Things You Might Not Know About Expunctions
Expunction refers to when someone’s criminal record is either sealed or is otherwise made unavailable via state and federal venues. Because a criminal record can be so socially and financially damaging, expunctions are intended to provide people with a second chance or a fresh start. However, there are several misunderstood matters related to expunctions that it is useful to understand them better.
Not Every Crime Can Be Expunged
Only certain crimes are eligible for expunction, including the following:
Criminal charges that were dismissed in the end
Arrests related to crimes that were never charged
Specific juvenile offenses that are misdemeanors, including a conviction for some alcohol offences or for failing to attend school
Any charge, arrest, or conviction on one’s record that is the result of identity theft by someone else
Any conviction that is later acquitted by either the trial court or by the Criminal Court of Appeals
A conviction that is later pardoned by either Texas’s governor or by the President of the United States
When Eligible, Juvenile Conviction Expunctions Are Automatic
If the juvenile offense in question meets the necessary statutory criteria, the law allows for the automatic sealing of the involved juvenile’s criminal record. The need to file an application or a petition to seal the juvenile’s record is eliminated.
After Expunction, Criminal Records Can Still Be Available
Expunction does not completely eradicate one’s expunged record. The Texas Department of Public Safety has the capacity to grant access to your expunged criminal record – to a criminal justice agency – for purposes that are related to criminal justice or to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department.
There Is a Waiting Period to Obtain an Expunction
It used to be that you would have to wait until a felony indictment had been dismissed for specific reasons or until the statute of limitations ran out before you could file for an expunction. Now, however, you may pursue an expunction if a specific amount of time – a waiting period – has passed before a charge is filed. Specific waiting periods include:
There is a 180-day waiting period for a Class C misdemeanor
There is a one-year waiting period for a Class A or B misdemeanor
There is three-year waiting period for a felony
To obtain an expunction, however, you must be able to prove that the charge in question is no longer pending and that you have been released from custody. Further, if the case is still under active investigation by the police, expunction is off the table.
Reach Out to an Experienced Killeen Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you have questions about expunction or are facing criminal charges of any kind, Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, is a dedicated criminal defense attorney who takes great pride in successfully defending the legal rights of clients like you. Your case matters, so please do not hesitate to contact us online or call us at 254-501-4040 for more information today.