What Does it Mean to Have a Crime Expunged?
According to Cornell Law, to expunge means “to destroy, obliterate, or strike out records of information in files, computers, and other depositories.” If one wishes to have their crimes expunged, it can mean that they are removed from their history, opening that person’s opportunities for jobs, housing, and more.
Several crimes, charges, or arrest records can be expunged in Texas. It is vital to understand which ones, so you can request expungement, get the information essentially erased from your background, and move forward with your life. By successfully completing this process, you can alter several aspects of your life moving forward and open yourself to more opportunities than you may have had with a criminal record.
What if I Was Charged With a Crime But Found Not Guilty?
Any crime in Texas you are charged with but found not guilty of or acquitted of can generally be expunged from your record. The specific offense referenced can usually be expunged, whether you are not guilty by a judge or a jury.
What if I’m Convicted, But Then My Appeals Were Successful?
If you were charged with a crime and found guilty, but then a court of appeals successfully overturned your conviction, you can get these charges expunged from your record. Pursuing a request for appeal allows the convicted to raise questions or specific errors that they or their legal team has found that may cause the conviction to be overturned.
In some cases, a successful appeal may require altering the original sentence rather than overturning the conviction. If this is true, the charges may not be erased from your records.
What Other Charges Can Be Expunged?
Generally speaking, charges such as misdemeanor juvenile offenses, conviction of a minor for alcohol-related crimes, and more can be expunged.
If you were convicted of a crime and the governor later pardoned you for the offense, you can have that charge expunged, in most cases, from your records.
Even in some cases of murder, domestic violence, and other serious offenses, you may have the option to expunge the charges after a waiting period of three or more years, depending on the charges. The exceptions to this are if the charges included the necessity to be labeled as a sex offender or involved risks to children. In most cases, these charges can’t be expunged as they would allow the offender to be free of the records set up to warn the community, potential employers, lenders, or housing authorities of the risks associated with the individual.
Why is Expunging a Charge Important?
Criminal charges on your record can make pursuing housing, loans, and employment opportunities more difficult. You may also be prohibited from volunteering for specific causes based on your criminal history or prohibited from attending a college or university that you’d like to attend based on your past charges.
By expunging criminal charges, they are no longer present on your records or most background checks, making your opportunities more abundant, realistic, and without obstacles. It is important to note how often you are asked for a criminal background check. Whether you are applying for a loan, a career opportunity, or entering a lease, you are typically asked for a background check. Suppose your charges no longer show up when this process occurs. In that case, you are likely to have more opportunities than if the information was still present on your records without a lengthy and awkward explanation of why the charges are listed.
How We Can Help
We are well-versed in criminal defense with a combined 42 years of experience in our husband and wife team. We understand that humans make mistakes, and having those mistakes present on records for the rest of your life isn’t ideal.
We are a Christian-based law firm with determination, justice, and integrity as the priorities, along with justice for our clients. We take a team approach to help our clients and ensure that we create a realistic and winning strategy, no matter how significant or insignificant the case may be.
Trusting the team you hire is vital, and also understanding that they will have your best interest at heart when it doesn’t always seem evident that others do. We have decades of experience in helping our Pearland clients with criminal defense matters and the emotions that can surround them. Let us be your tireless advocate and fierce ally to help you get the results you need.
Contact our office at (713) 999-6549 to get your questions answered and learn how we can best assist you in moving forward in a new chapter of your life without your criminal history affecting you every step of the way.