Q: Can I expunge a case that has already been dismissed for free?
I was charged with a POM in a drug-free zone (B) and a PODP (C). I paid a lawyer $1,400 to get the charges dismissed. My lawyer wants to charge me about $2,000 more to get the charges expunged. However, I would much rather pay nothing and do it myself. How difficult is this to do?
A: Congratulations on your charge being dismissed. Now it's time to expunge the arrest and clean your record. Filing a Petition for Expunction can be relatively straightforward or highly complex. For example, if an individual was charged with multiple offenses out of the same arrest, had most of the charges dismissed, but was convicted in at least one, it would likely prohibit an expunction (depending on certain factors). However, the treatment of Class C deferred dispositions is different from higher level deferred adjudications. Further, other subsequent arrests can impact expunction eligibility.
Further, there are various statutes of limitations for different offenses. Those statutes of limitations determine the time at which an individual may be eligible for an expunction. However, the prosecuting attorney's office can consent to an early expunction through a State's Recommendation of Early Expunction.
Finally, the Department of Public Safety or other entities can object to an expunction resulting in a contested hearing in front of a Judge.
While expunctions can appear simple on their face, they are typically complicated in practice, detail-oriented, and time-consuming. It is always an individual choice whether to proceed with counsel or pro se in a legal matter.
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