In the world of law, the idea of a case being dismissed provides relief for individuals who have gotten tangled up in the legal system.
So, what happens to the records associated with these dismissed cases in Texas? Do they continue to be part of the record, or do they simply vanish once a judge decides that a case is no longer active? A criminal defense attorney can help get your case dismissed, but it does not end there. They can help you remove it from your public record as well.
While most people may feel relieved when their case is dismissed, it’s critical to understand that this doesn’t mean all records related to their case will vanish overnight. In Texas, as in other U.S. states, dismissed cases still remain part of the record. Just because someone’s legal troubles have been resolved doesn’t mean their alleged involvement in a crime is completely wiped away from view.
This fact can deter employers from hiring you and people from allowing you to rent housing. They can still look negatively at the fact that you were charged and arrested even if your case was dismissed.
To explore this topic, it’s important to define a case dismissal.
A dismissed case refers to a case where the charges against the defendant are dropped, either due to insufficient evidence or because the prosecution has chosen not to pursue the case.
A dismissal is like throwing your case in a trash can – people can still open the lid and access it, so you need to expunge or get rid of the file. Therefore, you can liken expunction or expungement to taking the trash out of the trash can and burning or destroying it.
Maybe you were not convicted of a crime but served probation instead. In this instance, you cannot get the record expunged, but you can limit its access. This means you need to get the record sealed. It’s like locking the information in a file cabinet, giving only certain people the key.
In Texas, the law requires defendants to wait it out before seeking expungement for a dismissed case. Therefore, the statute of limitations is set at two years for misdemeanor crimes and expands to four years for felonies. Some people wait ten years before they can expunge a severe felony.
Expect to wait 30 to 90 days to schedule a hearing after you file the petition for expungement. You may have to wait as long as six months to complete the steps as well. Even after the court grants an expunction, it can take government agencies another six months to completely destroy the info.
Are you eligible for expungement? Maybe you would like to know more about sealing a criminal record. If so, contact the Mendoza Law Firm right away. Get the legal help you need to take a more positive path in life today.
Take the first step to protect your future. Tell us about your case to receive
a free and confidential consultation.