Is it possible to seek a pro bono lawyer to help expunge a class c misdemeanor?
4 attorney answers
So you know, the California attorney's suggestions are alarmingly off-base. Expunction laws vary pretty dramatically from one state to another, and I would never venture an opinion on those of another state, considering I'm only licensed to practice law here. I do know a fair amount about Texas expunction law, though, and his suggestions don't make any sense at all. You cannot expunge any Texas theft conviction, even just for a Class C offense., lawyer or no lawyer. So if you've got a conviction, there's no point in getting into all that. If you instead managed NOT to get a conviction, whether that's because you got a straight dismissal, got a dismissal following deferred disposition, you got a not guilty at trial, or somehow no court case was ever filed against you, you should be eligible for an expunction. And it's certainly not true that unless you got convicted you don't need an expunction, because if that were the case, we wouldn't have any expunctions at all. Many of my expunction clients have been turned down for jobs because their potential employers have actually found the records of these Class C offenses they weren't even convicted of, and told them sorry, but we're not going to hire you if ANYTHING shows up on your background check, and it apparently did, because they then decide they need an expunction. As far as pro bono expunctions go, Lone Star Legal Aid is the only source for that that I know of, but if you do have some money to pay an attorney, you might call around, because while some attorneys do charge huge amounts for them, not everyone does. Good luck.
Your chance of getting a lawyer to do an expunction for free is about as high as winning the lottery. COULD it happen? Sure. WILL it? I'm not holding my breath.
IF you are ENTITLED to an expunction, AND you find someone to do it for free, it will still cost $400-$500 in court costs.
Whether or not you are eligible for expungement depends on what ultimately happened to the case. You may not have been arrested, but if you plead guilty in court you are probably not eligible for expungement. Or the case may not be on your record anyway if you were not arrested.
The above answer does not constitute legal advice. You pay for legal advice; this is free.
You may not need an expungement at all - and thus, there may be no need for an attorney, whether pro bono or not. Were you convicted of shoplifting or anything else arising out of this incident? If so, then use the Avvo "Find a Lawyer" and search for pro bono attorneys in the area where you live. If not, there is no need for expungement at all.