This page was designed to help our clients better understand our Texas criminal record expungement service and expungement in general. You will find answers to the questions we are most frequently asked. If your question is related to eligibility requirements please take the free online expungement eligibility test.
Simply click on a question to view its answer:
No. If a case is eligible for nondisclosure, then the case is not eligible for expungement.
If you pled guilty or no contest then the case is not able to be expunged unless the case was for a misdemeanor class C and you completed deferred adjudication. §55.01(a)(1-2)
We can research your case(s) for you to determine what is currently on there and what we can do to clear your record if you are not sure what is on your record or what the exact disposition was of a case. For this service, we charge a small researching fee that we would apply towards the cost of any service(s) you sign up for with us
Yes as long as the offense was not for any of the following offenses:
abuse of corpse; advertising for placement of child; aiding suicide; assault; bigamy; cruelty to animals; deadly conduct; destruction of flag; discharge of firearm; disorderly conduct; disrupting meeting of procession; dog fighting; false alarm; harassment; harboring runaway child; hoax bombs; indecent exposure; interference with emergency telephone call; leaving child in a vehicle; making a firearm accessible to a child; possession, manufacture, transport, repair, or sale of switchblade knife or knuckles; public lewdness; riot; silent or abusive calls to 9-1-1 service; terrorist threat; unlawful carrying of handgun by license holder; unlawful carrying weapons; unlawful possession of firearm; unlawful restraint; unlawful transfer of certain weapons; violation of protective order preventing offense caused by bias or prejudice. If the offense was any of the listed offenses, then you must wait two years from the date you completed deferred adjudication. §55.01(a)(2)
Yes. For misdemeanors there is a two year waiting period and for most felonies there is a three year waiting period. For more serious felonies there is a longer waiting period. The waiting period begins to run from the date of arrest or incident. §55.01(a)(2)(A)(i)
Yes. If your case was dismissed due to lack of probable cause or mistake then you can file before the waiting period expires. This means that the case was dismissed with prejudice and the District Attorney cannot refile the charges against you. §55.01(a)(1)
An expungement request could be denied because: (1) there was an inaccuracy in the court records and/or in the expungement petition, (2) the court does not find that expungement is in the interest of society or (3) you have not paid your fines. §55.01(c)
Deferred adjudication is a sentence that the judge gives you. Typically, you are placed on probation as part of the sentence. Upon completing the sentence, the judge dismisses the case and “defers” the guilty plea. Under Texas law this is not considered a conviction.
You cannot expunge the case because the case cannot lead to a conviction, even if the conviction was a lesser charge. The only exception to this is if the lesser crime was filed as a completely separate case. §55.01(a)
We can file for multiple cases; however, they must be filed separately.
Texas judges will frequently request your presence at the hearing in addition to the licensed attorney we will have appear at the hearing on your behalf. If attending the hearing would be a hardship, we will ask the court to excuse your presence, however we cannot guarantee the court will grant that request.
Currently, a Texas expunction typically takes anywhere between four and nine months, depending on county, the facts of your case, and whether the DA consents or objects.
We cannot expedite the process with the court, as they handle expungements in the order in which they are received. If you are having difficulties finding or maintaining employment, we will write a letter for your employer or potential employer informing them that we are in the process of having your record expunged.
A legal doctrine called "res judicata" prevents a party from relitigating claims that have already been decided by a court. (Barr v. Resolution Trust Corp., 837 S.W.2d 627 (Tex. 1992)). In Texas, res judicata applies to petitions for expungement. (Ex Parte Myers, 68 S.W.3d 229 (2002)). Except under limited circumstances, once the judge makes a decision to deny a petition for expungement, that decision is final (unless successfully appealed) and the case cannot be refiled at a later time. For this reason, hiring an attorney experienced in Texas expungement law to properly file the petition is extremely important.
Once your case is granted, you will receive the court order of expungement. The order will also be sent to the court and state agencies so your records will be sealed and destroyed.
