Do You Have a Conviction You Would Like Expunged?
Looney, Smith & Conrad, P.C., Criminal Defense Law Firm
Since 1995 criminal defense trial attorney Paul Looney has litigated
60 criminal jury trials with zero final convictions
What is Conviction Expungement?
The legal definition of expunction means that the court destroys the records of both the arrest and any court proceedings so that neither are viewable by anyone.
Under Texas law, a person is allowed to expunge an arrest if the case did not end in a conviction or some type of community supervision.
A person can also expunge class C misdemeanors if it resulted in a successful completion of a deferred adjudication.
Right to Expunction
A person has the right to expunction if presented at any time following the arrest, was dismissed or quashed, and the court finds that the indictment or information was dismissed or quashed because:
- the person completed a veterans treatment court program created under Chapter 124, Government Code, or former law, subject to Subsection (a-3);
- the person completed a mental health court program created under Chapter 125, Government Code, or former law, subject to Subsection (a-4);
- the person completed a pretrial intervention program authorized under Section 76.011, Government Code, other than a veterans treatment court program created under Chapter 124, Government Code, or former law, or a mental health court program created under Chapter 125, Government Code, or former law;
- 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
- the indictment or information was void.
A person is eligible under Subsection (a)(2)(A)(ii)(b) for an expunction of arrest records and files only if:
- the person has not previously received an expunction of arrest records and files under that sub-subparagraph; and
- the person submits to the court an affidavit attesting to that fact.
Benefits of Expunging a Conviction
It is against Texas law to use expunged records by any entity “for any purpose.”
The person with the expunged records can deny the arrest and the existence of the expunged records, and even the expunction order itself, unless being questioned under oath in a criminal court (at which time they can simply reply that the matter has been expunged). This even includes when applying for government and law enforcement jobs.
How Long Does It Take to Get to Expunge a Conviction?
The courts operate on a “first come, first served” basis, so the quicker a person begins the process, the quicker the record is expunged and the person’s record is cleared.
With the growing use of public records (more than 80 percent of employers conduct background checks), expunction is definitely a important investment. It is typical in Texas for the entire expunction process to take about 6 months.
For assistance with expunging your criminal record, contact at Looney, Smith & Conrad, P.C. at 281-597-8818.
Our criminal record expungement lawyers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
Procedure for Deferred Adjudication Community Supervision; Felonies and Certain Misdemeanors
This section applies only to a person placed on deferred adjudication community supervision under Subchapter C, Chapter 42A, Code of Criminal Procedure, who:
- is not eligible to receive an order of nondisclosure of criminal history record information under Section 411.072; and
- was placed on deferred adjudication community supervision or an offense other than an offense under Section 49.04 or 49.06, Penal Code.
Art. 45.051.Suspension of Sentence and Deferral of Final Disposition
On a plea of guilty or nolo contendere by a defendant or on a finding of guilt in a misdemeanor case punishable by fine only and payment of all court costs, the judge may defer further proceedings without entering an adjudication of guilt and place the defendant on probation for a period not to exceed 180 days. In issuing the order of deferral, the judge may impose a special expense fee on the defendant in an amount not to exceed the amount of the fine that could be imposed on the defendant as punishment for the offense. The special expense fee may be collected at any time before the date on which the period of probation ends. The judge may elect not to impose the special expense fee for good cause shown by the defendant. If the judge orders the collection of a special expense fee, the judge shall require that the amount of the special expense fee be credited toward the payment of the amount of the fine imposed by the judge. An order of deferral under this subsection terminates any liability under a bond given for the charge.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, as an alternative to requiring a defendant charged with one or more offenses to make payment of all court costs as required by Subsection (a), the judge may:
- allow the defendant to enter into an agreement for payment of those costs in installments during the defendant’s period of probation;
- require an eligible defendant to discharge all or part of those costs by performing community service or attending a tutoring program under Article 45.049 or 45.0492; or
- take any combination of actions authorized by Subdivision (1) or (2).
During the deferral period, the judge may require the defendant to:
- post a bond in the amount of the fine assessed to secure payment of the fine;
- pay restitution to the victim of the offense in an amount not to exceed the fine assessed;
- submit to professional counseling;
- submit to diagnostic testing for alcohol or a controlled substance or drug;
- submit to a psychosocial assessment;
- participate in an alcohol or drug abuse treatment or education program, such as (A)a drug education program that is designed to educate persons on the dangers of drug abuse and is approved by the Department of State Health Services in accordance with Section 521.374 Transportation Code; or (B)an alcohol awareness program described by Section 106.115, Alcoholic Beverage Code:
- pay the costs of any diagnostic testing; psychosocial assessment, or participation in a treatment or education program either directly or through the court as court costs;
- complete a driving safety course approved under Chapter 1001, Education Code, or another course as directed by the judge;
- present to the court satisfactory evidence that the defendant has complied with each requirement imposed by the judge under this article; and
- comply with any other reasonable condition.
If the defendant is younger than 25 years of age and the offense committed by the defendant is a traffic offense classified as a moving violation:
- subsection (b)(8) does not apply;
- during the deferral period, the judge (A)shall require the defendant to complete a driving safety course approved under Chapter 1001, Education Code; and (B)may require the defendant to complete an additional driving safety course designed for drivers younger than 25 years of age and approved under Section 1001.111.Education Code; and
- if the defendant holds a provisional license, during the deferral period the judge shall require that the defendant be examined by the Department of Public Safety as required by Section 521.161(b)(2), Transportation Code; a defendant is not exempt from the examination regardless of whether te defendant was examined previously.
Non-Disclosure (‘Sealing’) of Criminal Records
Non-Disclosure is different than expunction. An expunction order requires the destruction of all references and records of the person’s case from public records. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) must also request any federal repository to return any copies to the DPS, which then destroys them. The actual court record ordering the expunction is itself destroyed 60 days to 1 year after issuance of the order.
A non-disclosure requires the DPS to send a copy of the non-disclosure order to all law enforcement agencies, jails, and other entities that are typically given a copy of these types of activities. Places where the non-disclosure order is sent are then ordered to seal the records, but not to destroy them. These facilities cannot disclose the offense, but must retain the records. The prior criminal record can be used against the person in a subsequent prosecution. A person’s case is eligible for only one of these two services and the eligible service is based on the sentence given for that case.
Expunging Your Criminal Record
An Expungement Attorney can ensure that the expunction or non-disclosure action is done properly and completely the first time so that it does not get rejected or involve months of delay, can handle any objections from the district attorney, and to have the attorney in court to argue anything needed.
Are you looking for a criminal defense law firm?
Call us today (281) 597-8818 in Houston or (979) 826-8484 in Hempstead.
We are Criminal Lawyers Near 77079 and Criminal Lawyers Near 77445
When you need a Texas Expungement Lawyer, contact
Looney, Smith & Conrad, P.C. at 281-597-8818. Text Us: 405-388-6191
Our experienced Texas Expungement Lawyers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for a
free, no-obligation case evaluation.
We serve Houston, the State of Texas and the entire United States.
Call for Expungement Attorney Near Me