Texas Expunge Criminal Records

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Is it possible to get your criminal record expunged in Texas?

Long, but here you go, you can get it if you meet the conditions-

TEXAS EXPUNGEMENT LAW
SUMMARY – Texas expungement law (Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Chapter 55) allows expungement of arrests that did not lead to a finding of guilt, and class C misdemeanors if the defendant received deferred adjudication, and completed community supervision. The release, dissemination or use of expunged records by any agency is prohibited. Unless being questioned under oath, the defendant may deny the occurrence of the arrest and expungement order. If the defendant was found guilty, pled guilty, or pled no contest to any offense other than a class “C” misdemeanor, it is not eligible for expungement; however, it maybe be eligible for non-disclosure if deferred adjudication was granted.

By Mathew K. Higbee, Esq.
Content on this page may be distributed free of charge and used in its entirety if properly cited with a link to this original source document.

TEXAS CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

CHAPTER 55. EXPUNCTION OF CRIMINAL RECORDSArt. 55.01. RIGHT TO EXPUNCTION.Art. 55.02. PROCEDURE FOR EXPUNCTIONArt. 55.03. EFFECT OF EXPUNCTION Art. 55.04. VIOLATION OF EXPUNCTION ORDER.Art. 55.05. NOTICE OF RIGHT TO EXPUNCTION.Art. 55.06. LICENSE SUSPENSIONS AND REVOCATIONS.

Art. 55.01. RIGHT TO EXPUNCTION. (a) A person who has been
placed under a custodial or noncustodial arrest for commission of
either a felony or misdemeanor is entitled to have all records and
files relating to the arrest expunged if:
(1) the person is tried for the offense for which the person
was arrested and is:
(A) acquitted by the trial court, except as provided by
Subsection (c) of this section; or
(B) convicted and subsequently pardoned; or
(2) each of the following conditions exist:
(A) an indictment or information charging the person with
commission of a felony has not been presented against the person for
an offense arising out of the transaction for which the person was
arrested or, if an indictment or information charging the person
with commission of a felony was presented, the indictment or
information has been dismissed or quashed, and:
(i) the limitations period expired before the date on which
a petition for expunction was filed under Article 55.02; or
(ii) the court finds that the indictment or information was
dismissed or quashed because the presentment had been made because
of mistake, false information, or other similar reason indicating
absence of probable cause at the time of the dismissal to believe
the person committed the offense or because it was void;
(B) the person has been released and the charge, if any, has
not resulted in a final conviction and is no longer pending and
there was no court ordered community supervision under Article
42.12 for any offense other than a Class C misdemeanor; and
(C) the person has not been convicted of a felony in the five
years preceding the date of the arrest.
(a-1) Notwithstanding Subsection (a)(2)(C), a person’s
conviction of a felony in the five years preceding the date of the
arrest does not affect the person’s entitlement to expunction for
purposes of an ex parte petition filed on behalf of the person by
the director of the Department of Public Safety under Section 2(e),
Article 55.02.
(b) Except as provided by Subsection (c) of this section, a
district court may expunge all records and files relating to the
arrest of a person who has been arrested for commission of a felony
or misdemeanor under the procedure established under Article 55.02
of this code if the person is:
(1) tried for the offense for which the person was arrested;
(2) convicted of the offense; and
(3) acquitted by the court of criminal appeals.
(c) A court may not order the expunction of records and
files relating to an arrest for an offense for which a person is
subsequently acquitted, whether by the trial court or the court of
criminal appeals, if the offense for which the person was acquitted
arose out of a criminal episode, as defined by Section 3.01, Penal
Code, and the person was convicted of or remains subject to
prosecution for at least one other offense occurring during the
criminal episode.
(d) A person is entitled to have any information that
identifies the person, including the person’s name, address, date
of birth, driver’s license number, and social security number,
contained in records and files relating to the arrest of another
person expunged if:
(1) the information identifying the person asserting the
entitlement to expunction was falsely given by the person arrested
as the arrested person’s identifying information without the
consent of the person asserting the entitlement; and
(2) the only reason for the information identifying the
person asserting the entitlement being contained in the arrest
records and files of the person arrested is that the information was
falsely given by the person arrested as the arrested person’s
identifying information.

