How Can I Clear My Criminal Record in Texas?
A criminal record can haunt you for years, preventing you from finding suitable housing or gainful employment. Fortunately, Texas law allows you to go through the expunction or expungement process in order to clear your record of certain arrests. You may be eligible to rid your record of an arrest for either a felony or misdemeanor charge if any of the following is true:
- You have been tried and acquitted.
- You have been tried and convicted and later pardoned.
- You have been charged, but the charges were dismissed.
- You have not been tried on the charges and the prosecutor has recommended an expunction.
As the State Bar of Texas points out, there may be certain juvenile misdemeanors that may qualify for expunction, as well as any items that were the result of identify theft.
In order to clear your record of these matters, you must fill out a Petition for Expunction of Criminal Records and have it notarized. You will have to file the form along with a set of your fingerprints at the office of the district clerk in the same county in which the arrest or offense occurred. A copy of that information will also have to be sent by certified mail to the state prosecutor. You will then have to appear in court for a hearing, which will be scheduled at least 30 days after you have filed the petition. A judge will then decide your case.
There is also the option of sealing your record, which can make it more difficult for someone to access your history. This is referred to as an Order of Nondisclosure. However, there are some felony charges that are not eligible for the process.
While this information may be useful, it should not be taken as legal advice.