This page was designed to help our clients better understand our Texas Probation Termination service. 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 eligibility test.
Your background check will show that your probation was terminated and that you are not still serving a sentence. However, your case will still show as a conviction. In most cases, the judge will “set aside” your guilty judgment and dismiss the charges at the time he/she terminates your probation, in which case the records will reflect that the case has been “set aside and dismissed” as though you were never convicted of the offense.
Having your probation terminated early will increase your chances of being hired because you can truthfully state you are not serving a sentence and that you are not on probation. However, if in addition to terminating your probation, the judge also sets aside and dismisses the charges against you (which they often do), then most state agencies will be prohibited from considering the offense in deciding whether to grant you a particular license (teaching, nursing, etc.). An exception is when you apply for a license with the Health and Human Services Commission that involves child care services.
While we cannot predict the definitive outcome, we have been successful in more than 85% of our probation termination cases. The more supporting evidence that you have of your reform and law abiding behavior the better your chances are of success. If you have completed at least 1/3 of your probation or two years (whichever is less), you are eligible to apply to terminate or reduce your probation period. Compliance with the terms of your probation increase the odds of successful termination of probation. We can evaluate your case for a fee that will be applied to the probation termination fee if you decide to sign up for the service.
The court considers criminal history, amount of time spent on probation, your age, seriousness of the offense, compliance with other terms of the sentence, the need for relief, your behavior on probation thus far, whether you are delinquent on any court fines or restitution, the potential benefit to society, and any other relevant factors.
The process can take three to four months depending on your particular circumstances, the court’s workload, and whether there are objections from the prosecutor or probation department.
We base our estimates of how long a case will take on how long the average is for that service in that state. However, some cases can take less or more time depending on the facts of the case, whether the DA is agreeing or objecting, the age of the case, etc. We work on your case as fast as we can and assist the court and DA in anything they need to get your case heard.
The courts work on a first-come, first-served basis. Therefore, the sooner you sign up, the sooner it is heard and decided. If it helps, we would be glad to write your employer or potential employer a letter letting them know we have reopened the case and are in the process of having the probation terminated.
We have an online tracking system that is just for your case or cases. You will have a user name and password for the account and it will have the information specific to the case. Whenever anything happens in your case we post it in your online account so that you can view the status of the case and the progress that is made. If there is no post on your online account then that means that there is no update in the case. For example, once we update your online account to reflect that we have filed the motion with the court we will update the notes when we hear a response from the court or District Attorney. Depending on the court, it can take several weeks to months to hear from the court or District Attorney whether there is an objection, hearing, or anything else. If something is taking longer than usual for the court we will call to obtain status of the case and update your online notes. In addition to posting the status updates in your online account, we will post your case information in the case information so you are aware of the case and future hearings.
Moreover, we post your contract and payment plan information on the online account for you so that you can view all the information and print it.
We will be glad to work with you to get a copy of your record and review what can be done. We charge a researching fee to do it and we apply that to the cost of any service you hire us to perform.
If it is denied, it is usually because of (1) an inaccuracy in the court file, (2) an inaccuracy in the application, (3) the court does not believe it will be in the interest of society, (4) violating probation, or (5) not paying fines.
If the case is denied, we evaluate the reason for the denial and determine the best way to proceed. It may be best to wait until probation is naturally terminated or wait longer to refile.
No, it does not matter.
We are unable to offer a money back guarantee because the process involves a substantial amount of preparation and sometimes several appearances in court by our attorneys. We cannot afford to offer this low of a price and a money back guarantee.
We can create a payment plan that meets your needs. Please view the pricing section for details regarding the payment plans.
Setting aside is not included in the price for probation termination; however, if you sign up for both services at the same time we can give you a discounted rate. Please view the pricing for details regarding the payment plans.
You have an attorney to (1) make sure it is done right the first time so it does not get rejected or cost you months of delay (2) handle objections from the district attorney (3) send an attorney to court to argue the case if need be and (4) write letters to potential employers letting them know that we have petitioned the court to terminate your probation early.
Although a licensed attorney will appear in court for you, in Texas cases, the judge will frequently require your presence. If you live out of state or if attending the hearing would be a hardship for you, we can ask the court to excuse your presence, but this is not guaranteed.
Once you sign up we have you fill out a questionnaire on your personal online account. The questionnaire asks questions that influence the outcome of the case and allows us to argue your case before a judge. Although some of the questions may seem simple, the more information and detail that you provide in your answers the better we are able to argue the case in your favor.
You will receive a court order terminating your probation and closing your case. Either at the same time or any time after that, you can petition the court to set aside and dismiss the charges.
The court will send the granted order to the Texas Department of Public Safety. The Texas Department of Public Safety should then update their records to reflect that you are no longer on probation and the case is closed.
This just depends on the particular agency. The court will update its records and then send a copy to the Department of Public Safety. The Department of Public Safety typically takes a few weeks to 30 days to update their records.
This depends on the type of recording cleaning that you would like. If you are simply asking for the charges to be “set aside and dismissed,” then you would be eligible the moment your probation is terminated. However, if you want an “expunction” or “nondisclosure,” there are other requirements that you must satisfy.
This depends on the type of record clearing that you are requesting. We can file for a setting aside/dismissal at the same time and can offer you a discount if you decide that you would like both.
This depends on the type of recording clearing you are trying to get on the other case.
Probation termination will not terminate the requirement to register.
If you have been convicted of minor offenses (including assault, dangerous driving, DUI, theft, shoplifting, unauthorized possession of firearms, possession of illegal substances, etc.) or indictable criminal offenses (including assault with a deadly weapon, manslaughter, etc.) you may be prohibited from entrance and further action is required to find out whether you will be allowed entrance. The Canadian government has entered into an information sharing agreement with the United States; so the Canadian government will have the same information the United States has on record. Therefore, the first thing you should do is clear your criminal record to the fullest extent possible, through probation termination and expungement, before submitting to a background check. The benefit of this will show the Canadian government that the matter was resolved and no longer considered on probation and improve the odds of not being denied entry to Canada or being stuck at the border for lengthy interrogation.
The Border Patrol has discretion in granting or denying Sentri passes. So the only thing we can say for sure is that it would help; so it would be wise to invest in record clearing before applying for a pass. A modest investment in record clearing could be the difference between having your request accepted or denied. It will show that you have resolved all matters with the court.
Yes. In most cases when the court terminates your probation it will also set aside and dismiss your offense, at which time you will be eligible to vote again, provided you are not serving a sentence for any other felony convictions (including being on probation or parole).
You can only expunge certain cases. Typically, you have to show that the conviction was wrongful or unconstitutional. Additionally, a person can apply for a pardon through the President. We do not handle federal cases at this time.
If the court sets aside and dismisses your conviction at the time it terminates your probation, then you will be eligible to possess/purchase a firearm again, provided you do not have other offenses on your record that make you ineligible. 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 the federal law. The federal definition is different than many state's definition, so your domestic violence conviction in Texas might not trigger the federal law. Expungement and setting aside in Texas does not lift the federal prohibition.
Additionally, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that a conviction that has been “set aside” still counts as a conviction for purposes of getting a concealed handgun license in Texas. Therefore, you will be treated as if you were convicted when applying for a concealed handgun license even if the conviction was set aside.
Call us 512-501-4973 or Toll Free 877-573-7273
Please take the free online eligibility test before calling.
Law Firm of Higbee & Associates
825 W. 11th Street, Austin, TX 78701 *
1314 Texas Ave. Suite 701, Houston, TX 77002 *
6060 North Central Expressway Suite 315, Dallas, TX 75206 *
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