Added by Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 1880, ch. 747, Sec. 1, eff. Aug.
29, 1977.

Amended by Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 1333, ch. 604, Sec. 1, eff. Aug.
27, 1979; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 803, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989;
Subsec. (2) amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 284(53),
eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec.
7.02(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1236, Sec.
1, eff. Aug. 30, 1999; Subsec. (a) amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg.,
ch. 1021, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Subsec. (d) added by Acts
2001, 77th Leg., ch. 945, Sec. 1, eff. June 14, 2001; Subsec. (a)
amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1236, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1,
2003; Subsec. (a-1) added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., ch. 1309, Sec. 1,
eff. Sept. 1, 2005.

Art. 55.02. PROCEDURE FOR EXPUNCTION. Sec. 1. At the
request of the defendant and after notice to the state, the trial
court presiding over the case in which the defendant was acquitted,
if the trial court is a district court, or a district court in the
county in which the trial court is located shall enter an order of
expunction for a person entitled to expunction under article
55.01(a)(1)(a) not later than the 30th day after the date of the
acquittal. Upon acquittal, the trial court shall advise the
defendant of the right to expunction. The defendant shall provide
to the district court all of the information required in a petition
for expunction under Section 2(b). The attorney for the defendant
in the case in which the defendant was acquitted, if the defendant
was represented by counsel, or the attorney for the state, if the
defendant was not represented by counsel, shall prepare the order
for the court’s signature.
Sec. 2. (a) A person who is entitled to expunction of records
and files under Article 55.01(a) or a person who is eligible for
expunction of records and files under Article 55.01(b) may file an
ex parte petition for expunction in a district court for the county
in which:
(1) the petitioner was arrested; or
(2) the offense was alleged to have occurred.
(b) The petition must be verified and shall include the
following or an explanation for why one or more of the following is
not included:
(1) the petitioner’s:
(A) full name;
(B) sex;
(C) race;
(D) date of birth;
(E) driver’s license number;
(F) social security number; and
(G) address at the time of the arrest;
(2) the offense charged against the petitioner;
(3) the date the offense charged against the petitioner was
alleged to have been committed;
(4) the date the petitioner was arrested;
(5) the name of the county where the petitioner was arrested
and if the arrest occurred in a municipality, the name of the
municipality;
(6) the name of the agency that arrested the petitioner;
(7) the case number and court of offense; and
(8) a list of all law enforcement agencies, jails or other
detention facilities, magistrates, courts, prosecuting attorneys,
correctional facilities, central state depositories of criminal
records, and other officials or agencies or other entities of this
state or of any political subdivision of this state and of all
central federal depositories of criminal records that the
petitioner has reason to believe have records or files that are
subject to expunction.
(c) The court shall set a hearing on the matter no sooner
than thirty days from the filing of the petition and shall give to
each official or agency or other entity named in the petition
reasonable notice of the hearing by:
(1) certified mail, return receipt requested; or
(2) if requested in writing by the petitioner, secure
electronic mail or facsimile transmission.
(c-1) An entity described by Subsection (c) may be
represented by the attorney responsible for providing the entity
with legal representation in other matters.
(d) If the court finds that the petitioner, or a person for
whom an ex parte petition is filed under Subsection (e), is entitled
to expunction of any records and files that are the subject of the
petition, it shall enter an order directing expunction.
(e) The director of the Department of Public Safety or the
director’s authorized representative may file on behalf of a person
described by Subsection (a) of this section or by Section 2a an ex
parte petition for expunction in a district court for the county in
which:
(1) the person was arrested; or
(2) the offense was alleged to have occurred.
(f) An ex parte petition filed under Subsection (e) must be
verified and must include the following or an explanation for why
one or more of the following is not included:
(1) the person’s:
(A) full name;
(B) sex;
(C) race;
(D) date of birth;
(E) driver’s license number;
(F) social security number; and
(G) address at the time of the arrest;
(2) the offense charged against the person;
(3) the date the offense charged against the person was
alleged to have been committed;
(4) the date the person was arrested;
(5) the name of the county where the person was arrested and
if the arrest occurred in a municipality, the name of the
municipality;
(6) the name of the agency that arrested the person;
(7) the case number and court of offense; and
(8) a list of all law enforcement agencies, jails or other
detention facilities, magistrates, courts, prosecuting attorneys,
correctional facilities, central state depositories of criminal
records, and other officials or agencies or other entities of this
state or of any political subdivision of this state and of all
central federal depositories of criminal records that the person
has reason to believe have records or files that are subject to
expunction.
Sec. 2a. (a) A person who is entitled to expunction of
information contained in records and files under Article 55.01(d)
may file an application for expunction with the attorney
representing the state in the prosecution of felonies in the county
in which the person resides.
(b) The application must be verified, include authenticated
fingerprint records of the applicant, and include the following or
an explanation for why one or more of the following is not included:
(1) the applicant’s full name, sex, race, date of birth,
driver’s license number, social security number, and address at the
time the person who falsely identified himself or herself as the
applicant was arrested;
(2) the following information regarding the arrest:
(A) the date of arrest;
(B) the offense charged against the person arrested;
(C) the name of the county or municipality in which the
arrest occurred; and
(D) the name of the arresting agency; and
(3) a statement that:
(A) the applicant is not the person arrested and for whom
the arrest records and files were created; and
(B) the applicant did not give the person arrested consent
to falsely identify himself or herself as the applicant.
(c) After verifying the allegations in an application
received under Subsection (a), the attorney representing the state
shall:
(1) include on the application information regarding the
arrest that was requested of the applicant but was unknown by the
applicant;
(2) forward a copy of the application to the district court
for the county;
(3) attach to the copy a list of all law enforcement
agencies, jails or other detention facilities, magistrates,
courts, prosecuting attorneys, correctional facilities, central
state depositories of criminal records, and other officials or
agencies or other entities of this state or of any political
subdivision of this state and of all central federal depositories
of criminal records that are reasonably likely to have records or
files containing information that is subject to expunction; and
(4) request the court to enter an order directing expunction
based on an entitlement to expunction under Article 55.01(d).
