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Expunction of Records

A person in Texas can have criminal records erased, or "expunged," under certain circumstances.

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Ward Maedgen
Attorney At Law

5005 Greenville Avenue, Suite 200
Dallas, TX 75206

214.651.4288


 

Expunction of Criminal Records after
Dismissal or Acquittal In The State Of Texas

"Board Certified Criminal Lawyer" and "Former Assistant District Attorney"
 

A person in the State Of Texas can have criminal records erased, or "expunged," under certain circumstances. Generally speaking, the person's criminal charges must have been dismissed, or the person must have been found not guilty after a trial. Contrary to popular belief, a successfully served deferred adjudication probation cannot be expunged, except in the case of certain class C misdemeanor offenses. An expunction order may remove your criminal record from the arresting agency, the Department of Public Safety, the court of prosecution, and the prosecutor's office. After the expunction order is entered, the person can deny the occurrence of the arrest and offense, as well as the existence of the expunction order.

Nondisclosure of Criminal Records Following Deferred Adjudication Probation

The Texas Legislature passed a statute allowing someone who successfully completes a term of deferred adjudication probation to obtain an order of nondisclosure of criminal records pertaining to the arrest and offense. There are restrictions on eligibility, focusing on the personís previous criminal history and conduct between the termination of supervision and the filing of the petition for nondisclosure. For many misdemeanor offenses, an eligible person may file the petition immediately upon discharge from the deferred adjudication supervision. For some misdemeanors, the person may not file the petition until 2 years after the discharge from supervision. Other
misdemeanors require a defendant to wait five years from the date of the discharge and dismissal of the misdemeanor offense, for example, unlawful restraint, public lewdness, indecent exposure, assault, deadly conduct, terroristic threat, disorderly conduct, harassment, unlawful carrying of a firearm, obstructing highway or other passageway, interference with emergency telephone call, stalking, and bigamy. During this five year period, the applicant must not have received anything more than a citation for a fine-only traffic offense.

For felonies eligible to be non-disclosed, the person may not file until 5 year or 10 years after the discharge from supervision.

However, a defendant who completes a deferred adjudication probation is not necessarily entitled to an order of nondisclosure. A person is not eligible if he/she has ever been convicted or placed on deferred adjudication for: an offense requiring registration as a sex offender, aggravated kidnapping, murder, capital murder, injury to a child/elderly/disabled individual, abandoning or endangering a child, violations of a protective order or magistrate's order, or any offense involving family violence.

An order of nondisclosure is very beneficial to a client. A person who receives an order of nondisclosure may deny having been arrested or prosecuted for the offense, unless the information is being used against the person in a subsequent criminal proceeding. It is important to note that an order of non-disclosure does not require the government to destroy the information. The information may be released to criminal justice agencies, non-criminal justice agencies authorized by statute or executive order to receive criminal history record information, and the person who is the subject of the criminal history information.

After the order of nondisclosure is entered, the person can deny the occurrence of the arrest and offense.

Expunction Law Details

Art. 55.01. Right to Expunction, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure
(a) A person who has been placed under a custodial or noncustodial arrest for commission of either a felony or misdemeanor is entitled to have all records and files relating to the arrest expunged if:
(1) the person is tried for the offense for which the person was
arrested and is:
(A) acquitted by the trial court, except as provided by Subsection (c)
of this section; or
(B) convicted and subsequently pardoned; or
(2) each of the following conditions exist:
(A) an indictment or information charging the person with commission of a felony has not been presented against the person for an offense arising out of the transaction for which the person was arrested or, if an indictment or information charging the person with commission of a felony was presented, the indictment or information has been dismissed or quashed, and:
(i) the limitations period expired before the date on which a petition for expunction was filed under Article 55.02; or
(ii) the court finds that the indictment or information was dismissed or quashed because the presentment had been made because of mistake, false information, or other similar reason indicating absence of probable cause at the time of the dismissal to believe the person committed the offense or because it was void;
(B) the person has been released and the charge, if any, has not resulted in a final conviction and is no longer pending and there was no court ordered community supervision under Article 42.12 for any offense other than a Class C misdemeanor; and (C) the person has not been convicted of a felony in the five years preceding the date of the arrest.
(b) Except as provided by Subsection (c) of this section, a district court may expunge all records and files relating to the arrest of a person who has been arrested for commission of a felony or misdemeanor under the procedure established under Article 55.02 of this code if the person is:
(1) tried for the offense for which the person was arrested;
(2) convicted of the offense; and
(3) acquitted by the court of criminal appeals.
(c) A court may not order the expunction of records and files relating to an arrest for an offense for which a person is subsequently acquitted, whether by the trial court or the court of criminal appeals, if the offense for which the person was acquitted arose out of a criminal episode, as defined by Section 3.01, Penal Code, and the person was convicted of or remains subject to prosecution for at least one other offense occurring during the criminal episode.
(d) A person is entitled to have any information that identifies the person, including the person's name, address, date of birth, driver's license number, and social security number, contained in records and files relating to the arrest of another person expunged if:
(1) the information identifying the person asserting the entitlement to expunction was falsely given by the person arrested as the arrested person's identifying information without the consent of the person asserting the entitlement; and
(2) the only reason for the information identifying the person asserting the entitlement being contained in the arrest records and files of the person arrested is that the information was falsely given by the person arrested as the arrested person's identifying information.

Art. 55.03. Effect of Expunction, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure When the order of expunction is final:

(1) the release, dissemination, or use of the expunged records and files for any purpose is prohibited;

(2) except as provided in Subdivision 3 of this article, the person arrested may deny the occurrence of the arrest and the existence of the expunction order; and

(3) the person arrested or any other person, when questioned under oath in a criminal proceeding about an arrest for which the records have been expunged, may state only that the matter in question has been expunged.
 



Dallas / North Texas Criminal Defense Attorney



                              "Board Certified - Criminal Law Texas Board of Legal Specialization"

Ward Maedgen - Attorney At Law

214.651.4288


Ward Maedgen practices criminal defense law in the following cities and counties: Dallas, Arlington, Cedar Hill, McKinney, Highland Park, University Park, Addison, Plano, Richardson, Mesquite, Garland, Irving, D/FW Airport, Duncanville, Frisco, Carrolton, Allen, Lewisville, Flower Mound, Coppell, Farmers Branch, Forney, Hutchins, Wilmer, Rowlett, Grand Prairie. Counties: North Texas, Dallas County, Collin County, Denton County, Rockwall County, Kaufman County


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