Filing a PRO SE ExpunctionClass C Misdemeanors
This communication serves to provide the expunction petitioner (hereinafter, “YOU”) a brief summary of the procedure for requesting an expunction. This communication DOES NOT create an attorney/client relationship, and the Houston Police Department (HPD) CANNOT provide you with legal advice regarding your matter. HPD strongly urges anyone pursuing a petition for expunction of criminal records to consult an attorney. For a referral to an attorney, please call the Houston Bar Association at (713) 759-1133.
Pursuant to Chapter 55 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and the local rules of the Harris County District Clerk's office, below is a brief summary of the process an individual must follow to have an arrest record expunged in the state of Texas:
1. Determine whether your case is eligible for expunction. Not all cases are eligible for expunction. If your arrest resulted in a fine, confinement in the jail or the penitentiary, or any form of court-ordered probation (other than pretrial diversion), you are likely not eligible for expunction. If your case was filed in a District Court or a County Criminal Court at Law, you may find out whether the District Attorney will oppose your expunction by calling them at (713) 755-5816. If your case was a Class C Misdemeanor case, you should contact the City of Houston Municipal Courts located @ 1400 Lubbock at (713) 837-0311.
2. Prepare your petition for expunction. Below is a form application for an expunction that may be used in the request to expunge arrest records relating to a Class C Misdemeanor case filed in the City of Houston. For all other cases, you may obtain a petition from the District Attorney by e-mail only. You must have an e-mail address. For assistance in preparing your required forms for expunction, you may obtain your criminal information or a criminal background from the District Clerk’s website at www.hcdistrictclerk.com.
It is your responsibility to complete your form. There are three documents that you will need to be prepared in pursuing your expunction (which are below):
1. Petition for Expunction
2. Order Setting Hearing
3. Agreed Order of Expunction
3. File your petition for expunction and order setting hearing. After you prepare your petition for expunction and order setting hearing, file them at:
Civil/Family Post Trial
201 Caroline, 2nd Floor, Room 250
Houston, Texas 77002
If filed by hand, you will need to make 4 copies of the expunction petition (make five copies if you would like a copy for yourself. Please make sure to provide a self-addressed stamped envelope so that they can send your copy back to you). There is a base filing fee of approximately $227 (please call the Harris County District Clerk's Office to confirm). There are also additional fees for service of the expunction petition and the final expunction order on each law enforcement agency listed in your expunction petition. No personal checks will be accepted. Please bring money order, credit card or cash.
4. What happens after filing the application for expunction? The court will send you information regarding the expunction hearing. You will need to prepare the agreed order that is attached and begin obtaining signatures from each law enforcement agency listed. If this is a Class C Misdemeanor case, the agreed order should be sent to HPD (Attn: Kristie Lewis, Staff Attorney) first for execution and it will then be forwarded to the Harris County Attorney’s Office (HCAO) for signature. The HCAO will then forward it to the Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) for signature. After signing, the TxDPS will forward the original agreed order with all required signatures to you.
Once you receive the fully executed agreed order from TxDPS, call the Court Clerk that is hearing your case at least two weeks prior to your hearing date and request it be passed. Then, submit the original signed agreed order to the court for processing. If and when the agreed order has been approved and signed by the Judge, it will be circulated by the Court to HPD, HCAO and all the law enforcement agencies listed in the agreed order.
5. Please be patient. It will take a minimum of three months for an expunction order to become final. Because of the volume of requests, it often takes longer to complete.