remove the charges from your record. 

Because of the technical nature and standards of proof required for charges to be expunged, it is advisable to hire an attorney to represent you in these proceedings. If you would like to have criminal charges expunged from your record, contact the criminal attorneys at Stockard, Johnston, Brown & Netardus, P.C., in Amarillo, Texas. Criminal lawyer Jarrett Johnston is passionate and aggressive. Whether you were wrongly accused, or your charges have been dismissed or exonerated, Stockard, Johnston, Brown & Netardus, P.C. will work hard to clear your record.
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Topics: Criminal, Law