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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

  1. 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.

    Austin Expunction Lawyer

    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,

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

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