EXPUNGING AN ARREST RECORD
Too many people are aware that an arrest record can complicate life. An arrest can limit your choices in a job search, in apartment hunting and for some it can make receiving a higher education or specialized training more difficult. Federally, there are not laws that prevent employers from asking about your criminal history, while landlords in Texas can actively reject applicants with criminal histories.
In some instances, an arrest record can prevent those wanting to be part of our great nation from obtaining a green card, receiving immigration status and ultimately it can prevent people from becoming American citizens. For those wish to give back to their communities, they could be barred from certain volunteer activities, and it can result in people losing their jobs in fields such as education, law enforcement or medical care.
Further, depending on what the charges for the arrest were, it can prevent people from practicing their second amendment right to own a firearm. For others, an arrest record is a source of public shame, knowing that their reputation has been stained and that for every job application, every residency application and financial aid application, judgments are being passed upon them, proven by the active discrimination people with arrest records face. These arrest records, which can be accessed online easily by paying a small fee, can also limit someone’s ability to form supportive social connections, which can result in isolation and emotional damage.
The majority of arrests made in Texas are nonviolent in nature. And – unfortunately the most common crimes in Texas are drug-related offenses, and the majority of arrests in the lone-star state are for drug possession. Marijuana is considered by the federal government and the state government of Texas to be just as harmful to the public as heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, psychoactive substances such as acid or shrooms, PCP, angel dust, and other controlled prescription drugs. This is why the consequences of such arrests are the same in terms of the extensive discrimination individuals face due to their arrests. In 2018, 63,000 people were arrested in Texas for possession of marijuana. In 2019, the number of people arrested for marijuana was 45,000. These figures reflect just a small portion of the public who are arrested for nonviolent crimes each year in Texas.
By getting your arrest record expunged, all documents related to the arrest will be destroyed by the police department, the courthouse and by any companies who might obtain and retain information about it. Therefore, employers, landlords, and colleges will not see it, and when they ask about your criminal history, you will not be required to disclose it!
At the Dodson Law Firm, PLLC we take pride in erasing arrest records, especially for nonviolent crimes.
ELIGIBILITY FOR EXPUNCTION OF ARREST RECORDS
To get an arrest record expunction in Texas, the laws are very precise. First, it must be determined if you are eligible.
FULFILL THE WAITING PERIOD
To receive an expunction in the State of Texas, there is a waiting period which must be fulfilled that begins at the time of the arrest. The length of the waiting period depends on the type of criminal charge you incurred.
AN EXPUNCTION WILL BE GRANTED IF
The charges against you ultimately did not result in a conviction. If the charges were dropped, dismissed, never filed, made void, pardoned or if the charges and convictions against you resulted from someone else who committed the offense and was impersonating you. If the waiting period has been fulfilled from the date of the arrest.
AN EXPUNCTION WILL NOT BE GRANTED IF:
The charges ultimately resulted in a conviction that was not later overturned.
- If more than one charge resulted from a single arrest, called a criminal episode in Texas.
- If deferred adjudication was granted, unless the charge was for a Class C Misdemeanor.
- If you remain subject to investigation or prosecution by the charges.
- If you jumped bail.
- If you left the jurisdiction after making bail.
- If you received community supervision (adults only).
- If the Court found the crime was motivated by prejudice or bias (such as a hate crime).
- If you had been charged with a felony five years prior from the date of the arrest you are seeking to get an expunction for.
- If the waiting period from the date of the arrest has not been fulfilled.
- If the arrest record you are seeking an expunction for has any of the following charges: Domestic Violence, Murder, Stalking, Aggravated Kidnapping, Human Trafficking, any criminal offense resulting in you having to register as a sex offender.