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Expungement: Your Legal History Is Nobody’s Business

Many Texans wrongly assume that being cleared of a criminal offense means that the ordeal is over. Unfortunately, this is not the case since the arrest record is still available to employers, federal and state agencies, education institutions, finance companies and landlords. Fortunately, Texas law allows for the expunction of unfounded criminal offenses.

Getting on with Life

Even when someone is falsely accused of committing a crime and all charges are dismissed, the arrest is permanently embedded in the public record unless it is legally expunged. The arrest can haunt an innocent criminal defendant for the remainder of their life if they fail to take affirmative action.

Thousands of Texans are improperly arrested every year for crimes they didn’t commit. Many of them may even be ordered to attend anger management classes, counseling sessions or drug and alcohol education programs before the case is dismissed or they are ultimately found innocent of all charges. The system is unforgiving. It’s difficult to be approved for most anything without being subjected to a comprehensive background check. This makes it extremely difficult to obtain employment, housing and credit. Eligibility for educational assistance, vital social services and other government benefits may also be negatively affected.

Texas Expungement

Texas law allows for the expunction of many criminal offenses from the public record. The expunction process may be available if the criminal charge was dismissed, resulted in acquittal or was never prosecuted. Once an arrest or criminal charge has been officially expunged, disseminating, releasing or otherwise using expunged records by any government agency is prohibited.

The procedure for expunging an eligible offense is described in Chapter 55 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. Any arrest that did not result in conviction, community supervision or a Class C misdemeanor that included deferred adjudication probation is eligible for expunction under Texas law. Any reference to an eligible offense can be expunged from federal state and local records. Even fingerprint, DNA, jail detention, booking and court records can be permanently erased from the public record.

A Clean Start

Divulging information about expunged criminal records is not allowed for any purpose. When someone is granted an expungement, they can legally deny the existence of an expunged arrest record. The only allowable exception is when the beneficiary of an expungement is required to testify under oath in a court of law as described in Section 53.03.

The existence of Expunged offenses can even be denied when applying for employment with a government or law enforcement agency. Expungement is also an effective means for identity theft victims to permanently clear their good name. There’s no reason for anyone to go through life with the burden of an unjustified criminal record. The law is clearly on their side.

If you have been charged with a crime and would like to remove it from the public records, then contact Shahin Zamir today by calling 713-223-8900.