Application Process for Clearing Your Texas Adult Criminal Record (Expunction)
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Getting your Texas adult criminal record expunged involves several steps, starting with obtaining a copy of your criminal record (aka "rap sheet"), fingerprinting, and filing a petition of expunction in the same court where the charges were originally filed.
Your first step is to obtain a fingerprint card and a copy of criminal record. You can arrange to get your fingerprint card from L-1 Enrollment Services (get at least 2 copies). You can contact them at: (888) 467-2080 or http://www.l1enrollment.com/state/?st=tx. You can obtain a copy of your criminal record from the Texas Department of Public Safety (TDPS). They can be reached at: (512) 424-2478 or http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/administration/crime_records/pages/index.htm.
Once you have your fingerprint cards and criminal record, go to the clerk of the District court where you were arrested. Contact information for the Texas District Courts can be found at: http://maps.txcourts.gov/. The clerk will provide you with the necessary forms: "Petition for Expunction" and "Order for Expunction". The clerk will provide you with information about the procedure, the filing fees, scheduling court dates, etc.
You will need to give notice of the filing of the Petition to the District Attorney who handled your case. Notice also needs to be given to the district clerk, the arresting police authority, and the Texas Department of Public Safety. The Petition is reviewed by the DA, and if it meets the requirements for expunction, the DA will sign off on the proposed order. The signed proposed order is taken to the Judge to be signed. If the DA objects, a court hearing will be scheduled.
There is no guarantee that you will get an expunction. You need to do the paperwork correctly, paying attention to details.
If granted, your criminal records held by the arresting agency, the Department of Public Safety, the court of prosecution and the prosecutor's office are shredded and totally destroyed.
For more articles on the Texas expunction process, click on the following: