What Is Expunging a Case in Fort Worth?
When a case is expunged, it means that all of the records of the arrest, and the case are erased, deleted, and destroyed. It does not show up on a background check. They can legally say that it never happened. The only qualification to that is that if they are called as a witness in any type of a court proceeding under oath, and if they are asked about something that was the subject of an expunction. They are supposed to turn to the judge and say, “There was a matter that was subject to expunction”, and that is supposed to end the discussion. Nevertheless, in theory, it does not show up on background checks. In practice, they are legally allowed to say that it never happened; it gets them to where they were before the arrest and accusation, possibly restoring their good name, and reputation.
There are a couple of limitations that need to be mentioned in this modern age with the internet, and that is, there are all kinds of record depositories in this world that may collect and maintain records of things, including criminal arrests. Therefore, it is impossible to do anything about those records. Some countries are not subject to the jurisdiction of the district judge, and the state of Texas, or any other in the United States. It is possible that even though the record has been expunged, someone could find it. Nevertheless, in my experience, my clients have not had a problem with that. Most of the commonly used sources to do records checks independent of the government are US companies, and they do cooperate with expunction orders as long as the attorney who prepares the expunction and prepares the order is careful to know how to get those companies named in the expunction order and properly served, so they will cooperate.
In our experience, we know which companies they are, and specifically a couple of the big ones are publicdata.com and mugshots.com. Generally, criminal records are maintained by government agencies, and they all properly cooperate with expunction orders. Those are the records that are normally checked for formal background checks. One other limitation needs to be mentioned for people if they are seeking an expunction. They need to know that an expunction is very effective, and good at clearing their record, making it so that if they are subject of a background check, it does not show up. If they somehow decide to go to work, or try to go to work for the FBI, NSA, or maybe the DEA, those agencies will ask them to report any prior arrests they have, even those that were subject to an expunction.
To find out more about the process of expunging a case in Fort Worth, please contact our skilled expunction lawyers today.
Many people think that maybe if enough time has passed that they can have the record expunged. Many people think that if they complete deferred adjudication that they could have the record expunged, because they were told that if they complete the deferred adjudication, then they were never guilty, and the case is dismissed. Those are a couple of misconceptions. If you are found guilty, or given probation for anything more than a class C ticket, then you can never expunge the case. If you are given deferred adjudication, you can never expunge the case.
One distinction is class C tickets these are offenses punishable by a fine such as traffic tickets, class C misdemeanor level offenses. If a person gets deferred adjudication for any of those offenses, those can possibly be expunged immediately after completing the deferred adjudication, if it was just a class C ticket. If it is a higher-level misdemeanor, such as an A or B misdemeanor, sometimes we are able to get those offenses reduced to a ticket level offense, which is punishable by a fine. We can get the person deferred adjudication, they need to complete the period of deferred adjudication, and they can expunge that, but they have to wait for the period of the statute of limitations to expire, which is two years.
What Types Of Records Can And Cannot Be Expunged in Fort Worth?
Cases in which the person was found not guilty, or was dismissed without serving any type of deferred adjudication probation, or any other court ordered supervision, or probation, are eligible to be expunged. There are no exclusions by type of the offense. If it is murder, aggravated sexual assault, or any crime, it is eligible to be expunged if it was dismissed, and the statute of limitations has expired, or the person was found not guilty. However, there is no statute of limitations for murder and some other offenses so if a murder case is dismissed, it can never be expunged. If a person is found not guilty of murder, that can be expunged. There are many limitations on non-disclosure, or motion to seal. Many offenses are just not eligible for such a result, or for sealing or non-disclosure.
Some of the offenses which are excluded from eligibility for a motion to seal, or non-disclosure include aggravated kidnapping, murder, capital murder, injury to the child, or the elderly, abandoning or endangering a child, violation of a protective order, stalking, and any offense that involves family violence. Those offenses, even if a person got deferred adjudication, and successfully completed that deferred adjudication even if the five-year period had expired, the five-year waiting period had expired, or the two-year waiting period for misdemeanors, they still are not eligible to be sealed.