A person who has been acquitted or pardoned of an offense is entitled to have the records of his arrest expunged. This is the simplest type of expunction and has relatively few requirements.
A person is eligible for an expunction if he was acquitted by the trial court, a court of appeals, or the Court of Criminal Appeals. The court of acquittal determines whether the expunction is mandatory or discretionary. Under Article 55.01(a), a person who was acquitted in the trial court is entitled to an expunction. But if the acquittal was from an appellate court, Article 55.01(b) provides only that the district court may order an expunction, placing the decision within the discretion of the trial court. A person is considered acquitted by the trial court only if the verdict at trial was not guilty.
Not Guilty By Reason Of Insanity
One further exception to an acquitted person’s right to an expunction applies after successful application of the insanity defense. Under current law, a person found not guilty by reason of insanity under Code of Criminal Procedure Chapter 46C is not considered to be acquitted for purposes of the expunction statute. However, a person found not guilty by reason of insanity for an offense before September 1, 2005 would be entitled to expunge his records as an acquittal. This could only occur after the person’s civil commitment is complete and he is discharged by the trial court.
Same Criminal Episode
If the offense for which the person was arrested arose out of the same criminal episode as an offense for which the person was either convicted or remains subject to prosecution, then the trial court may not order an expunction for the acquittal. Denial is mandatory.
A person who is pardoned or otherwise granted relief on the basis of actual innocence may receive an expunction. The pardon or court order must clearly indicate on its face that it was granted on the bias of the person’s actual innocence for the offense sought to be expunged.
Dallas criminal lawyer Constantine Anagnostis dedicates his practice to people who are facing criminal charges, with a primary emphasis on DWI, Drug Offenses, Expunction & Nondisclosure Agreements, and Occupational Driver’s License Issues. Dallas criminal lawyer Constantine G. Anagnostis understands the law, procedures, and penalties pertaining to criminal law, and will aggressively fight to protect your rights. You may call 817-229-0319 to schedule a free consultation, or submit a sample case form. At DFW Criminal Lawyers, L.L.C., we look forward to helping you.