The Law Office of Robert Keates handles and represents clients seeking a Texas Expunction by researching and authoring the Expunction Petition before the Travis County District Court or Hays County District Court.
Who is Eligible for an Expunction? A person is entitled to have records and files relating to the arrest and court proceedings expunged if:
Chapter 55 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure authorizes the Court to clear the criminal record -- also known as expunction -- of arrest records, court records and criminal history record information. But not every offense is eligible for an Expunction.
Keep in mind that not all Dismissals are equal. For instance, a Dismissal after Deferred Adjudication is not eligible for Expunction, however the offense may be sealed per a Motion for Non Disclosure, which is a different Petition.
A New Statutory Update now allows the prosecution to waive the waiting period! This is a case by case procedure, and requires approval from the Chief Prosecutor. Otherwise, while a case may have incurred Statute of Limitation Tolling (meaning a delay in the time beginning), the general Statutes of Limitations in Texas are governed by Chapter 12 of the Texas Penal Code.
Specific Time limits are listed are generally two years on misdemeanors, and three years on most felonies, although it's generally the same period of time as the Statute of Limitations on that particular offense. So for felony cases that have a statute of limitations of 5 years, then there would be a five year wait.
What about the New Expunction laws? New Expunction laws currently list a 6 month wait on Class C misdemeanors, a 1 year wait on Misdemeanors, and a 3 year wait on felony cases. Our advice is to avoid this fast-track expunction statute. It does Not allow for a Full Expunction. New Expunction laws have shortened the waiting period for Expunctions, but with a catch. If a person Petitions the court to Expunge their record under the new, shorter time periods, they will be waiving the right to fully expunge their record at that time. This means several agencies still get to keep the records (such as police, prosecutors...). To fully Expunge the record, a person would need to wait the full two years for misdemeanors, and the Statute of Limitations for Felonies.
Please note there are major flaws and drawbacks for both Expunctions and Motions for Non Disclosure. In this technological age, many websites are scraping or indirectly purchasing arrest record data, and listing the information on their site, including mugshot sites and background search services. This is a problem since those websites are not offically listed as having received the arrest info, and will not receive notification of the expunction or the Motion for Non Disclosure. So even if the Judge signs the Order for Expunction or the Motion for Non Disclosure, your offense may still show up, depending on the website or service. The simple fix is to notify the website or business of the Order, and demand the information be removed. This works most of the time, but many over-seas websites or sites run by unprofessional business people might not care that a Texas Judge signed an Order. The internet has made it very difficult to fully remove any offense data.
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