A criminal conviction can have lasting consequences beyond the fines you paid and any jail time you served. You might experience trouble finding a good job or even renting a nice apartment. Anytime someone runs a background check on you, an arrest or conviction could come back to haunt you after you have paid your debt to society. Fortunately, you might have an option available to keep that one mistake from stalking you for the rest of your life.
In Texas, you might qualify to have a court remove an arrest, criminal charges, and maybe a conviction from the view of a potential employer or any other member of the general public that runs a background check on you. For more information on what to expect during the process, read further.
The first step in the process is to figure out if you are eligible for an expungement. In order to do this, you should get a copy of your criminal history record information (CHRI) from Fort Bend County or the governmental agency that has your record and go over it with your attorney.
Fingerprint Applicant Services of Texas
In order to get a copy of your CHRI, you will have to allow the Fingerprint Applicant Services of Texas to take your fingerprints. To do this, you will have to schedule an appointment. The Department of Public Safety's website provides directions for you to set up an appointment.
Specifics of your case
To determine your eligibility, your attorney will look at the specifics of your case. Your eligibility will depend on whether you went to trial, if you had a formal charge for the offense, if your request is within the statute of limitations, and the type of offense.
If you went to trial and received an acquittal, you may qualify for an expungement. If the court convicted you of a crime, then you might still qualify for the expungement, however other factors come into play. To qualify, you either have to have received a pardon or the court must declare you innocent of the offense.
If the court did not convict you, but the state did press formal charges before dismissing them, you might be able to get an expungement for the arrest and the initial charges.
The statute of limitation is going to depend on the nature of the offense. For example, the statute of limitations for a driving under the influence charge may be different from a theft charge. Your attorney will be able to help you determine the statute of limitations for the specifics of your circumstances.
If you have an arrest, criminal charge, or conviction on your record, you might qualify for an expungement. Your attorney will be able to help you through the process so that your life is not continuously haunted by one mistake.