Houston Expunction Attorney
Clear Your Criminal Record in Texas
Expungement is the common term for a civil lawsuit that seeks to clear one’s record of all state criminal charges. In Texas, the term expunction is used instead. If a judge grants an expungement/expunction, any agency responsible for maintaining criminal records on a person will be ordered to destroy the record.
Expunction can only be accomplished in specific circumstances:
- A jury returned a verdict of not guilty at a trial
- Your case was dismissed by a judge prior to going to trial
- The prosecution drops charges prior to going to trial
- You are able to overturn a conviction by successful appeal
If you are interested in clearing your name, talk to a Houston expunction lawyer about your options. At The Law Offices of Jed Silverman, our Houston expungement lawyers are experienced not only with expunctions but also with non-disclosures, which may be another option to consider. Our team assists clients in Harris County and across Texas in these matters.
How to Expunge a Felony in Texas
As mentioned above, only felony arrests and charges without finding guilt can be expunged in Texas. You can begin the expunction process once the statute of limitations or waiting period has expired (typically 3 years for felonies)
- Determine your eligibility: To be eligible for expunction in Texas, you must meet certain criteria, including completing your sentence, probation or deferred adjudication, and waiting a certain amount of time after the completion of your sentence. You may not be eligible for expungement if you were convicted of certain violent or sexual offenses, or if you have multiple felony convictions on your record.
- Obtain the necessary documents: You will need to obtain a copy of your criminal record, as well as any court documents related to your conviction. You will also need to obtain a petition for expunction form from the court.
- Fill out and file the petition: Once you have the necessary documents, you will need to fill out the petition for expunction form and file it with the court that handled your case.
- Attend a hearing: After you file the petition, the court will schedule a hearing to review your case. At the hearing, you will need to present evidence to support your petition and convince the judge that you meet the eligibility criteria for expungement.
- Wait for the court's decision: After the hearing, the judge will review your petition and make a decision on whether to grant or deny your request for expungement. If the judge grants your request, your criminal record will be cleared of the felony offense, and you can legally deny that you were ever convicted of the offense.
It's important to note that the process of expungement in Texas can take several months, and it's a good idea to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you navigate the process and increase your chances of a successful outcome.
Non-Disclosure Orders and Pretrial Diversion Programs
If you have a criminal charge on your record, obtaining a non-disclosure order through the courts can seal your record from public view. Non-disclosure is an excellent option for people whose police records have become a hindrance to job opportunities or educational programs. Your record won't be sealed from government agencies that have a “need to know” about your past, but private employers and the general public will not have access.
Pretrial diversion programs are set up to help first-time offenders keep a conviction off of their records. Jed Silverman works with the prosecutor to do everything possible to find the right program for our clients. If you successfully completed a diversion program and have stayed out of legal trouble, you may be a good candidate to have your record sealed from the general public.
To issue a non-disclosure order, the judge must be convinced that you have stayed out of trouble and that you are not likely to repeat a criminal offense. You can also show that there was a good reason the charges were dismissed. That is where an experienced Houston expungement attorney is your best asset.
Discuss Your Expunction With Our Houston Expungement Lawyer
If criminal charges on your record are affecting your employment options or educational opportunities, expunction may be your best legal option. We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case and explain the process. Houston Criminal Attorney Jed Silverman has more than 20 years of experience practicing exclusively in the Texas criminal justice system. He will give you an honest evaluation of your case. If expunction is possible, he will work vigorously with the local judge to clear your record.
Contact us today at (713) 597-2221 to see how our Houston expungement lawyers can help you.
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