WHAT IS THE EXPUNCTION PROCESS FOR CLEARING YOUR RECORD IN AUSTIN, TEXAS?
People don't realize that even after an arrest where all the charges were later dropped, that the arrest records and criminal case information can still negatively affect the defendant for the rest of their life. When criminal charges are dismissed or dropped, you still have a criminal record that will show up on simple background checks and internet searches until you get an Expunction of your criminal history.
Austin criminal defense lawyer Jason English frequently represents good people needing an expunction in Travis County, including Austin, Pflugerville, Lago Vista, Rollingwood and Lakeway. Jason English also helps good people clear their criminal history in Williamson County, including Georgetown, Round Rock, Cedar Park and Hutto. Jason English also gets expungements in Hays County, including San Marcos, Kyle, Buda, Dripping Springs
Step 1: Are you eligible for an Expunction?
First you must find out whether or not your case is actually eligible for expunction. We have to look to see how the case was dismissed or charges dropped. Did you have a trial and were you found not guilty? If so, then you should not wait to contact a criminal lawyer who expunges criminal histories.
Expunctions are intended to remove records of a wrongful arrest or charges that resulted in an acquittal or dismissal.
Did you enter a plea of guilty or no contest? Were you sentenced to Deferred Adjudication? If so, you need to seek an Order of Non-Disclosure. Generally if you entered a plea to something, you will not be able to get an Expunction unless it was for a low-level Class C Misdemeanor Offense.
One of the frequent issues that people find is that they must wait for the applicable statute of limitations to run prior to being able to expunge their records. Sometimes there are exceptions to this general rule, but in most cases you will need to wait two years from the date of misdemeanor arrest or at least three years from the felony date, if not longer. If you were arrested, but the charges were not filed by the prosecutor there may be shorter waiting periods too.
It is best to have a clean petition for expunction where the prosecutor or Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) does not have a legal reason to object or contest the granting of the order. It is not uncommon for other lawyers to reach out to us to learn about Expunctions because there are a lot of moving parts that can complicate and reduce your chances of success. Call our office to learn if your case meets the eligibility for expungement.
Step 2: Find the specific information that relates to you and your case
If you are eligible to expunge the records, you need a specific list of items set out by the Statute and organized in a certain way. The information needed includes which Law Enforcement Agencies were involved, date of the arrest, criminal cause number, and the disposition. You will also need information that relates to you like your address on that arrest date, your full name and social security number too. This part of the process can be overwhelming to know what to look for, as well as, to know where to go find the information.
Austin expunction lawyer Jason English makes it easy for you to fill out brief intake forms and then collaborates with you to find all the necessary information.
Step 3: Perform the necessary legal work of filing a lawsuit to expunge your records.
Both the petition and the order for the judge to sign must properly identify all the governmental agencies that have created or maintain criminal records of your arrest and case. The process can be very tedious, and you need to have the knowledge and experience of working in the local courts and jurisdictions to know the various agencies and government offices to serve with the lawsuit. If you fail to serve an agency or office that has records of your case, your petition will not expunge all of your criminal history or clear all of your criminal history. You must identify and include more than just the police department and the local jail on your expunction petition and order to have a good result. The lawsuit is filed with the District Clerk, who will set the hearing in a District Court in front of a District Judge.
Obviously the legal production of the drafting of a good expunction petition and order is very detail-oriented. Rest assured that you can call our office, and Jason English can work to get your record cleared with an expunction.
Step 4: Expunction Hearing
Jason English works to draft a petition and order that clearly establishes our client's legal right to obtaining an expungement. The lawsuit has to be on file for at least 30 days before you can get a hearing. During that time, we regularly reach out to the other side and confirm whether they will object after reviewing the lawsuit. Frequently we know that no one will object and that we may not have to appear for a hearing. That means for a well-drafted petition and order that the district judge will often approve it without taking any additional evidence on the matter. If you do have to appear, the judge is going to ask questions about how and why you are eligible for an expunction and want to see evidence necessary to win.
Step 5: Ordering the Government to Destroy the Records of Your Criminal History
After the judge grants the order, the clerk's office will send and serve the order on the named agencies. The Order of Expunction will order those Governmental Agencies and Entities to clear your criminal history. The way it is typically done is that they can either delete or destroy any records of your arrest and case or they can box up all of their records that relate to you and your arrest and mail them to the office to physically destroy them. The process takes about Six Months to complete, so the best time to get an expunction is ASAP. Then you can legally deny the arrest or case every happened. However, if you find yourself in a criminal court being asked you must simply state that matter was expunged.
Attorney in Austin for Expungement of Your Criminal Records
When you need expungement, don't wait to move forward. You need to call Austin Expungement Attorney Jason English to get a better future for you and your family. Mr. English regularly helps good people expunge or seal their criminal records in Texas.