Texans with criminal records face additional obstacles when it comes to things like finding a good job, obtaining student financial aid, and finding a good place to live. Contrary to popular myth, criminal convictions do not automatically fall off your record in a few years, even if they were juvenile infractions.
Fortunately, in 2017, Texas lawmakers significantly expanded the state’s expungement and sealing provisions. Now, most people with criminal convictions can have these records erased or at least hidden from public view.
The Law Office of Jim Medley helps people just like you clear their criminal records, so you can live life the way you want.
Most misdemeanor and felony offenses, including DWI, are eligible for expungement if the case resulted in no conviction. Some common non-conviction dispositions include:
- -An arrest was made but no charges were ever filed,
- -Prosecutors dismissed the charges for reasonable cause, such as the completion of a pretrial diversion or veterans’ treatment program,
- -A judge or jury found the defendant not guilty,
- -A higher court overturned the conviction, or
- -The governor pardoned the defendant.
In some cases, the defendant must wait until the statute of limitations expires before a judge will consider an expungement petition.
Additionally, expungement is a one-time affair in Texas. The defendant must have a clean criminal history. Moreover, even some convictions are expungeable. Examples include juvenile prosecutions for MIP (Minor In Possession of alcohol) and refusal to attend school.
These qualifications are just the minimum. Judges have a great deal of discretion to grant or deny expungement requests. So, your Houston expungement lawyer must eloquently and tenaciously stand up for you in court.
How Record Sealing Can Clear Your Criminal Record
If you are not eligible for expungement, do not despair. Record sealing may be an option, and in Texas, one is almost as good as the other.
Only certain law enforcement and government agencies can view sealed records. As far as anyone else is concerned, the record does not exist. In most cases, people with sealed records can also say “no” when asked if they have criminal convictions on their record.
Typically, if you successfully completed deferred adjudication probation, you are probably eligible for record sealing. A few offenses, mostly sex crimes and extremely violent offenses, like murder, are ineligible for sealing.
At the Law Office of Jim Medley, M. Medley keeps fighting for you even after the judge’s gavel falls. Contact the office today to learn more about clearing your criminal record.
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