Texas Criminal Defense: What is an Expunction?

Standard

We get a lot of phone calls from people who want to get an expunction of their criminal records.  What most of them really want is to have their criminal records sealed.  The expunction statutes were created to allow people who were wrongly arrested or charged an opportunity to have all the government records of their arrest and subsequent prosecution destroyed.

To qualify for an expunction, the person must have been arrested and not merely investigated.  This does not mean that they have actually been taken into custody by the police, but that they have submitted to the authority of the courts.

There are four general categories for expunction:

  • Acquittals and pardons;
  • Dismissals and no-bills;
  • Discretionary expunctions; and
  • Identity theft.

Each of these has its own rules for determining if someone is entitled to an expunction.  We will discuss each individually in future blogs.  There are also other categories for which a person may get an expunction not included in Chapter 55 of the Texas Code  Procedure.

A person is not entitled to an expunction if the person was arrested for contempt of court, a writ of attachment or violation of parole.  The expunction must be for a new criminal charge.  Also they are not able to get an expunction if they are acquitted of a charge but were convicted or remain subject to prosecution for any charge arising out of the same criminal incident.

If you believe that you may be eligible for an expunction, visit an attorney for assistance.

Advertisements

What Could Happen After My First Charge For DWI?

Standard

Many people in Texas enjoy having a few beers at the sports bar or having a glass of wine at dinner.  Unfortunately, if you drive home after having a few drinks and you get pulled over, your likely going to be charged with a DWI.

The first thing to expect is that you are going to be arrested.  If there is not a sober driving to take control of your vehicle, it will be impounded.  So not only do you need to bond yourself out of jail, your going to pay to get your vehicle back.

In most cases, your drivers license will be confiscated and you will be given a temporary driving permit.  The Administrative License Revocation (ALR) suspension starts forty days after the arrest unless the person requests a hearing for an occupational license within 15 days of the arrest.

As long as your blood or breath alcohol concentration is below .15, you are over 21 years of age, there were no children in your vehicle at the time and you were not involved in an accident, you will likely be charged with a Class B misdemeanor.

The Class B misdemeanor will include probation up to two years, monthly probation fees, court costs, a fine up to $2,000.00, complete all classes and counseling ordered by the court and probation office and community service hours at a place determined by the probation office.  The court may also require you pay to have an ignition interlock installed in your vehicle and to pay a monthly charge to maintain it.

This does not include how your vehicle insurance will be affected, or what will happen with your employment.  If you’ve had a few drinks, call a friend to come get you, call a taxi or Uber.  If you don’t one of your next calls needs to be to an attorney.  Drive safe.

Daniel L Morris, The Morris Law Firm, (214)357-1782 info@themorrisfirm.net

Texas DWI: Driving While Intoxicated

Standard

intoxication

In Texas, a person is legally intoxicated and may be arrested and charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) with a .08 BAC (blood or breath alcohol concentration). However, a person is also intoxicated if impaired due to alcohol or other drugs regardless of BAC.

If you do not have a commercial drivers license, did not have an accident or child in the vehicle while driving intoxicated, the penalty ranges are as follows:

1st Offense

  • Up to a $2,000 fine.
  • Jail time between 3 days and 180 days.
  • License suspension for up to 2 years.
  • Annual surcharge up to $2,000 for 3 years to keep your           license.
  • DWI intervention or education program.
  • Possible ignition interlock device.

2nd Offense

  • Up to a $4,000 fine.
  • Jail time between 1 month and 1 year.
  • License suspension up to 2 years.
  • Annual surcharge of up to $2,000 for 3 years to keep your license.
  • DWI intervention or education program.
  • Possible ignition interlock device.

3rd Offense

  • Up to a $10,000 fine.
  • State prison time between 2 years and 10 years.
  • License suspension up to 2 years.
  • Annual surcharge of up to $2,000 for 3 years to keep your license.
  • DWI intervention or education program.
  • Possible ignition interlock device.

The Morris Firm, info@themorrisfirm.net, (214)357-1782