The process of criminal record expungement involves filing a civil lawsuit against agencies maintaining your criminal records. The lawsuit seeks to clear your record of the state criminal charges listed in the lawsuit. If the civil district court judge signs the expungement order, any agency which maintains your listed criminal record will be ordered to destroy it.
A criminal record can only be ordered expunged in a few situations, including:
- You were found not guilty at trial,
- a grand jury no bills (dismisses) your felony case,
- the prosecutor drops charges before going to trial,
- a judge dismissed your case before going to trial,
- your conviction was overturned on appeal and
- your case was dismissed after successfully completing a Pretrial Diversion program.
Expungement is much better than non-disclosure (record sealing). When a judge orders a criminal record to be non-disclosed (i.e. sealed), that means that your criminal record will not be accessible by the general public, however the criminal charges still remain on your record. Expungement wipes those criminal records clean. That means that if the police pull you over for a traffic violation, then they will not know about your prior criminal record and therefore will not treat you differently.
If you are being affected by criminal records, your best option may be expungement. You can call Attorney Jim Sullivan for a free consultation to discuss your criminal case and explain the legal process. Houston criminal defense attorney Jim Sullivan has practiced Texas criminal law since 1994. He will evaluate your case, and if you qualify for an expungement, he will fight hard to clear your good name.
A Pretrial Diversion program can also help keep your record clean. Jim Sullivan fights hard to make sure that participation in a pretrial diversion program is an option for almost all of his clients who are charged as first-time misdemeanor offenders. When you successfully complete a diversion program, then your charges are dismissed and you can then file to have the charge expunged from your record.
Houston lawyer Jim Sullivan represents clients in criminal and juvenile courts throughout the state of Texas. Jim Sullivan is also Board Certified in Juvenile Law. If you want an experienced criminal and juvenile lawyer to protect your legal rights and safeguard your future, you can call attorney Jim Sullivan at 281-546-6428.