Can I Clear a Domestic Violence Charge From My Record?
In Texas, a person may be charged with domestic violence for committing a violent act or causing physical injury to a family member, household member, or dating partner. These charges are taken very seriously and can have both immediate and life-long consequences on your reputation, career, future, and every aspect of your life. Fortunately, if you’re eligible, you may be able to permanently clear the charges from your criminal record.
With 30 years of combined criminal law experience as former high-level prosecutors and state-recognized defense lawyers, our legal team advocates for the best interests of clients charged with domestic violence in expungement-related matters. In addition, our strategic Texas criminal defense attorney can help file your expungement petition and attempt to achieve the most favorable outcome for your unique circumstances. Contact us at our office in Dallas, Texas, today for skilled representation.
Domestic Violence Charges in Texas
Statistics from the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program indicate that in Texas in 2019, there were 3,500 total arrests for offenses against a person’s family and children. Under Texas law, domestic violence or family violence includes any of the following:
a violent act by a family or household member against another that threatens or results in bodily injury, assault, physical harm, or sexual assault;
child abuse involving a family or household member; or
dating violence (a violent act against a person in a dating relationship).
A family or household member can be defined as any of the following persons:
a current or former spouse
a child of a former or current spouse
a foster parent or foster child of the defendant
parents of the same child
persons related by marriage, blood, or adoption
a current or former romantic or dating partner
a person who currently lives or previously lived in the household
Seeking an expungement can help protect your privacy, remove possible restrictions, and eliminate the arrest, charge, or conviction record from your criminal/public record.
Determining Eligibility to Clear Your Record
However, not every crime can be expunged from your record. In order to be eligible to clear your record in Texas, you must meet any of the following requirements:
There were no criminal charges filed against you.
You were charged but acquitted on an appeal.
The charges filed against you were later dismissed.
You were arrested but never tried, and the prosecutor approved the expunction.
You were found not guilty in a trial.
You were found innocent after a conviction.
You were sentenced for a misdemeanor while you were a minor.
You were able to reach a plea agreement.
You were the victim of identity theft.
You received a pardon from the President or the Governor.
Generally, both misdemeanor and felony offenses may qualify for expungement. But the waiting period before seeking expungement usually depends on the nature of the crime. A reliable attorney can educate you about Texas laws on sealing or expunging a domestic violence record, determine your eligibility, and help file your petition.
Texas Law on Sealing or Expunging a Domestic Violence Record
As previously mentioned, Texas law allows you to completely remove details regarding an arrest or charge for domestic violence from your criminal record under certain conditions through expunction. However, your petition to seal or expunge a domestic violence record may be denied if:
You received deferred adjudication for the family violence offense.
You’re on probation.
You’ve been convicted of a felony within 5 years of the domestic violence offense.
Alternatively, you may be able to blackout any information about the crime or arrest from your public record by filing a petition for an order of non-disclosure. A skilled Texas expungement attorney can explore your available legal options and help you make intelligent decisions.
How an Attorney Can Help
If you want to clear a charge from your record, hiring an aggressive criminal defense lawyer is crucial to upholding your rights and seeking your best outcome.
At Madson Castello Law, we are dedicated to offering highly-personalized attention and reliable representation to clients in their domestic violence cases. Our attorneys will carefully work every aspect of your case to identify the right defense strategy that will help achieve the best possible results. In addition, our legal team can defend your case with the possibility of dropping the charges or help file your expungement petition to clear your record.
Contact us at Madson Castello Law today to schedule an initial consultation with a knowledgeable expungement attorney. Our Dallas firm can offer you the reliable advocacy and detailed legal counsel you need to navigate crucial decisions. We proudly serve clients across Dallas, Fort Worth, Denton, McKinney, and throughout North Texas.