Texas Record Expungement

Charged with a crime, even though your case was dismissed or you were found not guilty?

Criminal history is used by governmental agencies, schools, employers, apartments and credit agencies to judge a person. This can result in the denial of admission to schools, employment, housing and credit.

An arrest record can haunt you for years to come, even if you were wrongfully arrested.    Everyday, citizens are arrested by mistake only later to have the charges dropped or are found not guilty.  Some go through anger management, drug counseling or other counseling and then have the charges dismissed, yet still do not have a clean record. Information about your arrest is part of the public record, available to anyone who does a background check. With an arrest on your record, you may find it harder to get a job, to rent an apartment, get a loan or mortgage, or get your application to college accepted. 

But now under current Texas laws, many of these offenses can be removed legally from your record through the expunction process

If your case was dismissed, acquitted or not prosecuted, you may be eligible to have your record expunged. Once expunged, the release, dissemination or use of expunged records by any agency is prohibited. The Texas expunction procedure (Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Chapter 55) allows you to expunge an arrest that did not lead to a conviction, community supervision or a Class C Misdemeanor that resulted in deferred adjudication probation (community supervision). In Texas, if a person does qualify to expunge their criminal record, they can remove or erase their arrest, booking and court proceedings from the local, state, and federal records.  When you are granted an expunction of an arrest in Texas, all records of the arrest itself, jail detention and fingerprints and DNA sample(s) if taken are destroyed! Your record would be as clean as if the event never took place.  The release, dissemination or use of expunged records by any agency is prohibited “for any purpose.” Section 55.03 specifies that unless being questioned under oath in court, you may deny the occurrence of the arrest and expunction order for all purposes— including when applying for government and law enforcement jobs. Also with the issues of identity theft, you may even have something on your background that was not you! A new beginning is just ahead.

Act NOW and Restore Your Good Name

If you’d like to clear your record, contact The Gilbert G. Garcia Law Firm, a Texas criminal defense attorney well versed in expunctions. We can file a petition for expunction if your case was dismissed, declined, or if you were found not guilty of any offense.

What is an Expunge Motion?

An expungement, or sealing, of a criminal record is a legal process that can clear criminal arrests including DWI/DUI from a person’s record.  An expungement takes place when a legal action is filed with the court in which the conviction occurred and judge orders the criminal record cleared.

Benefits of Having Your Texas Record Expunged

  • Tell employers that you have not been convicted of a crime
  • Become eligible for school acceptance and/or student loans
  • Become eligible for housing leases or mortgages
  • Become eligible for more types of professional licenses and certificates
  • Tell friends and family that you have not been convicted of a crime
  • Clean background check

Who is eligibility?

Expunction is very powerful, but can be tricky to qualify for.  The list of situations that exist that do qualify include arrested but never went to court, charges were dropped, charges were dismissed, you were found not guilty, you were no-billed by a grand jury, you won on appeal, or you were pardoned by the governor.

If you were arrested in Texas, you are likely eligible to have your record expunged if you meet the following criteria:

Class C Misdemeanors

  • Successfully completed deferred adjudication AND
  • Not convicted of felony in the five years preceding the date of arrest

 

Felony or Class A and B  Misdemeanors

  • Acquitted in trial OR
  • Convicted and subsequently pardoned OR
  • The charges were dismissed and the statue of limitations has expired
    (unless the dismissal was due to the fact that there was mistake,
    false information or no probable cause), AND
  • Not convicted of a felony in the five years preceding the date of arrest

 

What is the process?

Contact The Gilbert G. Garcia Law Firm today!  

Once you hire us, we can file the proper documents with the court and a request a hearing to be held to determine if an expungement can be granted in your case.  We will prepare all of the documents for you and deliver them ready to be signed, notarized and filed with the courts.  

We will attend the hearing and guide you thru the process.

How long does it take for my record to get expunged?

It will take roughly three-four months for this process.

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Criminal Defense Lawyers and ACLU File Challenge

Criminal Defense Lawyers and ACLU File Challenge                       To Suspicionless Border Searches and Seizures of Laptops

Washington, DC­ (Sept. 7, 2010) – Do you want the federal government to know all the details of your most personal affairs? Your internet browser history? Your confidential family matters? Your medical issues? Your divorce? Your workplace or auto accident? Your strategic business plans? Your tax analysis? Your will? The fact that you have consulted with a criminal defense lawyer?

Today, leading civil rights groups began a legal action seeking  to put an end to suspicionless U.S. Customs searches of Americans’ personal and professional electronic data. This includes privileged information in your attorney’s files that may be stored on a laptop computer or other electronic storage device, such as a flash drive, camera, “smart” phone, or the like.

