How Long Does a Dallas Expungement Take to Complete?

How Long Does a Dallas Expungement Take to Complete?

Getting an expungement in Dallas can be a lengthy process, but it is worth it in the end to clear your record. Here is what you need to know about how long the expungement process takes from start to finish.

What is Expungement?

An expungement is a legal process that seals or destroys arrest and court records related to a criminal charge. It’s as if the legal issue never happened.

Expungement is available in Texas for certain misdemeanors and felony arrests that did not result in a conviction. The records are removed from police reports, court files, and your criminal record.

After expungement, you can legally deny the incident occurred and do not have to disclose it on job or housing applications. Expungement gives you a clean slate and improves your chances of getting hired or finding housing.

Why Get an Expungement?

Even if you were not convicted, just having an arrest on your record can make it harder to get a job, rent an apartment, or get approved for loans. Landlords and employers often do background checks that turn up past arrests.

Expungement gives you the chance to clear your name and reputation. It allows you to truthfully claim you do not have a criminal record.

Eligibility for Expungement in Dallas

You may be eligible for expungement of misdemeanors or felonies in Dallas if:

  • You were arrested but not formally charged with a crime
  • Your case was dismissed or acquitted at trial
  • You completed deferred adjudication probation for a misdemeanor
  • You were convicted but later pardoned or found innocent

There are different waiting periods before you can apply based on the type of offense. Felonies require a 3-year wait, while misdemeanors take 1 year.

Consult with an attorney to verify your eligibility. They will review your specific criminal history.

How Long Does Expungement Take in Dallas?

The expungement process takes 2-6 months from start to finish in Dallas County. Here are the basic steps and timeline:

1. Consult with an Attorney

Meet with an expungement attorney for an eligibility assessment. They will review your criminal record and advise if expungement is possible.

Timeframe: 1 week

2. File the Petition

Your attorney will prepare and file the Petition for Expungement with the proper courts in Dallas County.

Timeframe: 1-2 weeks

3. Wait for a Court Date

The court will schedule a hearing 30-60 days after petition filing. You may need to attend.

Timeframe: 1-2 months

4. Attend the Hearing

If required, you or your attorney will attend the expungement hearing and provide any needed testimony.

Timeframe: 1 day

5. Get the Expungement Order

If approved, the judge will issue an expungement order. Your attorney will obtain certified copies.

Timeframe: 1 week

6. Distribute the Order

Your attorney will send copies of the order to all agencies that have your records.

Timeframe: 1-2 months

7. Verify Record Updates

Follow up to confirm your arrest records are cleared from databases.

Timeframe: 1-2 months

So in total, you can expect the Dallas expungement process to take around 2-6 months from start to finish. The faster you begin, the sooner you can clear your record.

How an Attorney Speeds Up Expungement

Hiring an expungement attorney helps speed up the process and avoids delays. Here’s how:

  • Ensures your petition meets all legal requirements
  • Handles communication and filings with the courts
  • Represents you at hearings if needed
  • Follows up with agencies to verify record updates

Navigating the courts and paperwork on your own can drag out the process. An attorney knows the system.

Cost of Expungement in Dallas

Attorney fees for expungement in Dallas range from $1,500-$3,500 on average. The exact cost depends on:

  • Your specific criminal history
  • Complexity of your expungement petition
  • Amount of court appearances required

The investment is well worth it to clear your record and improve your job prospects. Payment plans are available.

Is Expungement Permanent in Texas?

Yes, expungement is permanent in Texas. Once your records are expunged, they are destroyed. The past incident will not show up on any background check or criminal history report. It’s like it never happened.

Certain government agencies can still access expunged records in special cases. But expungement removes your records from the general public domain.

Finding a Dallas Expungement Attorney

Choosing the right attorney is key to getting your record cleared as quickly as possible. Look for a Dallas expungement lawyer who:

  • Focuses specifically on expungements
  • Has experience in Dallas County courts
  • Can start the process immediately
  • Offers flat fees and payment plans

A dedicated expungement attorney will get your petition approved efficiently. Search for “Dallas expungement lawyer” or ask friends for referrals.

Get Your Dallas Expungement Started

Don’t wait to begin the expungement process. The sooner you get started, the faster you can clear your Dallas criminal record.

Meet with an attorney right away for an eligibility assessment. They will review your specific case details and arrest history.

If eligible for expungement, they can have your petition filed within weeks. It may take 2-6 months total to seal your Dallas records for good.

Expungement gives you the chance to wipe your record clean and improve your future. Don’t let a past mistake hold you back. Take control and contact an attorney today to start your Dallas expungement.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does expungement cost in Dallas?

Attorney fees for expungement in Dallas typically range from $1,500-$3,500 on average. The exact cost depends on the complexity of your case. Many attorneys offer payment plans.

What if I was arrested but not charged in Dallas?

If you were arrested but never formally charged with a crime in Dallas, you may still be eligible for expungement. An attorney can help get the arrest cleared from your record.

Can I get a felony expunged in Dallas?

Certain Dallas felony arrests may be eligible for expungement if you were not convicted. There is a 3-year waiting period. An attorney can advise if a felony is expungeable.

How do I find a good Dallas expungement lawyer?

Look for an attorney who specializes in Dallas County expungements specifically. Check reviews and ask about their success rate. Meet with a few lawyers before deciding.

Will expungement improve my chances of getting a job?

Absolutely. Expungement allows you to legally deny the incident occurred. Clearing your record will open up job opportunities previously unavailable.