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How Long Does a Felony Stay on Your Record in Texas?

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If you’ve ever been arrested and charged with a felony, then you probably know that it can impact many different areas of your life. Not only can it make your job search much more difficult, but it can also make it harder to get a loan, find affordable insurance, or get approved for a rental property.

It’s understandable to want all evidence of a felony removed from your record. However, it’s not always possible in Texas. Here’s what you need to know about how long a felony stays on your criminal record.

Do Felony Charges Drop Off Your Record?

In a few states, felony charges will drop off your criminal record after a certain number of years. Most states, including Texas, don’t remove felonies, however. They will remain on your record permanently, even if you are never arrested again.

Unfortunately, this means that a felony arrest will continue to impact your life whenever someone performs a background check or looks into the public records. This can affect your eligibility for various opportunities and impact your life long-term, even if you were never ultimately convicted of a felony.

Can You Remove a Felony From Your Record in Texas?

Although Texas maintains a permanent record for each person that includes any felony arrests, charges, and convictions, there is a process for removing certain records. Expungement, or expunction, is used to permanently destroy information associated with an arrest.

Expungement is not available in all cases. You typically cannot file for an expungement if you were convicted of a felony unless you were found innocent after the verdict, although there are a few exceptions. Generally, felony files can be expunged in the following situations:

  • Acquitted of the crime
  • Dropped charges
  • Found innocent
  • Arrested but not charged

Even if your records are eligible for expungement, there is a waiting period of up to five years before the court will accept an expungement petition for a felony. An attorney can help you determine if you qualify for an expungement.

Should You File for Expungement?

If you have had a felony arrest on your record for several years, but were never convicted of the crime, then you might be eligible for an expungement. Expunging your record can give you a fresh start and allow you to leave the past behind. Getting a clean record is well worth going through the expungement court proceedings.

It’s a good idea to work with a lawyer if you decide to pursue expungement. They can help eliminate potential delays and ensure that you are following all the necessary steps in the process.

To find out if you have records that are eligible for expungement, call our law firm at 214-575-8300. We have experienced attorneys at our offices in Houston and Dallas, TX, who can walk you through the process and help you get the fresh start you deserve.

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