Waiting Period Expunction in Texas
Chapter 55 of the Code of Criminal Procedure contains statutes concerned with expunction eligibility and procedures. According to the website of Ian Inglis Attorney at Law, if a person is charged but not convicted of a crime (acquittal), the record may be expunged at the petition of the record holder. It follows that those arrested but not even charged with the crime may be automatically eligible for expunction, but it is not as simple as that.
All arrests made by law enforcement become part of the official record, so a person who is arrested is said to have an arrest record. Under normal circumstances, if a person is arrested but not charged, the record of the arrest can be expunged when the case is over or the statute of limitations runs out. is However, there are cases that take years to be closed, if ever, and some offenses have no statute of limitations, such as murder.
Prior to the 2011 reform, individuals that have been arrested but not charged in the latter situation may not receive an expunction order, which can really put a crimp in one’s day. The 82nd Legislature made some significant changes in Chapter 55 back in 2011 which may provide some relief for those arrested but never charged with a crime.
The lawmakers came up with what is referred to as “waiting period” expunctions (Article 55.01(a)(2)(A)). This provision kicks in when after a certain length of time has passed between an arrest and a charge, the arrest record can be petitioned for expunction. For Class C misdemeanors, for example, the waiting period is 180 days up to three years for felonies. The petitioner should be able to prove that the case against him or her is no longer pending, meaning that there is no active investigation directed toward the petitioner.
If you have been arrested but never charged for an ongoing case and want to have the record erased, you should contact an expunction lawyer in your area to determine your eligibility. Petitioning for an expunction can be a complicated matter so it would be better to let the professional handle it.