Many people who have been arrested for a crime may wish to have their criminal record expunged. Expunction is the process of formally and legally clearing a person’s criminal record. This can have numerous benefits that can affect the person’s future and potential employment opportunities.
Nearly all employers use some kind of criminal background check when screening potential new employees. Even though most employers only require an applicant’s felony record to be disclosed, a background check can reveal misdemeanors as well. Also, cases that resulted in dropped charges, deferred adjudication or even the dismissal of the case can still show up on a person’s criminal background check.
Who Can Have Their Record Expunged?
Obtaining permission for a criminal record expunction in Texas is not an easy task. There are very specific requirements that detail who may be eligible for an expungement request. Although it is possible to obtain an expunction without meeting these requirements, this is a rare occurrence. Some of the requirements for a candidate for a potential record expungement can include:
- Someone who has been arrested on suspicion of committing a crime, but who has not yet been formally charged with the crime.
- A person who has had their criminal case dismissed by a judge in a court of law. It should be noted that a case dismissal does not result in an automatic record expunction. Rather, the expunction must be requested after the dismissal has been filed, and the case has been disposed.
- An individual who receives an official legal pardon from the state governor is eligible to submit a request for expunction. Again, even a governmental pardon does not clear a person’s record. The expunction request must be submitted after the pardon.
- A person who has been judged “not guilty” in a court of law following a criminal trial. This requirement can apply to a misdemeanor case as well as felony cases.
What About People Who Aren’t Eligible?
Even though a person may not meet the specific requirements for a total record expunction, they still may have some recourse. If a person receives deferred adjudication probation following a conviction, they may apply for a special provision that will hide their conviction from some entities. This can include businesses, employers and some background check agencies. However, governmental institutions and certain other agencies will still have access to the criminal records.
Speak to a Houston Expungement Attorney
For more information about criminal record expungement and who may be eligible to apply for a record expunction, residents of the Houston area should schedule a meeting with James Alston at (713) 228-1400.
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