Expungement in Texas: How to Have Your Criminal Records Sealed

It can be hard to start over after you have been convicted of a crime. It doesn’t matter if you were wrongfully convicted, or have been acquitted or pardoned by the law. It can be hard to change your reputation in the eyes of society. In Texas, a criminal record can get in the way of finding employment or a new place of residence. Thankfully, there are legal options you can consider when starting over a new leaf.

Depending on your circumstances, you may try for expunction or expungement of your criminal record. Through this legal process, you can have your criminal record sealed from access of the general public. Based on the decision of the court, you may also be allowed to say that you have never been arrested or convicted of a crime. As you can see, this option is a significant step forward for those who have been continually burdened and restricted by a former criminal conviction.

Qualifying for expunction in Texas will depend on the circumstances of your conviction. Based on the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, your criminal record may qualify for expungement if you meet any of the following conditions:

  • If you were charged but later acquitted
  • If you were convicted but later found innocent
  • If you were convicted but subsequently received pardon
  • If you were charged through indictment or information but the case was dismissed or the statute of limitations expired

You could also try to file for expungement if you were arrested but never formally charged of a crime, given that you wait a specific length of time before you file your case. In Texas, you will need to wait 180 days from the date of your arrest if you have been charged with a Class C misdemeanor. For Class A or B misdemeanors, you will have to wait for a full year. For felony charges, you will have to wait for 3 years.

A few other factors might also need to be considered before you qualify for expunction. These could depend on specific details of your criminal record. The best way to learn if expungement is the best option for you is by seeking out appropriate legal counsel, such as an experienced criminal defense lawyer.