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Are you eligible for Houston criminal record expunction?
March 24, 2022 at 4:00 AM
A courthouse.

A criminal record can be costly when it comes to your future. If you’re applying for an apartment, trying to obtain a vehicle, or performing any number of necessary tasks to support yourself, a record could potentially interfere with your ability to complete these tasks. This is particularly true if the offenses on your record are severe ones, like a felony charge, or even a long list of misdemeanor crimes.

Even if you haven’t actually been convicted, a criminal charge can remain on your record long after the case has ended. But there are steps you can take to prevent these charges from interfering with some of the most important elements of your life. One of these steps is to have your record sealed, in which case the charges will still remain on your record, but under certain circumstances, you could have them removed entirely through expunction.

Are you wondering whether you may be eligible for Houston criminal record expunction? In this blog post, we’ll cover how you may determine whether or not you qualify to have your record expunged and the best next steps you can take in either scenario.

Determining your eligibility for record expunction

Criminal record expunction in Texas is fairly limited when it comes to who’s eligible and what circumstances are covered. As we’ve written in a previous blog post, your eligibility essentially comes down to three main factors:

  • What level of offense were you charged with?
  • Were you ultimately convicted of the offenses you were charged with?
  • How long has it been since you received your criminal charges?

For the most part, you’re only eligible for record expunction if your case was dismissed or you were only arrested for an offense and never charged. You’re also eligible for expunction if you were charged with a class C misdemeanor and your case resulted in deferred adjudication, as this result will remain on your record.

For class C misdemeanors, you’ll have to wait 180 days before filing an expunction application. For class A and B misdemeanors, that waiting period is extended to 1 year. For any level of felony, the period is 3 years.

With a few notable exceptions, you aren’t eligible for record expunction if you’ve been convicted. These exceptions include:

  • Acquittal
  • A pardon
  • The conviction wasn’t actually you for, but someone who you can prove stole your identity
  • Certain juvenile offenses
  • Certain alcohol offenses as a minor
  • Failure to Attend School

What disqualifies you for expunction?

Aside from most situations in which you’re convicted of the crimes you’re charged with, there are other circumstances that will disqualify you for record expunction. These include:

  • Deferred adjudication
  • Probation
  • The statute of limitations on a felony charge or any arrests you want expunged hasn’t expired

Lady Justice.

Your next steps

The first thing you should do if you’re seeking to expunge any part of your record is to consult an attorney with experience assisting clients in this kind of matter. They can help you better understand your eligibility and guide you through the process of filling out and submitting the