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Texas Expungement Laws

Texas Expungement

Texas expungement laws call for a record to be removed from all databases if the petitioner is granted an expungement. The court will tell law enforcement agencies to destroy all records pertaining to the arrest and prosecution of an expunged record. The successful petitioner can deny any history relating to the expunged record. However, expunged records do not disappear altogether. Records must be kept for the possibility they are needed in future criminal proceedings or an investigative process. Criminal records created due to a false identification shall be returned to the petitioner or completely obliterated.

Texas Expungement Eligibility

A person who has been placed under custodial or non-custodial arrest for a felony or misdemeanor may have their record expunged if:

The person is acquitted during trial.
The person is granted a pardon.
Charges have been dropped.
The time period for charges to be made has ended.
The court did not feel it necessary to hand down any sentence.
A person was not convicted of a felony within five years before the arrest.

Once there is a court order to have an expungement, Texas expungement laws require all depositories containing information regarding an arrest to submit all information to the Federal Depository.

How do Records become Expunged?

The court must notify a defendant of their right to have their record expunged within thirty days of the completion of a trial resulting in an acquittal. Texas expungement laws call for the court to notify the defendant of their right to petition for expungement. The attorney for the defendant shall assist the defendant in gathering all necessary information required in the expungement petition and present it to the court. Texas expungement cases take place in the same court where the criminal trial was held. The petitions must contain:

All personal information such as date of birth and social security number.
Race and sex.
Address at the time of arrest.
The offense they were charged with.

They must list all agencies involved with the case such as jails, detention facilities, prosecuting attorneys, correctional facilities, and any other organizations that may have access to records regarding the case.

Once the petition is properly filed, a court hearing must take place within thirty days of filing.

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