(d) On receipt of a request under Subsection (c), the court
shall, without holding a hearing on the matter, enter a final order
directing expunction.
Sec. 3. (a) In an order of expunction issued under this
article, the court shall require any state agency that sent
information concerning the arrest to a central federal depository
to request the depository to return all records and files subject to
the order of expunction. The person who is the subject of the
expunction order or an agency protesting the expunction may appeal
the court’s decision in the same manner as in other civil cases.
(b) The order of expunction entered by the court shall have
attached and incorporate by reference a copy of the judgment of
acquittal and shall include:
(1) the following information on the person who is the
subject of the expunction order:
(A) full name;
(B) sex;
(C) race;
(D) date of birth;
(E) driver’s license number; and
(F) social security number;
(2) the offense charged against the person who is the
subject of the expunction order;
(3) the date the person who is the subject of the expunction
order was arrested;
(4) the case number and court of offense; and
(5) the tracking incident number (TRN) assigned to the
individual incident of arrest under Article 60.07(b)(1) by the
Department of Public Safety.
(c) When the order of expunction is final, the clerk of the
court shall send a certified copy of the order to the Crime Records
Service of the Department of Public Safety and to each official or
agency or other entity of this state or of any political subdivision
of this state designated by the person who is the subject of the
order. The certified copy of the order must be sent by secure
electronic mail or facsimile transmission, if requested in writing
by the person who is the subject of the order, or otherwise by
certified mail, return receipt requested. In sending the order to
an entity designated by the person, the clerk may elect to
substitute hand delivery for certified mail under this subsection,
but the clerk must receive a receipt for that hand-delivered order.
The Department of Public Safety shall notify any central federal
depository of criminal records by any means, including secure
electronic mail or facsimile transmission, of the order with an
explanation of the effect of the order and a request that the
depository, as appropriate, either:
(1) destroy or return to the court the records in possession
of the depository that are subject to the order, including any
information with respect to the order; or
(2) comply with Section 5(f) of this article pertaining to
information contained in records and files of a person entitled to
expunction under Article 55.01(d).
(d) Any returned receipts received by the clerk from notices
of the hearing and copies of the order shall be maintained in the
file on the proceedings under this chapter.
Sec. 4. (a) If the state establishes that the person who is
the subject of an expunction order is still subject to conviction
for an offense arising out of the transaction for which the person
was arrested because the statute of limitations has not run and
there is reasonable cause to believe that the state may proceed
against the person for the offense, the court may provide in its
order that the law enforcement agency and the prosecuting attorney
responsible for investigating the offense may retain any records
and files that are necessary to the investigation. In the case of a
person who is the subject of an expunction order on the basis of an
acquittal, the court may provide in the expunction order that the
law enforcement agency and the prosecuting attorney retain records
and files if:
(1) the records and files are necessary to conduct a
subsequent investigation and prosecution of a person other than the
person who is the subject of the expunction order; or
(2) the state establishes that the records and files are
necessary for use in:
(A) another criminal case, including a prosecution, motion
to adjudicate or revoke community supervision, parole revocation
hearing, mandatory supervision revocation hearing, punishment
hearing, or bond hearing; or
(B) a civil case, including a civil suit or suit for
possession of or access to a child.
(b) Unless the person who is the subject of the expunction
order is again arrested for or charged with an offense arising out
of the transaction for which the person was arrested or unless the
court provides for the retention of records and files under
Subsection (a) of this section, the provisions of Articles 55.03
and 55.04 of this code apply to files and records retained under
this section.
Sec. 5. (a) Except as provided by Subsection (f), on receipt
of the order, each official or agency or other entity named in the
order shall:
(1) return all records and files that are subject to the
expunction order to the court or, if removal is impracticable,
obliterate all portions of the record or file that identify the
person who is the subject of the order and notify the court of its
action; and
(2) delete from its public records all index references to
the records and files that are subject to the expunction order.
(b) Except in the case of a person who is the subject of an
expunction order on the basis of an acquittal or an expunction order
based on an entitlement under Article 55.01(d), the court may give
the person who is the subject of the order all records and files
returned to it pursuant to its order.
(c) Except in the case of a person who is the subject of an
expunction order based on an entitlement under Article 55.01(d), if
an order of expunction is issued under this article, the court
records concerning expunction proceedings are not open for
inspection by anyone except the person who is the subject of the
order unless the order permits retention of a record under Section 4
of this article and the person is again arrested for or charged with
an offense arising out of the transaction for which the person was
arrested or unless the court provides for the retention of records
and files under Section 4(a) of this article. The clerk of the
court issuing the order shall obliterate all public references to
the proceeding and maintain the files or other records in an area
not open to inspection.
(d) Except in the case of a person who is the subject of an
expunction order on the basis of an acquittal or an expunction order
based on an entitlement under Article 55.01(d), the clerk of the
court shall destroy all the files or other records maintained under
Subsection (c) not earlier than the 60th day after the date the
order of expunction is issued or later than the first anniversary of
that date unless the records or files were released under
Subsection (b).
(d-1) Not later than the 30th day before the date on which
the clerk destroys files or other records under Subsection (d), the
clerk shall provide notice by mail, electronic mail, or facsimile
transmission to the attorney representing the state in the
expunction proceeding. If the attorney representing the state in
the expunction proceeding objects to the destruction not later than
the 20th day after receiving notice under this subsection, the
clerk may not destroy the files or other records until the first
anniversary of the date the order of expunction is issued or the
first business day after that date.
(e) The clerk shall certify to the court the destruction of
files or other records under Subsection (d) of this section.
(f) On receipt of an order granting expunction to a person
entitled to expunction under Article 55.01(d), each official,
agency, or other entity named in the order:
(1) shall:
(A) obliterate all portions of the record or file that
identify the petitioner; and
(B) substitute for all obliterated portions of the record or
file any available information that identifies the person arrested;
and
(2) may not return the record or file or delete index
references to the record or file.

