Fort Worth Expungement Attorney
In 2016, there were 63,658 crimes reported by law enforcement in Tarrant County. Many of the individuals who committed those crimes were given sentences that changed their lives in an instant. Their convictions gave them permanent records that limit their ability to work or get housing.
Fortunately, a conviction expungement can reverse the damage. The court destroys the records and makes it so no one else can find out about your arrest or conviction. Here at Cole Paschall Law, we understand the value of expungement. Our firm can take you through the process and work towards your goals.
When is Expungement Possible?
In Texas, an individual can expunge their arrest if they did not receive a conviction or community service. In 2017, Texas passed new laws that changed the eligibility requirements for expungement. The laws make it easier for first-time offenders to move on with their lives. Individuals with first-time DWI charges can have their records non-disclosed. The same is true for individuals who have misdemeanor convictions or who made pleas of guilt.
Before the new laws came about, individuals could only have their records non-disclosed if they did a deferred adjudication. People with convictions had no chance of expungement.
Non-Disclosure Versus Expungement
Some people confuse the non-disclosure of criminal records with expungement. But the two processes are very different. With non-disclosure, the Texas Department of Public Safety sends an order to law enforcement agencies, jails, and other organizations. Then, the recipients seal the records.
However, they do not destroy the records. They are not allowed to discuss criminal history, but they can’t completely get rid of the records. If you get in trouble with the law, a prosecutor can use the records against you.
With expungement, your records are gone. The Texas Department of Public Safety destroys any and all records of the crime. If you find yourself facing charges for another crime, the prosecutor will find no record of your previous arrest. In fact, even the order for expungement will be destroyed.
It’s important to realize that you can only have non-disclosure or expungement, and not both. Before you pick one, you should speak with an attorney.
The Benefits of Expungement
There are many benefits to expungement. For one, no one can find out about your arrest or conviction. This could help you get work and find employment. If someone runs a background check, they will not find out about your criminal history.
Expungement also allows you to deny your criminal history. You can deny your arrest unless you are under oath. And if you are under oath, you don’t need to go into detail about your arrest. You can state that your record was expunged and leave it at that. Even if you apply for a government job, you don’t need to discuss your expunged record.
Another benefit to expungement is peace of mind. Often, people with criminal records worry that their history will always follow them. They never know when it will come back to haunt them. But expungement can relieve your stress. If your record is gone, you don’t need to worry about it affecting your life.
It could even impact your finances. If you want to apply for a loan, a lender could deny you based on your prior arrest. You might be unable to get the money you need. Additionally, your criminal record could keep you from a high paying job. Once your record is gone, your financial troubles could disappear.
How Long Does Expungement Take?
The timeline for expungement varies. Typically, the court takes cases as they come in. Therefore, the sooner you can begin the process, the sooner you can get a clear record.
Generally, the process takes approximately four months. If you work with an experienced attorney, they can streamline the process and they may be able to speed up the expungement.
About the Process
Although the filing process for expungement is relatively easy, you could encounter some challenges. And if your application is denied, you don’t receive your money back. This means hundreds of dollars will never return to your bank account.
To start the process, you need to find out where you can find your criminal record. Then, you need to request a copy. Usually, you can go to the district court for the information you need. Once you have the record, you should contact an attorney. They will review your record and determine your eligibility for expungement.
If you are eligible, they can get the paperwork. The legal costs for an expungement vary greatly, but they are worthwhile. By working with an attorney, you can improve your chances of success. You can also ensure that you choose the right type of record sealing.
After you submit your application, you need to attend your hearing. If your request is approved, you need to notarize and copy the petition. Then, your record will be destroyed. In the case of non-disclosure, it will be sealed.
Working with a Fort Worth Expungement Attorney
You could attempt to handle your expungement alone. However, it puts your future at risk. You might miss a key detail on your application or fail to meet the eligibility requirements. By working with an attorney, you can eliminate the stress of potential failure.
Just as a criminal conviction can drastically affect your life, expungement can change your future. Instead of living in the past, you can start moving forward in the future.
Cole Paschall Law knows the value of record expungement. We understand what is at stake and want to help you move on. Contact our office today and you can get started.