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Expuntion in a civil offense - municipal violation?

Houston, TX |

I was arrested for theft (shoplifting). No court, no ticket. The case was dismissed. I would like to expunge this. I have called two lawyers and they told me they can't help me because my case is not a criminal case. They said they only work with criminal cases. Can the record be expunged? What kind of lawyer can help me?

Attorney Answers 4


This is a criminal case and it can be expunged. There may be a time issue in having to wait. Contact the local bar association or the state bar for a referral.

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My answers are intended only as general legal advice and are not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. There is no substitute for a full consultation with a local experienced criminal defense attorney. For more answers based on my 19 years of experience visit my website,

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Actually, what they meant was not that your theft was a civil case, but that expunctions are civil cases. Which is true, and for that reason (and because expunction law is a bit complex), most criminal defense attorneys don't handle them. If your case was dismissed, you will be eligible for an expunction. It's not a certainty that you can get one right away, though that is sometimes possible. If it's not, on a Class C offense, you might have to wait up to two years to be eligible for expunction. I do handle expunctions, and you're welcome to contact me about your case if you're still trying to find an attorney.

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Thank you. I sent you an email.


If you were arrested, you have a criminal record and you do need to expunge it. It sounds like you are eligible to do that, but you need a local attorney to doublecheck for you. This is definitely a matter for a criminal defense attorney.

Macy Jaggers's answer to a legal question on Avvo does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Ms. Jaggers offers everyone a free consultation to discuss their case. Feel free to call her office at 214-365-9800 to make an appointment (phones are answered 24 hours) or visit her website at for more information about her services and recent victories.

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Posted Any lawyer, criminal or civil, can handle an expungement. My law firm does both criminal and civil.

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