Tarrant County Expunction Lawyer
A criminal record can have a significant impact on your life and livelihood, both now and well into the future. With a criminal record, you may face the loss of job and educational opportunities, and a criminal accusation can follow you for a lifetime even if charges against you are dropped.
Many people have questions about how they may be able to escape the burdens placed on them by having a criminal record. While not all individuals with a criminal record will qualify, expunction could be an option to help you start over. If you are considering or would like to know more about this option, a Tarrant County expunction lawyer could work with you to explain your rights and explore what could be done in your case. To learn more or get started on your expunction, schedule a consultation with a defense attorney today.
What is Expunction?
Found in the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure §55.01, expunction is essentially a process by which a person’s criminal record is erased. Any arrests and charges approved for expunction will be removed, effectively removing them from the record permanently. While it may remain in a federal database, someone whose record is expunged can usually tell employers and other individuals that they have a clean record, as access to federal records is strictly limited.
Limits to Expunction
Not every criminal record can be expunged. Expunction is limited by law to certain types of crimes. In Texas, expunction may be an option in the following scenarios:
- Someone was arrested but not charged with a crime
- Someone’s offense was a misdemeanor that qualifies for expunction
- A person received certain alcohol-related charges as a minor
- A person successfully completed a pretrial diversion program
- A conviction was later reversed by the Texas Court of Appeals
Even if an individual’s criminal record contains one of these offenses, there are likely additional criteria they will need to meet in order to demonstrate that their record is eligible for expunction.
Are There Any Crimes That Cannot Be Expunged?
While not a complete list, some crimes that typically do not qualify for expunction may include:
- Murder, vehicular homicide, and other serious felonies
- Any charge that resulted in a deferred sentence or probation
- Driving while intoxicated
- Sex-related crimes like prostitution or child molestation
A Tarrant County expungement attorney could help determine whether a client’s criminal record may qualify for expunction.
Alternatives to Expunction
While not everyone will qualify to have their record expunged, there might be an alternative available under certain circumstances. If the court denies someone’s expunction request or their record is not eligible for expunction, they may be able to file a Petition for Nondisclosure.
Nondisclosure, also referred to as having one’s record sealed, is different from expunction in that it does not erase the criminal record of the person in question, but instead limits access to it. Government agencies can still view a record that has been sealed in this manner.
Talk to a Tarrant County Expunction Attorney Today
When it comes to expunction, there may be a lot of the line. Expunction can significantly improve your prospects now and into the future and may be an important part of a fresh start that allows you to move past previous mistakes and misunderstandings so that you can reach your full potential.
There are certainly challenges that are likely to arise during these processes, but a dedicated Tarrant County expunction lawyer could help you prepare for them and meet them head on. If you are arrested in Tarrant County and want to find out more about whether you can have that arrest expunged from your record, call today to find out what the help of a skilled local attorney could do for you.