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Can we get a terroristic threat off my sons record?

Garland, TX |

At 18 my son was arrested for a terroristic threat. Another teen said he threatened the teen with a knife. When arrested no knife was found. He was put on probation for it and served that time. It has been 3 years. He can’t get a job because of this. Is there anyway to get it removed from his record? We are in TX.

Attorney Answers 3


Texas must have a mechanism for sealing records. I am a Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorney, so you should consult an attorney in your state, but sealing the record sounds like the way to go. In Mass, you can only get a charge expunged if it had been dismissed or you had been found not guilty. Expunging a charge here means that no one would be able to see that you had ever even been accused f the offense. Sealing a record means that when a background check is run the result will say, "record sealed." This, unfortunately is not a perfect fix because the potential employer's imagination could run wild as to what horrible crime was committed then sealed.

Why did your son plead guilty to this charge in the first place? If I had been representing him, I would have, at the very least, negotiated to amend the charge to something that, on its face, does not sound so nefarious. For example, he could have plead guilty to simple assault. Then a future employer who saw the conviction would assume your son got into a scuffle of something.

The last piece of advice I will give you is to meet this problem head on when he goes to interviews of even applies for jobs. Take every opportunity to explain the basis for the charge and the facts behind it so the employer understands the situation. Good luck and let me know how everything turns out.

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Yes, it may be possible to get this removed from his public criminal record in Texas. If you son received deferred adjudication and succesfully completed it he may be eligible for a motion for non disclosure. On the other hand, if he received "regular probation" or did not succesfully complete the defered adjudication he will not be eligible to "clear his record."

Thiis is a typical question that I have blogged about...Please follow the link below.

Good luck to you and your son.

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At 18 (and even at 17) your son was an adult. Obviously he pled guilty to the charge, and received either community supervision or deferred adjudication. If he received what is considered straight probation or straight community supervision, then he is essentially stuck with the conviction unless he is able to attack it by a post-conviction, 11.09, application for writ of habeas corpus. If he received deferred adjudication and served it out without being revoked, then he is eligible to have his record sealed (assuming he has no other convictions.) A sealed record is not available to the general public (such as non-governmental jobs, apartments, etc.). However, it is available to law enforcement.

If your son was not guilty of the terroristic threat and there was a constitutional violation which led him to accept the plea bargain, then he may be able to collaterally attack the conviction (by way of post conviction application for writ of habeas corpus.) If this is possible, it is definitely the best route.


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