We have been helping people clear their records for 18+ years. Call us and we will look up your case to determine whether you are eligible for an expunction.
You've got a long road ahead. Don't let something on your record prevent you from accomplishing your goals.
WHAT IS AN EXPUNCTION?
An expunction is a procedure that allows the records from a criminal charge (that was dismissed) to be completely erased from all public information systems. Once the case is expunged, you are allowed to say “it never happened”. In other words, if you are asked if you were arrested (for this charge), you can claim that you were not.
I CAN LEGALLY LIE?
IF THE CASE WAS DISMISSED, DOESN'T IT GET AUTOMATICALLY ERASED?
No. All the records from the arrest/charge are public record and still visible until you have the case expunged. For example, the county clerk maintains the documents of an arrest and disposition indefinitely. This documentation (both physical and online) will describe the charge and say it was “dismissed”. But if the case is expunged, there would be no record at all.
WILL AN ONLINE MUGSHOT COMPANY REMOVE MY PICTURE?
Yes. If you email them a copy of the expunction, they will remove your picture.
WON'T IT EVENTUALLY COME OFF MY RECORD? IN LIKE 10 YEARS?
WHY DIDN'T YOU INSIST THE CHARGE GET EXPUNGED WHEN YOU GOT MY CASE DISMISSED?
There is no way to do that. Neither the prosecutor nor the judge has the power to expunge an arrest/charge without going through the expunction procedure (and waiting period). My job during the criminal stage is to get a result that can eventually be expunged.
WHY SHOULD I GET MY CASE EXPUNGED?
You should use every available legal avenue to remove any arrest/charge from your record. Unfortunately, employers/landlords/creditors are allowed to consider what you’ve been charged with – even if the charge was eventually dismissed. The internet makes it easy to see records – either via the official Travis County website or a business that aggregates criminal records from around the U.S. (such as PublicData.com).
ARE YOU SURE THIS IS NECESSARY?
In addition to the practical reasons, an expunction is also a good way to get “closure” on the event. Psychologically, it can help you forget it even happened.
WHEN CAN WE START?
Usually, we have to let the Statute of Limitations expire on your case before we can file the expunction petition. This is approximately two years from the date of the offense on a misdemeanor and even longer on a felony (depending on the charge). If you were in Felony Pretrial Diversion or SHORT, or the DWI Pre-Trial Diversion program, we can file for the expunction petition as soon as you successfully complete the program.
WILL THE COUNTY ATTORNEY OR DISTRICT ATTORNEY EVER WAIVE THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS WAITING PERIOD?
Sometimes. They will evaluate it on a case-by-case basis. We can tell you whether they are likely to agree or not. However, sometimes even we don't know for sure. If you hire us to file the expunction, and the county/district attorney does not agree to an early expunction, we will file it again when the statute of limitations runs. It will not cost more money.
IF THE CHARGE WAS DISMISSED, WHY DO WE HAVE TO WAIT? WHY DO THEY MAKE IT SO DIFFICULT?
The culture of law enforcement (which includes prosecutors) wants to be able to see and know everything about anyone charged with a crime. If it were up to them, no one would be able to expunge anything. Prosecutors think that if you successfully expunge a case, they might later agree to dismiss a subsequent case – because they didn’t know about the first one.
THAT DOESN'T SEEM LIKE A COMPELLING REASON TO MAKE IT SO DIFFICULT.
I agree. If you can somehow get me elected Governor of Texas, I will not veto the bills that make it easier to get an expunction (like Perry and Abbott have done).
DO I HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL I'M ELIGIBLE FOR AN EXPUNCTION TO HIRE YOU?
No. You can hire us at any time. We will begin putting together the necessary paperwork immediately. We will put your eligibility date in our calendar and file the petition on that day.
CAN WE EXPUNGE MORE THAN ONE ARREST AT A TIME?
Yes, if the cases are from Travis County and were dismissed.
CAN I DO IT MYSELF?
Even lawyers that have worked in this field for 10 years are not always competent at filing expunctions. I don’t want to say that it is impossible for a non-lawyer to do it correctly, but it would be extremely difficult because the process is complicated. An expunction requires compiling a large amount of information about the arrest and disposition, identifying all the agencies that might have records of the arrest/charge (which can be up to 20 different entities), filing the petition in District Court, countering any objections that may be raised, and appearing in court to defend the expunction to the judge.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR AN ARREST/CHARGE TO COME OFF MY RECORD? I'M APPLYING FOR A JOB RIGHT NOW. CAN I GET IT EXPUNGED QUICKLY?
Once we file the petition, it takes about a month to get a court setting. After the judge signs the expunction, the agencies have six months to delete/destroy the documents relating to your arrest/charge. Unfortunately it cannot go any faster than that.
DO I HAVE TO GO TO COURT?
No. We will go for you.
I STILL HAVE QUESTIONS.
No problem. Give us a call. 512-472-1113.