Expunging Criminal Records

Expungement of a criminal record is basically a type of lawsuit. Through this process, someone who has been accused of a crime, or has been the subject of criminal investigation or proceeding, attempts to destroy or seal the records from the public. The process of expungement is thereby used to clear the name of the accused.

Even though the process deals with criminal records, expungement is considered a civil action. The person with the criminal record becomes the plaintiff during the process, requesting that the court expunge the records. There are, however certain requirements that the accused must meet before expungement can be considered. These requirements can often include things like fulfilling a waiting period, not having more incidents, not having been convicted, and completing probation without incident. Things such as the number of prior incidents, the gravity of the offence, and things of that nature may also be taken into account when expungement is being considered. expungement process attorney

Different states have different guidelines for what records and what kinds of records can be expunged. Generally, the accused must fill out certain forms to submit to the appropriate authority. Most jurisdictions allow the expungement of juvenile records once a certain age, usually 17 or 18, has been reached. Some states only seal the records from the public while allowing certain authorities to use them further. Other states destroy the records completely. Either way allows the accused to enter into adulthood without a criminal record, thereby keeping the negative effects that come with a criminal record at bay.

Texas law allows expungement for any arrests that did not lead to the arrested being found guilty. The accused can also attempt to expunge his or her record if he or she was accused of a class C misdemeanor and received deferred adjudication and completed community supervision. Once they are expunged, criminal records cannot be used, released or disseminated by any agency. The defendant may also deny the occurrence of the arrest or criminal hearing process unless he or she is being questioned under oath.

If the accused was charged with a class C misdemeanor, and was found guilty, pled guilty, or pled no contest, the record cannot be expunged. It may be possible, however, to attain non-disclosure if deferred adjudication was granted.


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