If you have a criminal record, you know it can affect your life in many ways. This record makes it difficult and sometimes virtually impossible to enroll in college or to get a decent job. You may not be eligible for financial aid, such as grants or loans, through the federal government, either.
Instead of having to wait to get a good job, have good credit, or further your education until the criminal charges fall off the record, you can begin to take steps to have it cleared now. Some of the methods you can use to clear up your criminal record now, in the state of Texas, are found here.
Review Your Criminal Record Carefully
Before you can begin cleaning up your record, you need to get a copy of it and examine what it says carefully for misinformation or errors. You can get a copy of this record by contacting the courthouse in the jurisdiction where you were originally arrested and eventually charged with this offense.
If there were multiple jurisdictions were involved when you were prosecuted, you can request a copy of the record, if it is available. If this isn’t the case, you are going to have to contact each of the jurisdictions individually to get a copy.
After you have your criminal record, you need to review it for details carefully. Look for the following:
- The name on the record
- Dates of the event
- Any changes made to the record
Make sure all this information is accurate. If there are mistakes or details that are omitted, contact the clerk of court and let them know. The clerk can correct some issues. The other mistakes are going to have to be corrected in the prosecutor’s office.
Reduce the Crime’s Categorization
If you were arrested and found guilty of any felony that could have been a misdemeanor or felony, you can get in touch with the court to ask to have the crime reduced to the misdemeanor charge. This offense is often called a “wobbler” because they can be classified as either.
File for Expungement
It’s also possible to clear up a Texas criminal record by filing to have it expunged. In the simplest of legal terms, an expungement is a destruction of the record. However, in Texas, the record isn’t actually destroyed, it’s just sealed so that no one can view what is inside.
Filing for expungement requires you to submit all the needed paperwork to the court, and to pay the filing fee, which is often as much as $1,000. It’s also necessary to wait for a minimum of three years to file for this after you have been arrested.
Hire an Attorney for Help
If you want to take steps to eliminate or expunge your criminal record in the state of Texas, the methods here are viable options. However, it’s also a good idea to contact an attorney.