How do I get a felony expungement for criminal trespass and theft? 2 Answers as of June 22, 2011

I have a felony that is criminal trespass and theft under 400 (misdemeanor I think). Some friends in high school thought it would be funny to take some checks and eat with them and we got caught. I have not been in trouble since they gave me 90 days in '01. I am an involved father who has been married and a productive member of society for some time. We are active in church and boy scouts but every time I try to better my career I get shot down when a background check comes up. I cannot get past entry level management with this on my record. I would love to join the Army but am having a hard time. I just want to support my family and see myself as a good man. I hate not being able to vote or go on hunting trips with my son and his scouts because I'm a so called felon. Help me please.

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Bristol & Dubiel LLP
Bristol & Dubiel LLP | Murray L. Bristol
In Texas, you can only get an expungement if you were not convicted of an offense without taking probation. There are also some other requirements that may affect qualifying for one, so it is recommended to contact an attorney. Our firm, like many other lawyers, offer a free consultation, so call one for any questions you may have.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 6/22/2011
Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
First, criminal trespass is not a felony. It is a misdemeanor. And, a theft for under $400 is a misdemeanor, too. I'm not sure what you are talking about when you mention taking checks and using them to eat. That could result in all kinds of charges including theft, fraud, etc. And, generally people in Texas are given probation on their first offenses unless the underlying facts are really heinous so to get 90 days for an offense is kind of a lot, but it indicates that it was a misdemeanor. Assuming that you got jail or prison time for your cases, then you do not qualify for an expunction not for nondisclosure. If you got deferred adjudication on either of them and successfully completed it, then you could petition the trial court to seal that record. (It is not automatic and does not hide your record from everyone. The army would still be able to find it as well as law enforcement and licensing agencies.) The only way to be eligible for an expunction is to be found not guilty or to have the case dismissed before indictment (felony) or have the case dismissed after indictment if there is evidence that the indictment was obtained with false information (not illegally obtained; felony) or have the case dismissed (misdemeanor.)
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 6/22/2011
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