How To Erase (EXPUNGE) An Old Criminal Conviction

This is Dennis Boren, criminal defense attorney and former felony prosecutor. Today, I want to talk to you about expunging or erasing a criminal record. A lot of people want to get this done if they’re applying to get a license, like a nursing license, and they can’t have this on their record.

WHEN CAN A RECORD BE EXPUNGED?

Let’s say you’ve been acquitted at a trial, or the case has been dismissed with prejudice, which is very rare, or the statute of limitations has run out on it, if they couldn’t refile it. Any of those circumstances are going to allow you to apply to a court to expunge your record.

And this actually erases it. That means even law enforcement wouldn’t be able to see it. Other agencies that are checking for criminal histories like the Board of Nursing or the State Bar of Texas, can go back and look at such things. But they too wouldn’t be able to see it. It would be gone.

So you can get an expunction, provided you’ve never been convicted, or you’ve never pled guilty. This is an important nuance.

A SPECIAL CASE

Perhaps you went into court and pled guilty to an offense and received a deferred adjudication probation. If you successfully complete that probation, you will be able to get the judge to dismiss the case at the end of it.

WHEN YOUR RECORD CANNOT GET EXPUNGED

However, if you went to court and pled (or were found) guilty without getting a deferred adjudication probation, you cannot get that record expunged.

ANOTHER SPECIAL SCENARIO

There’s another program called pretrial diversion which allows somebody to actually not go to court, divert out of court, and report for a period of time, and after that period of time, if you’re successful, they will dismiss the case.

Now, realize that if the statute of limitation hasn’t run out yet, you’re not going to be able to get that expunged yet.

If you have questions about this or any related subject, reach out to me. I’d be happy to respond to you. And remember, if you’re interacting with the police officer, always turn on your smartphone video app and record what’s going on. That will protect you. I hope this has been helpful.


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