Everybody makes mistakes, and sometimes bad luck can lead to unfair circumstances, such as an arrest for a crime you didn’t commit. If you’ve been arrested in the past, then you know how your criminal record can come back to haunt you. When someone performs a background check, your past arrests, and other criminal activity could cost you opportunities, even if you were never convicted of a crime.
The good news is that it is possible to expunge (remove) certain arrests and offenses from your criminal record. Expungement can make it a lot easier to get a job, go to college, rent an apartment, or qualify for certain benefits. The process of getting records expunged isn’t free, however. So, how much does an expungement cost?
Are You Eligible for an Expungement in Texas?
In Texas, your record can be expunged if you were arrested but not convicted of a crime. This also applies to cases without an indictment (a formal accusation). You can also get crimes wiped from your record if you were found not guilty or if you were found to be innocent after conviction.
Even if you have served time in jail, you might be able to get your record expunged if the crime was a misdemeanor and your first offense. Some arrest records require a waiting period before they can be expunged. Certain kinds of serious crimes can’t be expunged at all.
What are the Costs of Expungement?
There are two main costs for expungement in Texas: court filing fees and attorney’s fees.
Court fees vary but are typically a few hundred dollars. Sometimes, these fees can be waived for low-income individuals. Court costs will apply even if you choose to file without the help of a lawyer.
Legal fees for expungement vary depending on the lawyer and the complexity of your expungement. It’s also important to note that if you want more than one case expunged from your record, additional fees will apply.
How Can a Lawyer Help with Expungement?
Getting your criminal records expunged means that any official files and paperwork related to your crimes will be destroyed. The process can be quite complicated, especially for certain types of expungement. It’s always a good idea to hire a lawyer to help you work with the court.
Even an arrest looks bad on your permanent record, regardless of whether or not you were found guilty. Expungement can be well worth the cost and help you avoid the stigma of being involved with law enforcement. To learn more about working with our experienced Texas expungement attorneys, call our Dallas and Houston offices today at 214-575-8300.