EXPUNCTION PROCESS IN TEXAS
In the State of Texas, there is a legal remedy called Expunction, which is most commonly referred to as expungement, as provided for in Rule 55 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/CR/htm/CR.55.htm An arrest record may be expunged in the state of Texas PRO SE or through the help of an Attorney who can assist you with the legal complexities of the process. The foregoing is a concise summary of the expunction process.
1. FIND OUT IF YOUR TEXAS CRIMINAL RECORD IS ELIGIBLE FOR EXPUNCTION
Expunction is not available to everyone with a criminal record inTexas. One should determine if his or her case is eligible for expunction. The general rule is, those who gotarrest that resulted to a fine, confinement in the jail or the penitentiary, or any form of court-ordered probation, Expunction is not applicable. There are a few exceptions to these. You have to make a thorough research to learn if you are eligible under the exceptions or you can contact a lawyer.
2. SECURE A COPY OF YOUR TX CRIMINAL RECORD
After determining if you are eligible for Expunction, get a copy of your criminal records from the appropriate Department. You can directly go to their office and ask for it verbally or you can write a letter addressed to the custodian stating your request to get a hold of a copy of your criminal record. In the State of Texas, it is the Texas Department of Public Safety https://www.txdps.state.tx.us/
3. PREPARETHE PETTION FOR EXPUNCTION
There are three legal documents that you will to prepare in pursuing your expunction. These are:
a. Petition for Expunction;
b. Order Setting Hearing; and
c. Order of Expunction.
WHAT IS A PETITION FOR EXPUNCTION DOCUMENT
A Petition for Expunction is a written request of the petitioner to the court. This contains important information about the petitioner, his or her prayer (aka request) and this is made under oath. It is important that one should be very sure about any information given in this petition. Otherwise, one can be charged of perjury. If not sure, better consult a lawyer.
WHAT IS AN ORDER SETTING HEARING DOCUMENT
The Petition for Expunction must include a blank Order Setting Hearing. This document is to be filled by the court if there is already a date set to hear the case.
WHAT IS AN ORDER OF EXPUNCTION DOCUMENT
The Order of Expunction is drafted by the petitioner or by a lawyer he or she hired. Once the Petition is granted, the Petitioner will present the Order of Expunction for the Judge’s signature. This Order or Expunction shall be the document that must be shown to the appropriate government Departments and agencies that may have records of the expunged offense. In most instances, the court will be providing the order to all of the necessary government agencies. However, you will want a copy to use to dispute any inaccurateinformation that might be provided by private sector background check companies. There are services that are available to update background check companies in effort to reduce the chances that your expunged record will still appear on a background check.