Monthly Archives: February 2014

The “Clear My Criminal Record” Process

Having a felony on your record can affect you for the rest of your life, in ways that many people do not even consider. We all know that having a criminal record can effect your chances of getting certain jobs, and can even prevent you from joining the military, but a felony can also affect your credit rating, and your ability to get a home loan. With all of the ways a felony can affect your life, it only makes sense to try felony expungement. While doing research on this article I ran across a local attorney in my area that seems to know how to handle such cases. This is his great looking site: http://dawsonlawgroup.com/.

clear my criminal record the dawson group

Expunge a Felony

There is a difference between having a felony record sealed and having a court expunge a felony. With felony expungement, the criminal file and all pertinent paperwork are completely destroyed as if they never existed. With a sealed felony, only the details of the crime are sealed not the existence of a possible crime. A sealed record can also be opened by an order from the court. If you truly want a past crime to be erased, hiring an expungement lawyer is your best course of action.

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Expungement Attorney

To begin the long and tedious process of how to “clear my criminal record” in Texas, your expunge attorney will first determine if you are even eligible. Some of factors that are taken into consideration when determining eligibility can include,

* Arrested but not charged.
* The pending charge was dismissed.
* The charge was a juvenile misdemeanor or a minor alcohol rated charge.
* Received a pardon from a government official or were acquitted by an appeals court.

If your felony charge meets any of these guidelines, then it is possible to petition to have the charge erased from your public records.

expunge a felony the dawson group

Expungement in Texas

Once it has been determined that you meet one or more of the requirements to be eligible for felony expungement, your attorney can begin the expungement process. A Petition for Expunction will be applied for, as a court hearing is set. During the hearing, the court will hear all the interested parties before making its decision. If all the requirements are meet, then the petition will be granted. One important thing to remember is that each felony must be expunged separately. While you might be eligible on multiple felony charges, they can only be erased one at a time. Your attorney should be able to shorten the process by scheduling multiple court dates though.

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Clear My Record

It is possible to expunge a felony record in Texas, and an expunge attorney can help you handle all of the necessary paperwork. While having a felony charge on their public record may not affect everyone’s life, for the majority of us a felony can have life changing effects on our lives. These minor marks on your record can prevent you from getting your perfect job, or even your dream house. That is why so many Texas residents are turning to the legal profession to help clean up their records.

While expunging a record does erase the felony from the public’s eye, law enforcement agencies will still have access to the information.

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The Process of How to Expunge a Felony in Texas

It is a little known fact that if you have been arrested and it didn’t lead to a conviction you may be eligible for a felony expungement. A common mistake made is that people believe once a case has been dismissed that the arrest has been removed from their criminal record, this is in fact untrue and the arrest will still show up in pre-employment check and public records making it more difficult to gain employment.
The question you need to ask yourself in this situation is ‘How can I find out if my case has a criminal history and if it does how could I clear my criminal record?’ Anyone can receive a copy of their criminal history from the Texas Department of Public Safety. If your record is clean you will receive a certified letter stating ‘No record on file’, if however your file contains a criminal history you may have the option of expungement.

Felony Expungement Eligibility

The first thing you need to do is make sure that you qualify to have a felony expunged before seeking out an expungement lawyer. If you have pled  ‘guilty’ or were convicted at trial you won’t be eligible for expunction unless you have been pardoned by the governor. However, if your case was dismissed, you were acquitted or someone else was arrested using your name then you may eligible for expungement and should seek the help of an expunge attorney.

How Long Does it Take to Expunge a Felony?

Generally, there is a short waiting period required before you can file a petition for expunction. Lower level offences tend to have a shorter waiting period than higher level offences but the duration is specific to the circumstances. Considering you and your expunge attorney have gathered the necessary documents and completed the required paperwork, you can expect to get a petition for expulsion before a judge in 40-60 days.

clear my record

What Happens When Once the Felony is Expunged?

Once the order has been granted by a judge it may take a few weeks to months to seal your records and receive confirmation that records of the arrest have destroyed and removed. However, you can deny the arrest took place on employment applications straight away.

What if I Have Received a Deferred Adjudication or Probation?

In this case you will not qualify for expunction but may qualify for non-disclosure. Non-disclosure is similar to expunction in that you can deny the occurrence of the arrest to potential employers, however, unlike expunction the records aren’t destroyed but sealed from the public and remain available to law enforcement and can be used in any future prosecution.

The laws for expunction vary from state to state and the above is only valid for expungement in Texas. I would highly recommend obtaining a copy of your criminal record and if it is a valid option to seek expungement in order to greatly improve your chances of gaining employment, getting a mortgage or a loan and generally improving your prospects.