Perhaps an officer arrested you due to your physical similarities to an unidentified drug offender. The charges held sufficient evidence against you, but you know the scenario involved you being in the wrong place at the wrong time. After a lengthy court process, another officer caught the true culprit, and the court subsequently acquitted you for committing the crime.
Many individuals do not know that if they find themselves arrested or charged with various, serious crimes, these arrests stay on your record. Even if the court finds you not guilty, or if your charge was simply the result of mistaken identity, you must still petition for expunction under Texas law. Arrests and charges can affect your ability to get appropriate employment, and officers may even have reasonable cause to investigate you due to your past arrests.
As soon as possible after a court drops your charges, you want to ensure that Texas law wipes your record of any arrests and charges. To complete the expunction process quickly and accurately, you want to hire an experienced attorney, so that he or she can help you file all necessary documents.
When individuals can apply for a record expunction
According to Texas law, any individual who faced false misdemeanor or felony charges has the opportunity to apply for an expunction of their record. The law states that you can petition for this benefit in the following circumstances.
- A court finds you not guilty of the crime.
- A court convicts you but pardons you.
- A court convicts you, and you have not received an expunction previously.
- Multiple years have passed since the conviction, depending on the charge.
- The statute of limitations has expired on the charge.
- The real culprit has faced charges for the crime.
Even if you know that you did not commit the crime, and a court did not convict you of any charges, your arrest will still be present on your record. You want to immediately have these records removed, so that you can ensure you do not face repercussions for a crime you did not commit.
Know that if you did commit a crime, an attorney can help you determine whether an appropriate amount of time has passed to apply for an expunction of your record.