In some situations you can get your criminal record cleared. This process, called expunction, involves a petition to the court. This post provides some information on how to start the process.
Why should I look into getting my record expunged?
The presence of a criminal record can make it difficult to get good housing and employment opportunities. In some cases it can even hold you back from continuing your education as it can serve as a roadblock to approval of educational scholarships.
Who can get their record expunged in TX?
Texas state law allows for expunction if the criminal charges were dismissed or the grand jury did not file or bill the charges. It can also work for those who successfully completed a diversion program. Examples that qualify often include the Pretrial Diversion and Drug Court programs. An acquittal also qualifies, as does a pardon. We discussed the details of qualification in more detail in a previous post, available here.
How do I get my record expunged?
Those who qualify begin the process by filing a Petition for Expunction with the district court asking the court to grant an Order for Expunction. The petition includes your personal information, like name, address, and social security number, as well as information about the offense and arrest. This can include the case number and name of court, if applicable. You then get the petition notarized before filing it with the proper court.
The court you use to file your petition depends on the offense. If it was charged, you likely file the petition with the court that was originally assigned the case. This will lead to a hearing. If you meet the requirements, the court will then grant the expunction.