Weatherford Expunction Lawyer
Determining which arrests and convictions appear on a person’s criminal record may be surprisingly complex. Many individuals do not realize that a mere arrest for an alleged offense might appear on their criminal record and background check. Their criminal record could exclude them from many employment and housing opportunities even if they are not convicted for a crime.
Texas criminal procedures allow an opportunity for individuals who were not convicted of a crime that they were arrested for to have their criminal record wiped clean. This process, known as expunction, allows individuals to get a fresh start in life.
This process may only apply under very specific conditions that might necessitate a Weatherford expunction lawyer’s help to navigate effectively. A capable criminal defense attorney from our team could help you with this process and any others related to you regaining a clean record.
The Legal Basis for Expunction
The legal basis for expunction could be found in the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure §55.01. This statute outlines the situations in which a person may qualify for expunction and for how long they must wait under specific circumstances.
Expunction is intended to provide relief to people who were accused of a crime but were not convicted of that crime. If this result comes about after an acquittal following a trial, the defendant may move immediately for the removal of the charge from their record with the help of legal counsel. The same could be said if the charge resulted in a conviction and the defendant later received a pardon for their actions.
Other situations require a defendant to wait to request expunction. The most common example of this is when the charges are dropped prior to trial. For example, if the prosecution decides that there is insufficient evidence to continue the case, they may dismiss the charges. Defendants in this situation must wait to request expunction.
The waiting period depends upon the severity of the alleged charge.
- Class C misdemeanor charges must wait at least 180 days from the date of arrest
- All other misdemeanors must wait two years
- Most felony level charges must wait three years
In either event, the defendant in question must not have any charges related to the dismissed allegations currently awaiting trial. A Weatherford expunction lawyer could help individual appellants determine whether they qualify for expunction.
The Process of Wiping a Person’s Record Clean
The means by which a defendant may request expunction are provided in the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure §55.02. If a defendant is acquitted of all charges, the court where the case was heard must inform the defendant of their right to expunction.
To begin the process, the applicant must provide several pieces of information to the court hearing the request. This may include:
- The date of the offense
- The date of arrest
- The name of the charge
- The name of the arresting agency
- The case number and the court hearing the charges
The court would then schedule a hearing no more than 30 days from the date of receipt of the request to decide the matter. Law enforcement and a prosecutor’s office would have the opportunity to be heard at the hearing. An expunction lawyer in Weatherford could ensure the request is properly filed and attend the hearing in person to argue for expunction.
Working with a Weatherford Expunction Attorney
A mere arrest for a criminal offense could have a negative impact on a person’s life. Even if the defendant manages to avoid a conviction, that black mark on their record could affect their employment and housing opportunities.
Texas maintains a method of expunction that allows individuals to wipe their records clean after a non-conviction for any criminal offense. In some situations, an expunction could be requested immediately following the closing of a case. In others, a waiting period will apply.
In either event, a Weatherford expunction lawyer could help you clear your name and set things right. Contact our legal team today to learn more.