By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal
Assuming you are eligible for expunction from an arrest in Texas, here are the top 5 reasons to get one if you can.
#5 — Peace of Mind
When I ask people about prior criminal records, I often get blank stares followed by an explanation that is very unsure of the final outcome. With an expunction, you get the certainty of knowing your status and how to deal with it in any given situation based on what you know is the law and your rights.
#4 — Future Dealing With Law Enforcement
Prosecutors and police officers look at your life through a straw… meaning they don’t care about how many old ladies you’ve helped cross the street in your life. If you got arrested 18 years ago and “beat the rap” then they make it their business to nail “career criminals” like you! Without an expunction, that arrest will be seen by law enforcement. To many of them that prior arrest is as good as a conviction.
#3 — You Never Know When It Will Come Back and Bite You
People can dig into your personal history for all sorts of reasons. Though law enforcement’s databases tend to be off limits, they sell your information to public information firms who in-turn sell that information to consumers. Also your court case is a public record and anyone can view it if they are motivated enough for any reason.
#2 — Future Employment
Employers will run your criminal history. Even if you’re acquitted or the case dismissed, the arrest is still in all the databases of law enforcement unless and until it is expunged. Having to make your case all over again to your employer about how the charges were incorrect is a losing battle. Do you think the other candidates interviewing have to explain warts like that? Not expunging an arrest can cause people jobs.
#1 — Why Wouldn’t you have an Arrest Expunged?
There aren’t any good reasons not to get an expunction when you’re eligible. The legislature has put mechanisms in place so if you apply for expunction quickly after acquittal (within 30 days), the expenses are minimized.
*Jeremy Rosenthal is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and licensed by the Supreme Court of Texas. Nothing in this article is intended to be legal advice. For legal advice please consult an attorney.