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Expunction Lawyer in Greenville and Bonham TX

One of the worst parts of a criminal conviction or, for that matter, an arrest in TX is not necessarily the sentence – which may include fines, incarceration, probation, or other forms of punishment – but the collateral consequences. Collateral consequences include the social and financial harm associated with an arrest or criminal record. Because of the latter, you can lose your job or miss out on career opportunities. Your reputation is at stake as much as your financial future. 

This is true for people who made mistakes but are otherwise law-abiding citizens. Think of drunk driving cases, where a person underestimates their blood alcohol content and ends up getting arrested. An incident like this can happen to the best of us as well as the worst of us. 

At Jessica McDonald and Associates, our expungement lawyer based in Bonham handles all types of expunction cases and, when appropriate and applicable, sealing of the record cases. Getting criminal convictions and arrest records expunged is your best means of safeguarding your future. Contact us at 9034589108 to schedule a Consultation and to learn more about what opportunities are available to you.

Understanding Expunction in TX

An expunction is erasing a criminal arrest or conviction from your record via a court order. To get your criminal record expunged requires certain criteria to be met. Typically, the following circumstances qualify an individual to get their record expunged. 

  • A person is arrested and tried and acquitted 
  • A person is convicted and then pardoned based on actual innocence by the U.S. president or state governor
  • Some juvenile offenses
  • Completes a veterans treatment court program as described in Sec. 124.001 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure
  • Completes a mental health court program as described in Sec. 125.001 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure
  • Prosecution isn't possible because the statute of limitations has expired
  • A person is tried and convicted but then acquitted by the court of criminal appeals

Once a record has been expunged, it's as though it never existed. You typically don't have to disclose it to potential employers, landlords, or professional licensing boards. However, expungement can't erase memory—if your record was already made public via news reports or social media, an expungement won't fix this.  Some crimes are not eligible for expunction but may be eligible for nondisclosure, which is sealing your record. 

Offenses that don't qualify for expunction include

  • Capital murder
  • Crimes against children (injury to a child, abandonment, indecency)
  • Aggravated robbery, aggravated sexual assault, and sexual assault
  • Some drug offenses

Expungement is not available in every state. Some only allow a record to be sealed—meaning the public cannot access it, but certain government agencies can. Texas allows expungement and nondisclosures through the proper court. 

Where it is available, the expungement process typically involves a few steps:

  1. Filing a petition or application, along with supporting material and filing fee, with the court that heard your case. 
  2. Serving the application on the prosecutor. 
  3. Attending a hearing that will be set for the court to decide whether to issue an expungement order usually a month after you file the petition. It could take months for the order to go into effect and more time for agencies to comply with the order (such as destroying records and evidence)

Having a felony or misdemeanor on your record can be damaging. It could affect your family's lives when searching for housing, employment, loans, education, and restoring your rights. You should always consult with a criminal defense lawyer in TX if you want to learn more about expunctions. Contact our criminal defense attorney located in Bonham today at 9034589108 to get started.

Benefits of Expunction/Expungement in TX

An arrest or criminal conviction can have serious long-term consequences beyond any sentence imposed by a court. A criminal record can affect your ability to find employment, secure accommodation, apply for a loan, and obtain a professional license. 

Expunction gives you another chance at a “clean slate.” 

It can open up job opportunities that may have previously been closed by your criminal history and make it easier to secure accommodation. It may also help when applying for loans. 

Alternative to Expungement: Sealing of the Record

Some states provide for criminal records to be sealed rather than expunged. 

Where a record is sealed, it cannot be seen by members of the public, like landlords, employers, and creditors. However, the record still exists and can potentially be accessed by certain government agencies, like law enforcement, courts, prosecutors, immigration agencies, and professional licensing boards. 

Three Reasons to Hire an Expunction Attorney in TX

The availability of expungement and the application process to file an expungement petition are state-specific. Eligibility criteria can be complicated, with several overlapping laws governing expungements. The process can also be complex, involving strict compliance with the rules and provision of relevant supporting documentation. 

While you can represent yourself in an expungement petition, it's worth speaking to an attorney for the following reasons:

  1. Ensure eligibility. We will advise you whether you are eligible to apply. The eligibility requirements for expungement are updated regularly, and our criminal defense attorney is familiar with the current legal position. We will review your criminal history, personal circumstances, and the law to confirm whether you can apply for an expungement or sealing of your criminal record. 
  2. Strong, persuasive application. We will also help you prepare a strong expungement application. Our criminal defense lawyer knows how to obtain copies of the documents you need and will help you develop submissions as to why the judge should expunge your record. 
  3. Improved chances of success. It is important to get an expungement petition right. In some states, a refusal may bar you from reapplying for a certain period of time. 

In sum, our expungement attorney will review your case, advise you about your options, and help you navigate the process to a successful conclusion.  

Contact an Expunction Lawyer in Bonham Today 

If you have been convicted of a crime in TX and think you may be eligible for expungement, you should pursue the expunction immediately. The sooner you do, the sooner you will benefit from a clean slate. At Jessica McDonald and Associates, our expungement lawyer in Bonham and criminal defense team handle these types of requests with urgency and accuracy. Contact us today by either filling out the online form or calling us at 9034589108 to schedule a Consultation.