An Expunction May Still Be Necessary

January 18, 2018

Why you still need an Expunction


A criminal arrest record can be like the legal equivalent of a sickness.  It can cost you a job, a promotion at work, or countless other opportunities.  


Employers are not interested in the details of why the charges were dropped, that job opportunity is gone.


Curing your sickness is a great example of what an expunction does, works to leave no trace.  A state district judge will order the records to be destroyed.  Including records that reference the arrest. Court records, the district attorney’s file, and even transcripts of the trial are all examples of this.  People often refer to expunction as wiping their past clean.  This also means that the state’s agencies can’t give information about your these arrests to private companies who gather criminal data for distribution for private background checks.  


In some states this allows for a person with an expunction to “deny the occurrence of the arrest…” in certain circumstances.  This varies state to state and you should know local laws.


What is unknown by most is qualifying for an expunction can be somewhat difficult.  Even though expunctions can be highly complex in certain circumstances where (where multiple allegations stem from the same arrest for example) – most are cut and dry. Automatic expunctions may occur if the prosecution has been barred as a general rule.


Prosecution can be barred where you are acquitted by a judge or jury, where the statute of limitations has expired and the case hasn’t been filed, or if prosecution has been barred for some other reason.


A common misconception is that getting deferred adjudication ‘magically’ drops the criminal arrest record on it’s own for any offense.  Deferred only entitles you to an expunction for (most) class “C” misdemeanors in Texas.  These are the lowest level of offense, which include traffic tickets and petty offenses ranging from minor in possession, possession of drug paraphernalia, and theft below $50 in value as examples. An Expunction may still be necessary even if a “C’ level charge as given.

Deferred adjudication for offenses from class “B” charges and above may allow you to apply for a petition for non-disclosure which generally limits who can know about your criminal case but is different from an expunction.


Expunction of Criminal Records

An expunction doesn’t happen on it’s own.  The judge must review the expungement request typically given from your lawyer. (Time-frame is about 1 year)


*We are not a law firm and no information above should influence any legal decisions.  Please consult an attorney for questions regarding this subject matter.