Criminal Defense Practice Areas:
Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 55.01 contains the statutory language that governs expunctions (expungement). If you look it up on the Internet and read the text of the statute you can see that it is a rather complicated statutory scheme and each case should be considered individually by an attorney experienced in dealing with this statute. However, there are some statements that can be made that to all expunction matters.
The intent of the expunctions statute is eliminating records based on wrongful arrests. How your case was disposed of is critical to answering the question of whether or not you can get the arrest records and files expunged.
A statutory expunction proceeding under article 55.01 is civil rather than criminal in nature. This means that the burden of proving compliance with the statutory conditions rests solely with the person who is seeking the expunction. Article 55.01 requires strict compliance with the conditions set out in the statute. Courts have no equitable power to expunge criminal records. In layman's terms, that means that a judge cannot sign an order that calls for the elimination of all records regarding your arrest simply because the judge wants to. The law requires you, as the petitioner, to produce evidence that shows strict compliance with every requirement of the statute. If you fail to produce evidence on any one of the required elements, the judge is prohibited from signing your expunction order.
Also, expunction proceedings under Article 55.01 are not exceptional cases requiring trial courts to appoint counsel for indigent litigants. What that means is that you cannot get a court-appointed attorney to handle your expunction matter.
Although there are many obstacles that will keep you from getting your records expunged, the most common is if you have been ordered to participate and complete any court ordered community supervision under Article 42.12 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Court ordered community supervision is what most people call probation. So if you have been put on probation for anything other than a class C misdemeanor, you probably will not be able to get your arrest records expunged.
But even if you are not eligible to get your criminal history records expunged, you may still be able to limit what records are available to the public through what is called an Order of Non-Disclosure. This is a process for people who have a case in their past that they are trying to keep from public knowledge, usually because it is affecting their ability to get a job or some other important aspect of their lives.
At the Law Office of Daniel & Hudson we have handled many expunction cases. If your case was dismissed or disposed of in a manner that did not require your participation and completion of some type of probation, and you would like for us to evaluate your case to see if you are eligible for an expunction, we would welcome your call and an opportunity to be of service.
For a free, confidential consultation contact the Law Offices of Daniel & Hudson at 210-222-2297. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.