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)
If you do not know what is on your record, we can research your case(s) for you to determine what is currently on there and what we can do to clear your record. We charge a small researching fee for this service, and we would apply that fee to any service(s) you sign up for with our firm.
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)
Cases are denied for the following reasons: (1) an inaccuracy in the court file, (2) an inaccuracy in the application, (3) the court does not believe that granting your expungement will be in the interest of society or (4) not paying 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.
While we will have a licensed attorney appear in court at your hearing for you, the judges in Texas will frequently require your presence as well. If you live out of state or if attending the hearing would be a hardship for you, 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.
The courts work on a first-come, first-served basis. The sooner you sign up, the sooner your case can be expunged. If helpful, we will write a letter for your employer or potential employer letting them know 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.
You will receive a court order of expungement. The order will update the court and state records so your record is 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 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 Department of Public Safety to send a copy of the order to all law enforcement agencies, jails, etc. who are then ordered to seal the records, but not destroy them. So, they cannot disclose the offense, but the records are not destroyed. And the prior criminal record could be used against the person in a subsequent prosecution. §411.081(d)
A case is only eligible for one service and what the eligible service is depends on the sentence for that case.
No. Under Texas exungement law you are required to register then your offense is not eligible for an expungement. §55.01(b)(1)
The Border Patrol has discretion in granting or denying Sentri passes. So, the only thing we can say for sure is that investing in record clearing before applying for a pass would be advantageous.
Voting rights are restored to individuals convicted of a felony in Texas once a person is fully discharged from their sentence, including any term of incarceration, parole, or supervision, or completes a 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, getting an analysis tailored to your specific facts is imperative. To find out if your criminal case will impact your immigration case or if getting an expungement will affect your immigration status, contacting a qualified immigration attorney is vital. Our in-house immigration attorney is available to answer questions at 714-617-8395.
Since dismissed cases and cases where deferred adjudication is completed are not considered convictions, you are able to own or possess a firearm already. However, there is also a lifetime prohibition from the United States government (Lautenberg Amendment to the Violence Against Women Act), which prohibits firearm ownership of those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence as defined by federal law. The federal definition is narrower than Texas’s definition, so your domestic violence conviction in Texas might not trigger the federal law. 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.
Section 19 of the FDIA (Federal Deposit Insurance Act) allows banks and other financial institutions to bar prospective and current employees who have had “Breach of Trust” or "Dishonesty" convictions from jobs that they are otherwise qualified for even if they had the conviction expunged.
If you believe you have a “breach of trust” or "dishonesty" conviction and were denied a position or were terminated from a financial institution because of that offense, there still is another way to obtain that job with a waiver from the FDIC. Speaking with an attorney about your specific circumstances to see if you would qualify for such a waiver from the FDIC is vital.
No. The expungement prohibits the release, maintenance, dissemination, or use of the expunged records and files for any purpose. Government records are typically cleared within 60 days of the court agreeing to expunge the case. §55.01(a)
Once the judge signs the granted order for the case to be expunged, the court sends the order to all agencies with records of the arrest and court case.
The court updates their records within 48 hours. Texas Department of Public Safety and agencies typically update their records between 30 to 60 days upon receiving the order.
No. Driver's license records are not affected by the Texas criminal record expungement . However, driving records fall off your record after a certain period of time unlike your criminal records, which remain on your record for life unless you have them cleared.