When Are The Conditions For Erasing An Arrest From My Criminal Record?
A criminal arrest can follow you around for many years, even if you were never ultimately tried or convicted of the original charge. Texas law does make it possible to seek an expunction of a criminal arrest. This effectively wipes the arrest off of your record and permits you to deny the arrest ever occurred.
Expunction is not, however, a guarantee. And it is not automatic. As the person seeking an expunction, you need to file a petition with the court. You also must prove to the court’s satisfaction that you meet all of the statutory requirements for expunction. And the state may still contest your petition.
Appeals Court Overturns Ruling Granting Expunction to Self-Represented Petitioner
A recent decision from the Texas Fourth District Court of Appeals, Ex Parte G.A.A., offers a cautionary tale. In this case, a self-represented individual filed a petition to expunge the arrest records of four prior misdemeanor charges. According to this petitioner, the first three arrests came on the same day in 2000, and the fourth occurred in 2003. The petitioner said that all four charges were ultimately dismissed and did not result in him being placed on community supervision, i.e., probation.
This is a crucial detail. The Texas expunction law specifies a number of qualifying conditions for seeking to clear a criminal record. The one relied upon by the petitioner here is found in Section 55.01(a)(2) of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. This section states that a petitioner is entitled to expunction of a felony or misdemeanor arrest provided they were “released and the charge, if any, has not resulted in a final conviction and is no longer pending and there was no court-ordered community supervision” ordered by the court. However, if the petitioner was placed on probation for other charges “arising out of the same transaction for which the person was arrested,” then they are not eligible for an expunction.
In this case, although a trial court actually granted the petition for expunction of the three 2000 misdemeanor charges–the Court of Appeals reversed. It did so based on the Texas Department of Public Safety’s argument that the petitioner “was placed on community supervision for other offenses—including assault bodily injury—and those other offenses were part of the same transaction” leading to the 2000 arrest. More to the point, the petitioner failed to offer any evidence to the trial court that proved he was not placed on probation for any of the three misdemeanor offenses. The petitioner’s mere “allegations” on this issue was insufficient, the appellate court said.
Contact Pearland Criminal Defense Attorney Keith B. French Today
Representing yourself in any type of legal proceeding is always a dicey proposition. The law can be quite complex, especially with regard to a matter like expunction. Your chances of success are improved if you work with a qualified Pearland criminal record expunction/expungement lawyer who can guide you through the process. So if you are looking to erase an arrest from your record, contact Keith B. French Law, PLLC, today to schedule a consultation.