Expunction of Criminal Record in Texas

There is some good news and some bad news about the Expunction of criminal records in Texas. The good news is that a person placed under a custodial or noncustodial arrest for the commission of a felony or misdemeanor is entitled to have all records and files relating to the offense expunged. This procedure is complete, thorough, and final. It results in the total erasure of everything relating to the expunged arrest.

The bad news is, it is hard to get. A person has to have been either acquitted by a judge or jury, or if convicted, subsequently pardoned. Or, an indictment or information has either not been presented or, if presented, was dismissed or quashed. Further, if these conditions for expunction do exist, the statute of limitations has to have already expired, or a court has to have found that such indictment was presented by fraud or by mistake.

Expunction is also available if the Defendant was released with no final conviction, and without having served any period of probation. Expunction is not available to anyone who received Deferred Adjudication or any form of Probation.

I get a lot of calls for Expunction these days, as criminal records are more public than ever before, and public records searches are commonly done by employers, apartment management, colleges, trade schools, and other such entities.

But the bottom line is this: if you were arrested and never went to court, chances are good you may be eligible for an Expunction of the arrest; if you went to court, however, you are probably out of luck, unless the case was dismissed.