Everything You Need to Know about Expunging Your Criminal Record

November 08, 2019

What is a Petition for Expungement?

A process where a crime is legally erased from an individual’s record.


Who qualifies to have their criminal record expunged?


  • A criminal charge that was eventually dismissed
  • An arrest for a crime that was never formally charged
  • Some qualifying misdemeanor juvenile offenses
  • Conviction of a minor for certain alcohol-related offenses
  • Conviction of a minor for failure to attend school
  • Conviction for a crime in which you were later acquitted
  • Conviction for a crime in which you were later pardoned
  • An arrest, charge, or conviction on a person’s record due to identity theft by another individual that was actually arrested, charged or convicted of the crime


Expungement Process for a Misdemeanor in Texas

In most cases, you can expunge a misdemeanor in Texas but it does require a waiting period. For example, if you have a:

  • Class A or B misdemeanor – you have to wait one year from the date of your arrest date.
  • Class C misdemeanor – you have to wait 180 days from your arrest date.


Expungement Process for a Felony in Texas

In many cases, it is possible to expunge a felony. If you were arrested but ultimately not formally charged with a felony, you will have to wait three years from your arrest date in order to enter a petition for expungement of your criminal record.


How much will it cost to expunge a criminal record?

The costs will vary depending on your case. But you can estimate to spend anywhere from $1,000 to $1,500 which includes lawyer’s fees and filing costs to expunge your criminal record. Contact CLM Law Firm today to find out how much it will cost you to expunge your record.


What does the actual expungement process consist of and how long does it take?

Your lawyer can assist you with completing a petition for expungement of criminal records which entails completing expungement forms with the Texas courts. Once the paperwork has been completed and filed, the court will schedule a hearing for you approximately 30 days later. If you are granted the expungement, the courts can take approximately 90 days to register the decision and make it official. After this, you are allowed to deny that you have been arrested or had a record expunged when you are applying school or employment.


Is there another option if I don’t qualify for expungement?

Yes – the Texas law allows for some criminal records to be sealed under an Order of Nondisclosure, if you have completed deferred adjudication. When a record has been sealed, the general public will not be able to view it. Only a small group of government agencies and select licensing and employment entities that are specified within your agreement will be able to access your record. That means that if you are applying for a job at a school, for example, a Texas law enforcement agency would be required to share your sealed record with your potential employer if it requests the information.The process and timeframe for record sealing is similar to that of expungement. Your lawyer can assist you with completing a petition for an Order of Nondisclosure form and file it with the court where your case was handled. For record sealing, most misdemeanors are eligible for sealing. If your punishment consisted of a fine only, there may be no waiting period. However, for more serious misdemeanors, there is a two-year waiting period after you have completed your sentence to be eligible to apply for record sealing and a five year waiting period for felonies.


Are there certain crimes that can never be eligible for record sealing or expungement in Texas?

Yes. For the following crimes, record sealing or expungement is not allowed:

  • Murder
  • Stalking
  • Any crime where you are required to register as a sex offender
  • Any family violence offense
  • Child endangerment or abandonment
  • Aggravated kidnapping
  • Human trafficking

Both the expungement and record sealing process in Texas can be complex and the laws can change at any time. That’s why it is best to contact a criminal defense attorney at CLM Law Firm to provide you with the best option and guide you through the process.


Posted by CLM Law Firm
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