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When someone is convicted of a crime in our society, the circumstances involved in the case are compiled into a criminal record. This history can be found in databases in the local, state and national levels. State criminal history is sometimes available for observation, but crimes compiled on the federal level are typically not open for public viewing. Each state is unique in the way they handle criminal histories and procedures.
An expungement is a type of lawsuit that makes the criminal files of the person unavailable to anyone who attempts to see them. When this process is approved by a judge, it will be as if the crimes never took place, legally speaking. There is generally a certain amount of time that must pass, and the type of crime committed will play a role in when or if this request will be granted. Meeting the list of requirements can lead to a full dismissal of the prior convictions and the documents that accompany them.
There are several important reasons to get your criminal record deleted. Knowing the Texas expungement law can help get your life back in correct order. Texas expungement will keep your history private and the related documents will be destroyed. Having a clean slate can help with your housing options, as many renters perform a background check. Perhaps most importantly, expungement in Texas means you have a much better shot at employment. Students who need loans will also find themselves better served by not having a negative history holding them back.
A misdemeanor conviction is considered more serious than minor infractions, but less harsh than a felony. In Texas, misdemeanor convictions can carry very serious penalties. The convictions are grouped by class, with Class A and Class B misdemeanors that can stay with you for life. Having a Class C on your record will not usually lead to jail time, but can follow you for life as well. You may need a good attorney to determine if your charges can be reduced or enter the adjudication process, so they can eventually be cleared. Even with misdemeanor charges, having qualified legal representation can make all the difference in clearing your record.
Texas felony expungement laws are grouped by first, second, third and capital felony categories. Each level can result in significant prison time and should certainly be handled by a good lawyer. Tex felony expungement law states that the arrest and prosecution records, police reports and court files can be destroyed under certain conditions. Among the circumstances where a felony conviction can be deleted is when someone is convicted of a felony and later pardoned. Appealing a felony conviction and winning, will qualify you for expungement if no other prosecutions will arise in the related case.
People who are found guilty of a crime, and are between the ages of 10 and 17, are considered juveniles. With criminal record expungement Texas laws, they must have their records sealed in order to deny their convictions. If successful, their crimes will no longer be accessible to anyone seeking them in the criminal history database. In order to get a juvenile history sealed, the crimes cannot be of sexual nature or aggressively violent. Juveniles who want to proceed with the process of sealing their convictions must apply for the motion in the same county as the original charge.
There is a difference between sealing your records and having them expunged in Texas. An expunction will lead to all of the prosecution and arrest files being destroyed and discarded. If your history becomes sealed, they can longer be viewed by the public, but still can be accessed by certain agencies like criminal courts. Sealed documents are just hidden instead of totally thrown out. When trying to obtain a professional license, a sealed history can still be a factor in your ability to receive it. Some deleted files may only be partially discarded, leaving some information to be possibly examined.
There is a set process for getting your record expunged in Texas, the first will be to wait until the statute of limitations has passed, which in Texas is two years for misdemeanors. The time limit for Texas expungement eligibility varies for felony convictions. You must then fill out a petition for expunction that informs the courts of your intentions. A fee has to be paid and the petition needs to be sent to the District Clerk and the Local District Attorney’s Office. If the District Attorney signs off on it, then you take it to the designated court to inform them about the agreement. A good lawyer should still guide you through the process to make sure every step is taken correctly. It is very important that no part of the task is done incorrectly since a mistake can derail the entire course of action.
If you have a criminal history in Texas, and find that you are eligible to have your records erased, it would be a major step to do it. The benefits are numerous and significant to taking advantage of life’s opportunities. Now would be the best time to move forward with the process and make the most of this chance to clear your name.