If we are unable to succeed on your case, we give you your money back, except for the fees paid to the court (normally $200 to $450). There is a partial refund if the client does anything to become ineligible after beginning the process.
Texas expungement seals and destroys your records of the arrest and court case so your record is not viewable by the public. §55.01(a)
You can deny the occurrence of the arrest and the existence of the expunction unless there is a criminal proceeding about the arrest for which the records have been expunged. In that instance, only the fact that the matter in question has been expunged can be disclosed. You can deny the case or the arrest on employment applications, housing applications, and any other applications. §55.01(a)
Expunged records in Texas cannot be used against you unless there is a criminal proceeding about the arrest for which the records have been expunged. In that instance, only the fact that the matter in question has been expunged can be disclosed. §55.01(a)
Texas expungement law results in the destruction of all references and records of the case from public records. The Department of Public Safety (DPS) also requests any federal repository to return and destroy them. The court record for expungement is destroyed 60 days to one year after the order is issued. §55.01(a)
Non-disclosure requires the DPS to send the order to all law enforcement agencies, who are then required to seal the records but not destroy them. The records are not destroyed but they are not able to disclose the offense/case. In a subsequent prosecution, the record can be used against you. §411.081(d)
Your case is only eligible for one service, depending on what your sentence was for that case.
No; if you are required to register, then your offense is not eligible for an expungement under Texas expungement law. §55.01(b)(1)
The Border Patrol has discretion in granting or denying Sentri passes, and therefore we believe expunging your record will be beneficial before applying for a Sentri pass.
Voting rights are restored to individuals convicted of a felony in Texas after you have been fully discharged from the sentence, including any term of incarceration, parole, or supervision, or after you have completed the period of probation ordered by any court. Therefore, if you are eligible for expungement, then you already have your voting rights.
Since each criminal and immigration case is unique, we suggest you have an attorney analyze your specific situation and determine if an expungement of your Texas case would impact your immigration status. You can reach our in-house immigration attorney at 714-617-8395.
If your case was dismissed or you completed deferred adjudication, your case is not a conviction and you are able to own or possess a firearm already.
There is however a lifetime ban under the federal law (Lautenberg Amendment to the Violence Against Women Act). Under the Lautenberg Amendment, those convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense are prohibited from firearm possession. The federal definition is narrower than Texas’s definition, so your domestic violence conviction in Texas might not trigger the federal law. However, if this law does apply to you, an expungement in Texas does not lift the federal prohibition.
In Texas, you may serve on a jury if you: 1) are a resident of the United States and a resident of the county by which you are summoned, 2) are at least eighteen years of age, 3) are able to read and write, 4) are of sound mind.
You may not serve on a jury if you: 1) have been convicted of a felony for any type of theft, unless your rights have been restored to you, 2) are currently on probation or deferred adjudication for any type of theft on a felony level, 3) are currently under indictment for a felony or are currently charged with any type of theft.
Since the expunged criminal records are destroyed, the arrest and case won’t be considered for the application for employment.
Even if your case has been expunged, Section 19 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (FDIA) permits banks and other financial institutions to bar prospective and current employees from jobs that you are otherwise qualified for if they have a “Breach of Trust” or "Dishonesty" conviction on your record.
If you have a “breach of trust” or "dishonesty" conviction, you may be able to receive a waiver from the FDIC to allow a bank to hire you despite your record. You should contact an attorney to discuss your options and see if you are eligible for a waiver.
No. The release, maintenance, dissemination, or use of the expunged records and files for any purpose is prohibited once your case is expunged. Government records are typically cleared within 60 days of the court agreeing to expunge the case. §55.01(a)
After the judge grants your expungement, the court sends the granted order to all agencies with records of the arrest and court case.
The court will update their records very shortly after the case is granted, typically within 48 hours. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and other agencies usually update their records between 30 to 60 days after receiving the order.
No. Your driving record is not affected by the Texas criminal record expungement. However, offenses come off your driving record after a certain period of time - items remain on your criminal record for life if you do not petition the court to have them expunged.