Can I get dismissed charges expunged?

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Can I get dismissed charges expunged?

I was charged with possession of a controlled substance twice. I completed a drug diversion program through the courts and all charges were dismissed. I’ve recently become a nurse and have a feeling that although dismissed these charges will show up on a background check. Can I these charges expunged? I want to find a good nursing job.

Asked on July 7, 2016 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Until a court affirmatively expunges a record, any arrests or history information will remain on your record.  So... even though you completed a diverion program, the arrest and some of the details related to the arrest will remain on your record until they are formally expunged.  As such, on a background check, it could show up and be held against you.
If you participated in a regular diversion program, then you are potentially eligible for an expunction immediately since you have already completed the program.  To be sure, however, take any of your paperwork to a criminal defense attorney who handles expunctions and let them review your paperwork.
An expunction starts with a petition and concludes with a final hearing roughly 30-60 days later.  It's not a long process, but it does take time for the expunction to circle through all of the reporting agencies after an expunction is granted... so the sooner you get started the better.


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