Amended by Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 1333, ch. 604, Sec. 1, eff. Aug.
27, 1979; Sec. 1(b) amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 803, Sec.
2, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Sec. 3(a) amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg.,
ch. 803, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Sec. 5(d), (e) added by Acts
1989, 71st Leg., ch. 803, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Sec. 3(a)
amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 380, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 26,
1991; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1236, Sec. 2, eff. Aug. 30, 1999;
Sec. 2(a), (b) amended by and Sec. 2(e) added by Acts 2001, 77th
Leg., ch. 945, Sec. 2, eff. June 14, 2001; Sec. 3(c) amended by Acts
2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1021, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Sec. 5
amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 945, Sec. 3, eff. June 14,
2001; Sec 1 amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 404, Sec. 1, eff.
Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 2(a) amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 339,
Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1236, Sec. 2,
eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 2(e) amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch.
339, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 2(a) added by Acts 2003, 78th
Leg., ch. 339, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 3(a), 3(b) amended
by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 404, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec.
3(c) amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 339, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1,
2003; Sec. 1 amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 404, Sec. 1, eff.
Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 3(a), 3(b) amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch.
404, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 5(d) amended by Acts 2003,
78th Leg., ch. 1126, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003; Sec. 5(d-1) added
by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1126, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003; Sec.
2(a) amended by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., ch. 728, Sec. 4.006, eff.
Sept. 1, 2005; Sec. 2(c) amended by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., ch. 177,
Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2005; Sec. 2(c-1) added by Acts 2005, 79th
Leg., ch. 177, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2005; Sec. 2(d) amended by Acts
2005, 79th Leg., ch. 1309, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2005; Sec. 2(e) and
(f) added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., ch. 1309, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1,
2005; Sec. 3(c) and (d) amended by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., ch. 177,
Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2005.

