There is perhaps no worse feeling than being accused of a crime you did not commit. Even if you are not convicted–or even formally tried–the record of your arrest is still public knowledge that can haunt you for years. An experienced Denton County criminal defense attorney can help you seek the permanent removal of such information from your criminal records thru a process known as expunction.
Expunction, also referred to as “expungement,” is a court order requiring law enforcement agencies to destroy all records related to an arrest, charge, or conviction. If your record is expunged, that means you can legally answer “no” if someone asks you if you were ever arrested. The expunction order effectively removes any public reference to the charge.
Under Section 55.01 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, there are several scenarios that entitle a person to seek an expungement of their criminal record. If any of the following apply to you, you should speak with a Denton County expungement attorney to discuss your options:
An expunction is not automatic. An eligible individual must file a Petition for Expunction with a Texas district court. The petition must contain basic identifying information as well as the grounds for which the person is entitled to expungement. The district attorney and other law enforcement agencies may contest the petition. A judge will then hold a hearing and make a final decision.
An expungement should eliminate any record related to the underlying arrest or conviction. This includes fingerprints, mugshots, and even trial transcripts. The arrest will also not show up in a normal criminal background check. More importantly, the individual may legally answer “no” if asked by a potential employer or landlord if they have ever been arrested or charged with a crime.
It usually takes several months to petition for, and successfully receive, an expunction order. A qualified Denton, Texas, expungement attorney can walk you through each step of the process. Call the offices of Brent D. Bowen, Attorney at Law, at (940) 222-2488 or email us today to schedule a free consultation.