This is the next post in our series on the sealing or expunction of criminal records in Laredo, Texas. Our last article discussed how Laredo residents can determine if they are eligible to expunge their records. We suggest that individuals clear their criminal history as soon as they are eligible as one never knows when they may be required to pass a background check. In this article we will discuss the process of clearing your history. If you require assistance then contact our office today to speak with a criminal defense lawyer.
The first step in clearing your history is to obtain all relevant documents from Texas’ Department of Public Safety. These documents will include records related to arrests, criminal charges, and convictions. Once counsel has obtained these documents then a Petition will be filed in the District Court where you were charged or convicted. The Department of Public Safety, and the Prosecutor’s office, will have an opportunity to oppose the Petition. The Court will often rule on the matter without a hearing. Should the hearing be necessary for any reason (such as if an objection has been filed by the Prosecutor) then the Petitioner, typically through their counsel, will have to attend Court. Once the Petition has been granted then an Order will be filed with the Clerk’s office.
Once the order of non-disclosure or expunction have been granted then the Court’s order will be circulated to the appropriate governmental agencies. It is important to understand that it can take some time before your prior criminal history actually disappears from a background check. This is due to the fact that there can be a lag in between the time that an agency receives the Order and the time it takes to process it. If an unreasonable amount of time has passed, and your record is still available to the public, then it is important that you contact your attorney to assist you with handling the matter.
One point we cannot stress enough is that you should retain a lawyer to assist you with the sealing or expunction of a Texas record. Counsel will take steps to ensure that all procedures are properly followed, that the records received from the Department of Public Safety are correct, and that there are no additional records that need to be included with your Petition. Making sure that the process is handled correctly can help prevent any unnecessary delays. Our Laredo office is able to assist you with such matters. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.