How to Get a Felony Expunged in Texas and Clear Your Record.
While wrongful convictions costing Texans nearly $100 million, mismanagement of justice can also ruin lives. However, getting a record sealed after an arrest isn’t as easy as it should be for those who want to move on from a wrongful arrest or youthful mistake. If you’re wondering how to get a felony expunged in Texas, it can be challenging.
Even if you meet the criteria, you still need to follow very careful steps with the help of a legal advisor.
Determine Your Eligibility
Figuring out your eligibility for getting your record expunged requires you to know a lot about the law and the class of crime you’re arrested for. If you’ve been found guilty, it’s very challenging to get a record expunged.
There are so many harmful impacts of having an arrest record that many people might not realize. Not only is there the stress and trauma the day of the event, but there are also challenges that follow you. If you apply for a job or an apartment and a background check is performed, you could lose out on getting something that you’re otherwise qualified for.
Determining your eligibility also requires an understanding of the language used in the bureaucracy of the law. Jumping through all of the required hoops isn’t easy without some assistance from a legal professional.
Even if you’re not eligible for expungement, there are several other ways you could have your record cleared or sealed.
Determine What Type of Service You Need
Some people who have an arrest record might look up the terms of expungement, realize they’re not eligible, and walk away. This might seem reasonable to some, but with a little more knowledge of the law, you might see that there are other options available.
If you were arrested, you might not realize that you didn’t receive a charge if you were just sentenced to community supervision. While it may have seemed like a type of punishment at the time, it’s not the same as a being found guilty.
A Class C misdemeanor can also be expunged if the deferred adjudication was completed.
If none of these apply to you, consider some other options.
Sealing Your Record
An order of non-disclosure, also known as a sealed record, could be available to people who received deferred adjudication. Following an arrest for a Class A or B misdemeanor, some people offer a guilty or no contest plea to get this deferral.
It allows some people to keep records from being viewed by anyone outside of an official government capacity. Murders of any degree, stalking, sex offenses, and family violence crimes are not eligible for being sealed, however.
Having a Conviction “Set Aside”
For people who have been convicted and completed probation, they may be able to have their conviction set aside. This will keep it showing up in some background checks but it will be displayed without a finding of guilt and seem like it was dismissed.
This is helpful for people who were arrested years before and want to go into adulthood with a clean record. DUIs and some felonies aren’t eligible for this type of consideration. In Texas, some counties don’t offer this unless specific eligibility requirements are met.
While having an arrest or conviction pardoned is helpful for having certain rights restored, there’s a high bar for this to be offered.
It comes down from high courts or high-ranking officials. In order to be considered, exemplary behavior and some level of rehabilitation are necessary. This is long after a conviction or a deferred adjudication.
Expungement or non-disclosure is much easier to get than a pardon. However, a pardon can overrule some of the other determinations about your case.
Apply for Civil Rights Restoration
If you’re unable to vote or express some of your most vital civil rights after an arrest, you can apply to have them restored. This happens if a conviction comes down in another country or if a Texas resident commits a federal crime.
Someone convicted of a federal offense can apply to have rights restored three years after their conviction. People who were convicted in another country need to wait two years before they can have their rights restored.
Sealing a Juvenile Record
For people who were never convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor that was registered as a crime of moral turpitude, record sealing is an option.
It requires a two-year waiting period following discharge from a juvenile penitentiary but with no adjudication comes no waiting.
Get Yourself a Lawyer
Once you’ve determined what your options are, you need to start interviewing lawyers to represent you. If they can argue your case and the motion is granted, judges can issue orders for expungement or non-disclosure.
After the judge offers their response, your records can’t be accessed by any members of the public. This includes financial institutions, private companies, or anyone running a background check who isn’t related to a government agency.
Still Wondering How to Get a Felony Expunged in Texas
If you’re looking to get a record expunged in Texas, it’s frankly very challenging without a legal expert to guide you through it. However, if you’re able to get the right person on your side, you won’t have to struggle with how to get a felony expunged in Texas.
If you want to be sure that you have a criminal record to worry about, check out our guide on figuring that out.
How to Get a Felony Expunged in Texas and Clear Your Record. Case Results
Assault Charge Conditional Dismissal
County: Dallas County
Result: Wyde & Associates represented client charged with assault. Result was conditional dismissal.
Cook County DWI Record Expunged
County: Cook County
Result: Wyde & Associates successfully represented client to help criminal record get expunged for DWI in Cook County Texas.
Collin County Assault Charge Expungement
Result: Assault charge criminal record expunged for client by Wyde & Associates.
Frisco Assault Case Dismissed
County: Collin (City: Frisco)
Result: Attorney Dan Wyde was able get client’s assault charge dismissed in Frisco.
State v. Lauren F.
Result: Non-Jury trial, Not Guilty/Directed Verdict as the DA failed to prove a prima facie case.