How to Get Public Intoxication Expunged in Texas?
If you have been charged with public intoxication in Texas, don’t make the mistake of assuming it will just go away or that it won’t have profound repercussions for your life going forward. Any criminal conviction, even for a Class C misdemeanor, could hamper your ability to receive an education, secure housing, or find employment. The good news is that Texas law allows for the expungement of these convictions under some circumstances. The bad news? An expungement is not available in every case. A Texas expungement lawyer could help you understand if your case qualifies.
The process of clearing your record
While some states take a liberal approach to clearing a public intoxication conviction from your record, Texas is not one of them. There are only limited situations where you can erase the record of an arrest, according to state law, and even fewer circumstances in which you can get rid of a criminal conviction.
There are actually two different procedures that clear arrest or conviction records in Texas: expungement and orders of non-disclosure. An expungement is a court order that erases every aspect of a criminal charge – arrests, convictions, and criminal complaints – like they had never occurred. An order of non-disclosure does not delete these records. Instead, the order blocks law enforcement from sharing these records with the general public.
Qualifying for expungement
In a public intoxication case, your ability to expunge your record depends on how your case was resolved. If you were acquitted of the charge or if you were arrested but never tried, you could have the record of your arrest permanently deleted.
Things become more complicated if you were found guilty or entered a plea in your case. Generally, you cannot expunge a criminal conviction from your record unless you have been pardoned by the governor.
However, you could be in luck if you entered a guilty plea that included a pretrial diversion program. Under these programs, the court accepts your guilty plea but does not enter a conviction. You then have a period of time in which you must stay out of trouble and meet other conditions from the court. If you do so, the court could dismiss your case instead of entering the conviction into the record.
Following a successful deferment period, you could have the record of your public intoxication arrest cleared from the record.
How an attorney can help
There is no guarantee that your expunction request will be granted. Before a judge can sign off on it, the district attorney in charge of your case has the option to review it. If the DA disagrees with the request, they can demand a hearing.
Because of what is at stake, you should never take this process on alone. Public intoxication lawyer Andrew Peveto has dedicated more than ten years to helping clients improve their lives with a clean criminal record. If you are ready to discuss your options, contact the Peveto Law Office right away to schedule a free consultation. When your reputation and future are at stake, don’t settle for anything else than a Texas criminal defense lawyer who gets results.