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.

Marital Rape

Rape is considered illegal in all states of the US, and in 1993 all 50 US states and the District of Columbia have executed laws that prohibit marital rape. Rape is legally defined as any act of non-consensual sexual intercourse, and all state recognize marital rape is a crime, and the penalties are the same as those with rape in non-spouses. The main problem that usually happens in marital rape is that it is generally harder to prove that the rape was non-consensual as compared to rape that happens between two strangers.

There is not much difference between states when it comes to marital rape and its penalties. In the state of Wisconsin, for example, the penalties include (but are not limited to) fines, incarceration, and probation. This swill all depend on how the rape charges are classified and the degree of the charges. The maximum penalties for marital rape can depend on certain factors that each court would look into. Because each case is its own, once charged with marital rape it is important to immediately contact a criminal lawyer. As the website of Kohler Hart Powell, SC states, there are numerous possible defenses that can be used to ensure that the charges will not cause too much burden in your life, and it is vital for the lawyer to know important facts about the case; the more information about your case that your can provide and the more skilled your lawyer is, the higher your chances of possibly reducing the charges or penalties. A transparent relationship with your lawyer can go a long way.

On the state of California, on the other hand, the crime of marital rape has four categories or degrees classified based on the severity and the circumstances. Although it is not impossible to get a conviction, a spouse can have a difficult time proving the rape sexual act occurred without their consent, particularly when they are living together with the accused partner. The website of Horst Law informs that the heaviest penalty for marital rape (in the first degree) is imprisonment of up to 60 years. This heavy burden can be relieved or prevented through an experienced local lawyer who understands how the state laws would affect your case and knows how to go about it.