Expunctions Law What You Need to Know

Expunction Chart

Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Art. 55.01, et seq.

Procedure(s) for Expunction

Authorizing Statute

Misdemeanors

Person released, and Charge no longer pending, and No resulting final conviction or community supervision per Art. 42.12, other than a Class C Misdemeanor and No felony conviction for five years preceding the arrest date.

Art. 55.01(a)(2)(B), (C)

Felonies

Same requirements for misdemeanors, and Indictment or Information not presented, or Indictment dismissed or quashed, and limitations period has expired and presentment made because of mistake, false information, or other reason indicating lack of probable cause at time of dismissal to believe the person committed the offense, or because indictment/information was void, or the court finds that the indictment or information was dismissed because of the person’s completion of a  pretrial intervention program authorized by Section 76.011, Government Code.

Articles

55.01(a)(2)(A)(i)

55.01(a)(2)(A)(ii)

Pardons

Persons convicted but subsequently pardoned are entitled to an expunction

55.01(a)(1)(B)

Acquittals

If the defendant is acquitted after a trial, the district court must issue an order upon request of the defendant, and after notice to the state.  The court shall advise the defendant of his right to expunction.  The expunction must be prepared by defense counsel or if the defendant is not represented by counsel, the counsel for the state shall prepare an order for the court’s signature. The time period for filing is within 30 days after acquittal.  55.02 section 1.

55.01(1)(1)(A)

55.02 § 1

Acquittal by Court of Criminal Appeals

In the rare event the Court of Criminal Appeals reverses a conviction and enters an order of acquittal, the defendant is entitled to an expunction. The time period for filing is within 30 days after acquittal.  55.02 section 1.

55.01(b)(1)-(3)

55.02 § 2(a)

Procedure for expunction:

Trial court orders expunction 30 days after acquittal, upon defendant’s request, and after hearing Art. 55.02 § 2 or

Ex parte verified petition, filed in district court where person was arrested or county where offense alleged to have occurred.   Art.  55.02, § 2 (a); or

Verified application, which includes fingerprints, filed with the district attorney in county where person resides.  Art 55.02 § 2a(a) (for identity theft cases)

Order directing DPS and all other agencies, depositories, officials, or other entities believed to have records regarding the petitioner to return all records to the court.  Art. 55.02 § 3(c)

Who is not eligible for expunction?

Persons convicted of an offense or assessed community supervision pursuant to a guilty plea under Code Crim. Proc. article 42.12, including deferred adjudications. (Non-disclosure available for some deferred adjudications)

Persons acquitted by a Court of Appeals. See § 55.01(b)

Persons acquitted of an offense, but convicted of another offense arising out of the same criminal episode as defined by Texas Penal Code §  3.01. Texas Code Crim. Proc. Article 55.01(c)

Effect of expunction: 

Release, dissemination, or use of expunged records is prohibited;

Person may deny occurrence of arrest and the existence of the expunction order;

When questioned under oath, in a criminal proceeding about an arrest for which the records are expunged, the person arrested or any other person, may state only that the matter in question has been expunged. Texas Code Crim. Proc. Art. 55.03

Violation of Expunction Order:

Knowing release/dissemination of expunged record, or knowing failure to return or obliterate expunged records is a Class B misdemeanor. Texas Code Crim. Proc. Art. 55.04

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