Recent court decisions dealing with expunction and non-disclosure

The following are some of the recent decisions from the Courts of Appeal addressing issues involving petitions for expungement and motions for non-disclosure. You can find the full case decision by going to the website for the particular court. The websites for all the courts of appeal can be found at the website of the Court of Criminal Appeals.

DISCLAIMER: As with all legal issues, do not rely on the decisions set forth below without conducting your own research. Decisions depend on the particular of facts involved, and decisions may be distinguish, modified or even rejected by later decisions. If you have a question about the law in this area you should consult with an experienced lawyer.

Expunction – conviction of other chargeEx Parte MG, No. 10-13-0021-CV (Tex. App. - Waco, 8/1/13) D was arrested for DWI. That charge was eventually dismissed, and he plead guilty to a reduced charge of obstructing a highway. He subsequently filed a petition for expunction directed to the DWI arrest. The trial court granted the motion, but there is no record of any court  hearing on the petition. Court holds the defendant was not entitled to relief because there was no proof that any indictment or information charging the commission of a misdemeanor offense arising out of the same transaction was dismissed.

ExpunctionEx Parte Helm, No. 11-12-0077-CV (Tex. App. - Eastland, 9/5/13) D was arrested for possession of a controlled substance, and misdemeanor possession of marijuana. He plead guilty to possession of controlled substance, and pursuant to Section 12.45 admitted guilt to the marijuana charge. After completing supervision on the controlled substance case he moved to expunge the marijuana arrest. Court  holds expunction was not available because D was placed on supervision for the controlled substance offense.

Note: The petition was filed prior to the 2011 amendments that made it clear that expunction is not available if the individual is placed on supervision for any offense that stemmed from the same arrest.

Expunction In the Matter of AG, No. 08-12-0174-CV (Tex. App. - El Paso, 10/16/13) D was arrested for DWI, and an information was filed charging that offense. The information was subsequently amended to add a second count of reckless conduct.  He entered a plea to reckless conduct, and admitted guilt on the DWI charge. Count I was subsequently dismissed, and D filed a petition for expunction, which the trial court granted. COA holds D was not entitled to expunction because the evidence established D had been convicted of a lesser charge.

Walter Reaves
Criminal Defense Attorney Walter Reaves has been practicing law for over 35 years.