If you have been arrested in the past, you may experience lasting anxiety over your criminal record. Whether or not you were convicted of the charges leveled against you, your arrest record is permanent and may appear on background checks throughout your life.
However, in the state of Texas, there are opportunities for expungement, which might be able to effectively wipe your record clean of arrests and misdemeanors. This provision is important for those who don’t want their past to affect how they can set themselves up in the future.
What is expungement?
Expungement is a process whereby an arrest or conviction is sealed away and made unviewable except by specific governmental agencies. Getting information expunged from your record will prevent background checks from ever being able it. This gives you the option to say that you were not arrested or convicted of crime.
Am I eligible to have my record expunged?
Before we discuss the process of expungement, we must determine whether you are eligible for or not.
In the state of Texas, those who were arrested for a felony might be able to get the arrest expunged if:
- The case was dismissed and the statute of limitations has passed
- They were never formally charged after your arrest and have waited three years
- They were acquitted.
Those with misdemeanors may also get their arrests and convictions expunged from their records after the specified wait periods. For Class A and B misdemeanors, you can file for expungement one year after your arrest; for a Class C misdemeanor, the waiting period is 180 days.
How do I get my arrests expunged?
Getting an arrest or conviction off your record takes filing for expungement, and then attending court for a hearing. The information here is generalized and may not be applicable in your specific situation. A criminal defense lawyer practicing in Texas is the best resource to answer any questions you may have about the process, help you file your motion and prepare for your hearing.