Between October 1, 2008 and June 2, 2010, over 6,500 people—nearly 3,000 of them U.S. citizens and some criminal defense lawyers—were subjected to a search of their electronic devices as they crossed U.S. borders. In the action filed today in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) are representing plaintiffs in a constitutional challenge to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) policies that authorize the suspicionless search of laptops and other electronic devices at the international border. 

“This lawsuit will have significant implications for personal and privileged information, such as your legal and medical files and information in the possession of your minister, priest, imam, or rabbi,” explained NACDL President Jim E. Lavine, of Zimmermann, Lavine, Zimmermann & Sampson, PC, Houston, TX.

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Top 10 Reasons to Clean your Criminal Record

 If you’re one of the millions of Americans with a criminal record, you’ve likely experienced many hardships as a result. There are numerous difficulties that arise if your background isn’t spotless. You may not yet even realize the magnitude of the issues that you now face. Cleaning your Criminal Record can help restore a manageable life.

1. Employment
• Employers often deny jobs to applicants with a criminal record.
• Some states even allow employers to terminate current employees if they are found to have had a conviction.

2. Education
• The Higher Education Act of 1998 makes students convicted of drug related offenses ineligible for any grant, loan or work assistance.
• Having a criminal record may prevent you from attending the college of your choice or disqualify you from certain graduate programs.

3. Housing
• Private landlords can legally deny housing to someone with a conviction.

4. Loans
• Having a criminal record may make you ineligible for a loan or may result in higher interest rates.
• Certain offenses can eliminate the possibility of a student receiving financial aid.

5. Licensing & Certifications
Convictions can prevent you from obtaining state licenses and certifications.
• Over half the states in the U.S. have no standards governing the relevance of an applicant’s conviction records for occupational licenses.

6. Insurance Rates
• High insurance premiums may result if a criminal record is found.
• Specific offenses may deem you “uninsurable” or “high risk.”

7. Firearm Rights
• Hunting rights may be limited to archery or muzzleloaders.
Convictions can greatly restrict gun ownership.

8. Federal Assistance
• Several states ban people with convictions from being eligible for federally funded public assistance and food stamps.
• Many public housing authorities deny eligibility for federally assisted housing based on an arrest that never led to a conviction.

9. Adoption
• Fifteen states ban people with a criminal record from becoming an adoptive or foster parent.

10. Volunteering
• Nearly all volunteer positions involving youth require a clean criminal history.

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Record Cleaning Process

Gilbert G. Garcia has over 32 years of legal experience in Texas and has been Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 1989.  Gilbert’s knowledge of the applicable law, the procedures of Texas courts and his dedication to those charged with a criminal offense helps you get the results you need. 

In today’s economy, it is even more important than ever to have a Clean Criminal Record – it can be critical for certain jobs, certifications, State licenses/specializations, home rental or ownership, access to credit, acceptance to college and much more.  Don’t let your PAST ruin your FUTURE. Contact our office to discuss your options for cleaning up your Criminal Record.  Texas currently provides the following options for cleaning up a past criminal record:

  • Expungements: Seals a Criminal Record from both Civilian and Governmental entities. Designed for people that were given a pre-trial diversion contract, dismissal, a NO Bill from the Grand Jury, Class “C” Misdemeanor Deferred Adjudication, received a pardon from the Governor or the President, were the victim of identity theft or were found not guilty/acquitted.
  • Orders of Non-Disclosure: Seals a Criminal Record from Civilian entities only. Designed for people that received and have satisfactorily completed deferred adjudication probation for a Felony or Misdemeanor.
  • Early termination of community supervision/probation: Allows people to return to their normal life and/or start the Record Cleaning process sooner. Designed for people that are successful at Community Supervision/Probation, paid all restitution, court costs and fines and has the support of his/her probation officer.  You may be eligible if you have served at least ½ of probation. Early Termination of Probation and Record Sealing is an option for those that have received deferred adjudication probation. Early Termination of Probation is an option for those that have received straight probation.

Three Easy Steps could dramatically improve your life!

Step One: Initial Consultation & Record Retrieval Services

Complete the Confidential Record Cleaning Interview Questionnaire and submit it to our office for a personal initial interview regarding your case. We will perform a criminal record check, a background check, obtain the official court documents of the records you want cleaned and coordinate an initial case assessment interview with Gilbert G. Garcia.

Step Two: Record Cleaning Services

Once you have determined what course of action is right for you, then the petition or motion is prepared and filed with the clerk of court and sent to the District Attorney’s (DA’s)  office and probation officer (if necessary).  Gilbert G. Garcia then coordinates with the DA’s office for a case review, assessment and approval.  Mr. Garcia coordinates with the court for an agreed order or sets a hearing with the court.

 

Step Thee: Hearing Services

If the court requires a hearing, then Mr. Garcia or an associate attorney will prepare for the hearing, meet with the DA’s office and probation officer (if necessary), attend the hearing and fight on your behalf to get the Order/Petition entered and filed with the clerk’s office.

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