While all of us have experienced momentary lapses in judgment that cause us to take actions that we will later question, these actions are typically embarrassing at worst. However, for some people, these actions are more than just cringe-worthy, they are actually criminal in nature, resulting in an arrest, formal charges being filed and possibly even a conviction.
The unfortunate reality is that even after an otherwise law-abiding citizen has paid their debt to society for their momentary lapse in judgment — or even for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time — they run the risk of what amounts to perpetual punishment owing to the existence of a criminal record.
Indeed, a person with a criminal record showing an arrest, charges and/or conviction can see their opportunities to secure everything from education and employment to housing and even professional licensure thwarted.
As discouraging as this is, the good news is that the law here in Texas does provide certain individuals who find themselves in this regrettable situation with the opportunity to secure a fresh start via an expunction.
In general, an expunction involves a qualifying individual removing all information relating to an arrest, charges and/or conviction from their permanent criminal record, such that they are legally entitled to deny that the underlying incident ever took place.
As you might imagine, securing an expunction can effectively turn a person’s life around, reopening previously closed doors and removing the societal stigma that accompanies the presence of a criminal record.
We’ll continue this discussion in our next post, delving into some of the specifics concerning how and when expunctions are granted in the Lone Star State.
If you have questions or concerns relating to expunction or nondisclosure orders, consider speaking with a skilled legal professional.