Expunctions in San Antonio

The Expunction Process in Texas

The expunction process is the final step to clear the arrest record. Even though a person is acquitted or his case is dismissed by a court order, the record of arrest continues to exist electronically and in certain court documents. There are about 17 different agencies that have this record in addition to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The process requires that a civil lawsuit be filed in a district court. Each of the agencies must be served with a copy of the lawsuit and a clerk’s record of process. They are usually served by certified mail, return receipt requested. When the letter is received by the agency they sign for it, and the certified mail receipt is returned to the clerk’s office.

Each agency has 30 days to respond from the date of receipt. They may object by written pleadings or not. If an agency makes no response, the order will be rendered against it by default. Typically, the only agencies that respond are:

  • The Texas Department of Public Safety,
  • The District and/or County Attorneys office,
  • The City Attorney.

What About Proof?

While the District or County Attorney will pursue most of the defenses, the Department of Public Safety will monitor the proceeding for issues of interest. Depending upon the area of the State, either the DPS or the local prosecutor will make final decisions. If it is a matter of special interest to DPS, they will have the final decision to contest or agree.

If there is a matter of proof, the lawyer can go to the court records and show the attorneys for the State the documents. If it is a matter of pleading, the lawyer can correct the pleading. The petition must specify the name and several numerical identifiers for both the defendant and the criminal cause, and sometimes the pleadings are not specific enough for the particular governmental entity. Sometimes there is a matter of law, and it must be addressed. If the parties cannot agree as to the law or the facts or both, then the judge must decide. These cases sometimes are tried. Additionally, appeals result from trial or court decisions.

What Happens After the Judge Signs the Order?

Once the judge signs the order:

  • The lawyer must obtain two certified copies of it: one for his file and one for the client.
  • The original must be filed with the papers in the case.
  • The clerk must then send certified mail, return receipt requested, the certified copies to the various agencies.
  • The agencies have another 30 days after receipt to delete the information ordered by the court.

Some agencies like the sheriff departments do not respond in time. In fact, some, out of sheer laziness, may not do it at all. A call from the lawyer about a show cause order from the judge will correct the problem.

Continue Reading Read Less
Rave Reviews in Our Clients' Own Words

Five-Star Client Testimonials

  • "He knows the law inside and out and uses that to your advantage."
    Allison M.
  • "He will shoot you straight and will handle the case better than anyone in Texas."
    Laura J.
  • "I truly had someone on my side."
    Jonathan R.
  • "The dismissal saved my career and my professional license."
    Bob V.
  • "Mr. Scharmen is the most dedicated attorney for someone who finds themselves in the need of his services."
Why Choose George A. Scharmen? How We Stand Out
  • Going the Extra Mile
    While we try to avoid the courtroom for clients, I promise to be ready for anything - including a jury trial.
  • Extensive DWI Experience
    For more than 40 years, I have exclusively practiced criminal law and DWI defense.
  • Recognized in the Community
    Highly respected among colleagues, I'm double-board certified and the recipient of many awards and accolades.
Free Consultations Available Contact Our Offices

Don't wait on a DWI charge. Complete our form below or call us at (210) 405-9730 for a free consultation.

  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.