Sarah Vernier Wood’s Answers

Sarah Vernier Wood

Houston Criminal Defense Attorney.

Contributor Level 6
  1. What are the steps to expunging a felony?

    Answered about 5 years ago.

    1. Sarah Vernier Wood
    2. Robert Hampton Tuthill
    3. Christopher Lee Carlson
    3 lawyer answers

    You need a lawyer to be sure this is done correctly. 1. Determine if you are eligible. Generally, your record can be expunged if your arrest did not result in either a conviction or probation. So if the charges were dismissed, you were acquitted at trial, you were no-billed by a grand jury, or you pled guilty to a Class C Special Expense, you can likely get it expunged. 2. Determine your waiting period. Unless you were acquitted, you usually must wait until the statute of limitations...

    1 lawyer agreed with this answer

  2. What agencies should be notified when filing a petition of "non disclosure" to clear record?

    Answered about 5 years ago.

    1. Sarah Vernier Wood
    2. Cynthia Russell Henley
    2 lawyer answers

    Under Texas Government Code 411.081(g-1), the Department of Public Safety has the duty to notify other agencies of the order. If you insist on doing your petition yourself, you must read this statute. However, it is not a good idea to do it yourself. We represented a man who had earlier purchased a "do-it-yourself kit" and stood in front of the judge by himself. The prosecutor wrongly and rudely convinced the judge that the man was ineligible to have his record sealed. Luckily, the man...

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  3. Does having your record Sealed or Expunged help at all? I am looking for a better Job. I am trying to better with my life.

    Answered about 5 years ago.

    1. Sarah Vernier Wood
    2. Stephen Lyle Hamilton
    3. John M. Kaman
    3 lawyer answers

    Assuming you are eligible to petition the court for nondisclosure, you should definitely not try to do it by yourself. I once knew a man who had purchased a "do-it-yourself kit" for his nondisclosure. He filled out the forms, filed the papers, and then went to the hearing by himself. At the hearing, he stood in front of the judge's bench and, even though he was a smart guy, he was nervous and didn't quite know what to say. The prosecutor rudely argued to the judge that the man was not...

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  4. Can a back seat passenger be charged for contraband hidden in the drivers vehicle

    Answered about 5 years ago.

    1. Sarah Vernier Wood
    2. Robert Hampton Tuthill
    3. William N Howell
    3 lawyer answers

    Absolutely, they can be charged. It happens every day - even to perfectly innocent people. The real question is: Can they be convicted? As the saying goes, you can beat the rap (the charges) but you can't beat the ride (the headache of being charged). To get a conviction for possession, the prosecution is required to prove "beyond a reasonable doubt" that the person had "actual care, custody, control, or management" of the contraband. Good luck to you.

  5. What is the punishment for criminal mischief, class B or C misdemeanor in Texas?

    Answered about 5 years ago.

    1. Paul Holt Walcutt
    2. Cynthia Russell Henley
    3. Sarah Vernier Wood
    3 lawyer answers

    I actually once represented a man charged with criminal mischief for poisoning his neighbor's tree. Our client didn't get along well with his neighbor and had a few beers one night and went over into her yard and poured gasoline onto the roots of her tree. The grass died in a circle around it, but the tree itself seemed to suffer no damage. Because the tree was unharmed, my client was innocent of the charge and his case was dismissed. Perhaps you should hire a tree specialist to take a look...