Art. 55.03. EFFECT OF EXPUNCTION. When the order of
expunction is final:
(1) the release, maintenance, dissemination, or use of the
expunged records and files for any purpose is prohibited;
(2) except as provided in Subdivision (3) of this article,
the person arrested may deny the occurrence of the arrest and the
existence of the expunction order; and
(3) the person arrested or any other person, when questioned
under oath in a criminal proceeding about an arrest for which the
records have been expunged, may state only that the matter in
question has been expunged.

Added by Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 1880, ch. 747, Sec. 1, eff. Aug.
29, 1977.

Amended by Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 1333, ch. 604, Sec. 1, eff. Aug.
27, 1979; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1236, Sec. 3, eff. Aug. 30,
1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1021, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2001;
Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1236, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts
2005, 79th Leg., ch. 790, Sec. 1, eff. June 17, 2005; Acts 2005,
79th Leg., ch. 919, Sec. 1, eff. June 18, 2005.

Art. 55.04. VIOLATION OF EXPUNCTION ORDER. Sec. 1. A person
who acquires knowledge of an arrest while an officer or employee of
the state or of any agency or other entity of the state or any
political subdivision of the state and who knows of an order
expunging the records and files relating to that arrest commits an
offense if he knowingly releases, disseminates, or otherwise uses
the records or files.
Sec. 2. A person who knowingly fails to return or to
obliterate identifying portions of a record or file ordered
expunged under this chapter commits an offense.
Sec. 3. An offense under this article is a Class B
misdemeanor.

Added by Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 1880, ch. 747, Sec. 1, eff. Aug.
29, 1977.

Amended by Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 1333, ch. 604, Sec. 1, eff. Aug.
27, 1979.

Art. 55.05. NOTICE OF RIGHT TO EXPUNCTION. On release or
discharge of an arrested person, the person responsible for the
release or discharge shall give him a written explanation of his
rights under this chapter and a copy of the provisions of this
chapter.

Added by Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 1880, ch. 747, Sec. 1, eff. Aug.
29, 1977.

Amended by Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 1333, ch. 604, Sec. 1, eff. Aug.
27, 1979.

Art. 55.06. LICENSE SUSPENSIONS AND REVOCATIONS. Records
relating to the suspension or revocation of a driver’s license,
permit, or privilege to operate a motor vehicle may not be expunged
under this chapter except as provided in Section 524.015,
Transportation Code, or Section 724.048 of that code.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 886, Sec. 16, eff. Jan. 1, 1995.
Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 3.08, eff. Sept. 1,
1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1236, Sec. 4, eff. Aug. 30, 1999.

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