Starting with a Clean Slate: Clearing Criminal Records

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CriminalA criminal record taints your reputation and affects almost every aspect of life. It narrows down job and educational opportunities, leaves landlords suspicious, and makes everyone perceive you as a threat.

Simply put, it keeps you from living life freely. Fortunately, this stain attached to your name is not an indelible mark; you may be able to clear an arrest or conviction from your record. Legal practitioners from David A. Nachtigall uphold the rights of the criminally charged and their relatives, advocating the right legal information about expunction to determine proper action.

Concept of Expunction

Expunction, also known as expungement, involves clearing or sealing arrest and conviction records. This means the public will not be able to get information about your criminal history. State laws vary when it comes to the conditions for eligibility, which is why it is best to consult a local attorney to know if your case qualifies.

In Texas, you may be able to qualify for expunction if the court granted a judgment of acquittal in the misdemeanor or felony charged against you. Clearing of records is also possible even if there is conviction, provided the jury subsequently finds you innocent or grants pardon.

Forward a petition for expunction also if you were formally charged and indicted, and the court later decides to dismiss the case, or if an arrest happened but no formal charges were filed.

Waiting Period

If ever you were arrested but not formally charged, you have to wait for a certain period before filing petition for expunction. For instance, Texas law requires 180-day waiting period for class C misdemeanor arrests. For Class A or B misdemeanors, the requirement is one year since the date of the arrest. Felony, on the other hand, requires a three-year waiting period, although there are still exceptions to this rule.

For the laws that specify waiting periods for other cases, consult your attorney. With your lawyer, file the petition in the district court for the county where the arrest or charged crime happened.

It is possible to free yourself from the chains of a criminal record. They key is to know the law and your rights; in these legal needs, criminal defense lawyers can help.

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