Any kind of felony charges in Texas can make it difficult for you to get a loan, accommodation, or even a job. Past felony criminal records can most likely cause serious legal and personal problems too as your legal history is accessible online by potential employers, financial institutions, or even dating partners.
Fortunately, Texas law has options available that can help in completely erasing a person’s criminal record. This process is known as expungement for which if you qualify your criminal records and residual effects will be erased. There is an alternative option too for which you might qualify to have your criminal record sealed or non-disclosed. This means previous felony charges will be hidden from the public but can be seen by government agencies.
If you want to expunge your felony in Texas and looking for the legal process of how to expunge your criminal record, you need to take the services of a qualified criminal lawyer who can guide you through the process. The GBA law firm has been offering outstanding criminal defense for 65 years in Austin, Texas while meeting their clients for legal help with expungement and clearing criminal records. Their first consultation is free and they can help you in easing your life.
Eligibility on Expunging a Felony in Texas
You qualify for expunging a felony in Texas only if:
- You were arrested but there were no charges pressed against you.
- Your charges were dismissed
- You were acquitted after a trial and were not found guilty.
- You were pardoned for the offense.
However, in cases where the charges are dropped or if the case was never brought forward, a petition for expunction can be filed only after a statute of limitations or the waiting period gets over.
Waiting Period for Expunction of Felony Charges
The following minimum waiting periods apply:
- The waiting period is 180 days from the arrest for the expunction of Class C misdemeanor.
- For Class A and B misdemeanors, the waiting period is one year.
- For felony charges, the waiting period is of three years before which you cannot file a petition for expungement.
Cost of Felony Expungement in Texas
The charges of expunging a felony in Texas are usually higher than a misdemeanor, which ranges from $1000 and might reach up to $2,500. Expungement of misdemeanor cases usually costs $1,000 or less.
- The fees for filing an expungement are $300 in Texas which is also a part of the process.
- The expungement process usually costs around $1,500 on average.
- Charges of a lawyer are separate for expunging a criminal record.
Non-disclosure: Alternative Option
Expunction is the best option available as it erases criminal records. However, there are certain conditions where an individual might not be eligible to apply for an expunction in Texas. In such a case, you might be eligible for a non-disclosure of your criminal records, which is almost like an expunction. The only difference is that the criminal records are not destroyed they are just sealed from the public but can be accessed by government agencies.
The non-disclosure or expungement under Texas laws gives you a second chance to start afresh. You stand the best chance of destroying your past felony records if you have a qualified and experienced lawyer on your side.