Expunction in San Antonio
Any time a person is charged with a crime, it is a serious matter; in a close-knit community like Texas, a criminal record can be disastrous. Future job prospects, education, and so many other areas of a person’s life can be negatively impacted by a criminal record. It comes as a surprise to many people, that even a crime that they were never convicted of will still have negative effects on their life.
Records of the arrest, the charges being filed and the outcome of your case are still a part of your criminal record and will follow you throughout your life. Various reporting agencies have your charge information in their databases. Obtaining a dismissal or being acquitted of the charges that were filed against you are crucial steps in your defense but they may not be the final step.
For those that qualify, an expunction is their opportunity to permanently destroy all records of the charges that were filed against them. Article 55 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure establishes the right of a person to obtain an expunction when the statutory requirements are met.
How do I find out if I qualify for an expunction in Texas?
In order for a case to qualify for the right to an expunction, the final disposition or result must fit into one of the categories outlined in chapter 55 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. Some cases qualify because the defendant completed a pretrial diversion or similar rehabilitative program. Individuals whose cases fall into this category can often apply for an expunction immediately following their completion of the program.
In situations where the person had charges that were dismissed or dropped, the analysis becomes more difficult. Not all dismissals are created equally and they do not all result in the right to obtain an expunction. The results of your case need to be evaluated by an expunction attorney to determine if the dismissal that you received will afford you the right to obtain an expunction.
Finally, any time a person is acquitted or found innocent of the charges filed against them after a trial, they should contact an attorney to secure an expunction.
If I do qualify for the right to an expunction in San Antonio, what is the next step?
Now you must petition the court to consider your case for expunction. This is done by preparing a document called an “Original Petition for Expunction” and filing the prepared document with the proper court. It is important to have this document prepared by a qualified attorney; at the time that your petition is filed, your attorney will also pay the filing fee and the fees for serving the relevant reporting agencies. Depending on the number of reporting agencies that need to be served, total court costs for an expunction will range from $500 to $700; keep in mind that this does not include attorney’s fees.
After I have filed a Petition for Expunction, then what happens?
When you file a Petition for Expunction, your case will be scheduled for a court date. This date is usually 1 to 2 months from the date your Petition for Expunction was filed. On the court date, your attorney will interact with the state’s attorney to obtain a signed “Order of Expunction” which will then be presented to the judge.
Once the judge has signed your Order for Expunction, the order is filed with the court and subsequently served with the reporting agencies. Upon receipt of the order, each reporting agency shall destroy their records of your charges effectively clearing your criminal record of any evidence that you were ever charged with the crime that has been expunged.
The Expunction Attorneys at Brock S. Burchard serves clients in the San Antonio area
Expunction lawyer Brock S. Burchard will spend time with you to determine if your case qualifies for an expunction. Mr. Burchard will then prepare the necessary documents and review them with you to ensure information accuracy. Mr. Burchard has years of experience dealing with state attorneys and will work with them to reach an agreement to expunge your charges.
On your court date, Mr. Burchard will represent you in front of the judge and ensure that a signed Order of Expunction is secured. Attorney Burchard will then personally deliver the signed order for filing and deliver copies of the signed and filed order to you for your records.