Criminal

Expunctions and Orders of Non Disclosure

Here, I will provide just kind of a general framework for those of you who are not familiar with them. And also to just kind of give the more seasoned of this, some tips to kind of up our game on expunctions. And so what I’ve titled it is,” How to change the past without screwing up the future.” And so those of us who’ve done expunctions know that you can do a lot of good for people, by doing this. It will destroy the records of their arrest, it will take their name and information out of these public databases in the background check companies and mug shot companies but why, but what I also want to tell you is that there are a lot of pitfalls to doing expunction work. And we’re going to talk about some of those today and hopefully get us to a position where we’re getting the most, all the relief that we do under the law for our client.

So, those of you who know me from Austin know that I get really excited about this expunction stuff. And you might rightly ask me, “How does somebody get excited about an expunction?” well the reason I get excited about it is that I believe in the presumption of innocence. And if we really believe in the presumption of innocence, if someone is innocence unless they’re proving guilty in the court of law, when you’re doing an expunction or non-disclosure these are people who have never been found guilty in the court of law and never will be found guilty in the court of law. So what I call this is, what I call is,” innocence defense” I’m not Barry Sheck. I’m not defending people at trial those are actually innocent. But it is the kind of thing that if we did, we can really feel good about the kind of work that we’re doing, when we’re talking about people who for one reason are not or another reason because they were actually innocent or because of our brilliant legal maneuvering have never been found guilty in the court of law.

And they ought to get all the relief that we do to them under the expunction statue. Now, I think we can all agree that somebody who’s acquitted at trial, if they’ve been placed in jeopardy and acquitted they ought to be able to get an expunction. Anybody who’s ever set a case on a jury docket and had the case dismissed on the day of trial knows that a dismissal a lot of times is a lot more of indication than even on acquittal. Because in acquittal just means the state couldn’t prove their case! Well on a dismissal the state didn’t even tried to prove their case. And there’s nothing to make the state try their case. So, when you have a dismissal, don’t let it end there. You know, I mean now a day a dismissal frankly is not good enough. I mean, if you, it’s great that you can get a dismissal but if someone is going to have to explain the worst day of their life to everybody who wants to look them up on Google and do an image search and see their mug shot, then we’ve got some more work to do. I mean the dismissal is great but their job is not done until you make sure that that person is afforded the presumption of innocence and so far as we can.

Now I believe this in the case of a deferred adjudication as well. In a deferred adjudication whose paid their debt to society more than somebody who’s on probation. Ok. So somebody who’ve been placed on deferred adjudication and they’ve paid their debt to society, they’ve not been found guilty and they get a piece of paper that says,” you have been released from all penalties and disabilities arising from the charge” well, no they haven’t! I mean they’re not able to get a job, they’re not able to get a house or an apartment because, this stuff is still showing on their record. So, these are the reasons I feel good about this stuff and I think that we should all get excited about, well as much as you can, about expunction work.

Francisco Hernandez

Author Francisco Hernandez

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