Do criminal lawyers handle expungements? Or is there a lawyer specially for expungement cases?

Asked about 1 year ago - Dallas, TX

I'm 22 years old, part time student, and a full time employee at a Family Dollar Store. When I was 17 years old I got into a little trouble with a group of friends who decided to steal out a department store. Although I didn't take anything I was the driver so all three of us got charged with theft under $50. I don't remember if I pleaded not guilty or no contest, but I know I was placed on deferred probation for 90 days. I completed my community service and paid my court cost/ lawyer fees as well as took the theft prevention class I agreed to take. I know my lawyer told me I would be eligible for an expungement after two years. It's going on five. It killed my spirit and was very embarrassing when I was offered a good paying job at a call center only for them to call back and deny me.

Attorney answers (7)

  1. Macy Michelle Jaggers

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . You are eligible for an expunction. Any criminal defense attorney can do this for you. Our fees vary for this service, so you'll want to call a few of us to get quotes.

    Macy Jaggers's answer to a legal question on Avvo does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Ms. Jaggers... more
  2. Richard Timothy Jones

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

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    Answered . A criminal defense attorney is the best choice for handling Expungements. They can advise you as to the requirements and prepare the paperwork.
    Www.Austincriminaldefenseattorney.Com
    Austin Felony Lawyer
    512-495-1813

    My answers are intended only as general legal advice and are not intended to create an attorney-client... more
  3. M Elizabeth Foley

    Contributor Level 18

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Actually, most criminal defense lawyers don't handle expunctions, because they're civil cases and have their own quirky set of laws and procedures. It's important that you select an attorney who is actually familiar with all that, because if an expunction gets handled wrong, it can be a real mess to try to straighten out later (having most of the records gone instead of all of them can make it very hard to fix things if the error isn't caught until a couple of years later, and it may actually require filing a completely new case). However, in your specific case, general knowledge of and experience with the expunction statutes is going to be more relevant than having an "in" with the judge or the prosecutor, because as old as your case is, the two year statute of limitations has long since run, and the expunction itself is guaranteed to happen (it's not at all discretionary in this instance). Good luck.

  4. Kyle Stephen Deese

    Contributor Level 6

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Although an expunction matter is technically a civil case, criminal lawyers typically handle these matters in Texas.

    In Texas, "Theft < $50" is Class C misdemeanor. Under Texas law, if someone receives a "deferred disposition" sentence on a Class C misdemeanor charge and successfully completes the deferral period, the individual is eligible to seek a full expungement once the limitations period has expired for the alleged offense.

    Based on the facts presented, it appears that you are immediately eligible to seek a full expunction on this arrest.

    Currently, the process will probably take about 4-8 months from start to finish. I recommend that you contact a licensed Texas attorney as soon as possible so you can finally put this "embarrassing" event behind you.

    Best of luck! Take care.

    Disclaimer: The information you obtain at Avvo is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult... more
  5. Carmine John Giardino

    Contributor Level 14

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You didn't have to wait 2 years. You could have gotten the expungement when you were 17. Expungements must be done perfectly and sent to all the right places to not show up any more. Any attorney, criminal or civil, can do an expungement. My firm does both criminal and civil, as do a lot of other law firms. Find a firm you are comfortable with. If you got 90 days deferred adjudication probation, you qualify for an expungement now.

  6. Michael Douglas Shafer

    Contributor Level 20

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    Lawyers agree

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    Answered . Yes, a criminal attorney is the type that you will need.

  7. Kevin D. Yaldoo

    Contributor Level 6

    4

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . Yes a criminal lawyer would handle your expungement. It would be wise to retain an attorney who has a familiarity with the prosecutor and judge in the court of your conviction because whether to set aside your prior conviction is usually within the discretion of the judge in that particular court.

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