Getting your criminal record expunged is a great way to reset it to the status that it was before you were arrested. By getting a record of criminal arrest erased, you can start with a clean slate, making it as though the arrest never happened. However, there are certain situations in which you may not be able to get your record expunged.
1. You Were Found Guilty
The number one reason your record cannot be expunged is that you were either found guilty or your case was not dismissed. In both cases, the record of the arrest still exists for any future employer to see. You can have the record sealed, but that doesn’t reset your record; it can still be recovered. In fact, after being discovered, a sealed record can be used against you if you are arrested again. Expunging the record is the only way to erase it, making it as though it never happened.
2. Inaccuracies in the Court Record or Petition
If there are inaccuracies in your expungement petition and/or court record, your expungement may be denied. Even though it may look easy, don’t do this yourself. Find a qualified and experienced attorney who will get it right from the beginning.
A detail-oriented lawyer will pore over the details and ensure that all the paperwork is in order. He or she will also run multiple checks to ensure that there are no errors. If any mistakes are discovered, the petition will be corrected before it’s filed.
3. The Offense Isn’t Eligible for an Expungement
Some offenses simply aren’t eligible for expungement. Before you get started, make sure your offense qualifies for expungement in Texas.
The following offenses cannot be expunged, regardless of the time period passed or the surrounding circumstances:
- Capital Murder
- Sexual Assault
- Aggravated Sexual Assault
- Aggravated Kidnapping
- Aggravated Robbery
- Injury to a Child, Disabled Person, or Elderly Person
- Indecency with a Child
- Endangerment or Abandonment of a Child
- Criminal Solicitation
- Offense Involving Family Violence
Please note that there are other circumstances that may disqualify you from getting your record expunged. Consult your attorney if you have any questions.
3. You Have an Egregious Case
While you may have met all the statutory requirements and filed the proper paperwork, on rare occasions, your petition for expungement could still be rejected.
If the same prosecutor who originally handled your case is reviewing your petition, he or she may reject your petition. The prosecutor may feel that granting the expungement is not in the interest of justice. Make sure you hire an experienced attorney who can help you navigate the process.
If your criminal case was dismissed, contact Attorney J.L. Carpenter to find out whether it qualifies for expungement. For years, she has helped clients get their records expunged. She also works on petitions for nondisclosure in DWI cases. She serves clients across the Greater Houston area, including Friendswood, Clear Lake, League City, Galveston, and other cities. As a DUI attorney, she also represents clients who are embroiled in drunk driving cases. Click here for a closer look at her practice areas.