Criminal Law

Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Criminal Law
This answer was rated:

I was arrested for a felony of possession of stolen property

when I was 18 years...
I was arrested for a felony of possession of stolen property when I was 18 years old. The judge lowered the case to a misdemeanor under the circumstance that I pleaded no contest. Is it possible to get this removed from my background?
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Criminal Law Question
Answered in 4 minutes by:
8/5/2012
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 28,734
Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
Verified
Hello Jacustomer,

I'm sorry but no. Texas will not expunge a conviction, misdemeanor or felony unless it is first pardoned by the governor. The only exception is if you pled no contest as part of a deferred adjudication and your conviction was dismissed after you successfully completed your probation requirements. That would be expungeable. You can see the Texas Expungement Law here.

Getting a pardon is very difficult, but if you can get one, you could then apply for the expungement and get the misdemeanor off of your record. There are lawyers who specialize in pardons and expungments, but no lawyer is required, so you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by filling out the application.

The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles screens applicants for the governor. I have linked you to their site where you can find more information and downloadable forms.

Good luck!
Ask Your Own Criminal Law Question
Customer reply replied 5 years ago
Actually, this case took place in FL. I have been currently living in TX for the past 5 years. Does this make any difference?
Hi Salman,

Thanks for clarifying that. Every state's expungement's law is a little bit different, and it's only the state where the crime was prosecuted where the matter could be expunged, if at all.

So you need to look at Florida law. In this regard, unfortunately, it will be no friendlier to you than Texas's. Florida will only allow you to clear your record if it is your first and only offense AND it didn't result in a conviction or was an adjudication withheld. I'm quoting from the statute below:

(1) Petition to expunge a criminal history record.__Each petition to a court to expunge a criminal history record is complete only when accompanied by:

(a) A certificate of eligibility for expunction issued by the department pursuant to subsection (2).

(b) The petitioner's sworn statement attesting that the petitioner:

1. Has never, prior to the date on which the petition is filed, been adjudicated guilty of a criminal offense or comparable ordinance violation or adjudicated delinquent for committing a felony or a misdemeanor specified in s. 943.051(3)(b).

2. Has not been adjudicated guilty of, or adjudicated delinquent for committing, any of the acts stemming from the arrest or alleged criminal activity to which the petition pertains.

3. Has never secured a prior sealing or expunction of a criminal history record under this section, former s. 893.14, former s. 901.33, or former s. 943.058, or from any jurisdiction outside the state.

4. Is eligible for such an expunction to the best of his or her knowledge or belief and does not have any other petition to expunge or any petition to seal pending before any court.

I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but the only difference between a no contest plea and a plea of guilty is that the no contest plea cannot be used against you in civil court as an admission. For any and every other purpose, they are identical.
Ask Your Own Criminal Law Question
Customer reply replied 5 years ago
Let me tell you why I'm interested in clearing my record, maybe you could give me some advice which could help. I will be applying for a job as an engineer in the near future, and I didn't want my record to get in the way of getting a job. I understand that most professional jobs require a thorough background check, is there a way to get around the background check? I understand that the offense will remain, however, could it be artificially removed from public background records?
If not, would you recommend an appeal for my case?
Hi Salman,

While I certainly understand your concern, Florida does not allow a conviction to be sealed either. You can see the law with regard to that here.

About the only thing you could try -- and frankly it would be a longer than long shot -- would be to hire a lawyer to bring the case before the judge and to petition the court to dismiss your old offense in the interest of justice. Judges have the power to do things that the law would not normally allow them to do, in order to prevent an injustice. This power under equity is used very sparingly. Some judges will not even entertain the possibility of such a petition.

This would require a compelling interest that would be greater than the state's interest in making its convictions stick. It would be best framed drafted and argued by a lawyer. You'd have to talk to a local criminal lawyer and see whether this solution would be viable enough to be worth the expense of it. But if you obtained such as dismissal, then your record would show as dismissed, and you may even qualify for the dismissal or sealing.
Ask Your Own Criminal Law Question
Customer reply replied 5 years ago
I understand and appreciate all of your honest advice! Just one more thing, if this doesn't work, should I appeal the case itself? I was arrested due to my confession(the detective told me if I didn't confess, he would charge me with several other offenses that I didn't commit). being young and dumb, I fell for it, and following my confession he arrested me. I purchased some car parts that I didn't know were stolen until afterwards(honestly).
Hi,

Unfortunately, if this happened when you were 18 and you are now an adult, you are past the point where you can appeal your conviction on most grounds. A notice of appeal must be filed within 30 days of the sentence if you want to preserve your right to appeal. While there are a few reasons for which you could still appeal, most of them would be technical in nature and would not apply (the law you were convicted of is now unconstitutional. The sentence was an illegal sentence. The wrong court took jurisdiction over the offense. These are some of the technical reasons that would allow for a late appeal. And they are all very rare). The only other one is that you came into possession of newly discovered evidence which could not have been known at the time of your conviction but which, had everyone known of this, would have resulted in a dismissal or an acquittal. I don't think you have that kind of evidence either.

The fact that you were coerced would have done for a timely appeal, but too much time has elapsed for you to be able to assert that claim now.

I am sorry for not having better news for you.
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 28,734
Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
Verified
Zoey_ JD and 87 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Customer reply replied 5 years ago
I highly appreciate all of your advice, thank you.
Thank you! I'm only sorry I couldn't give you better news.

Good luck with your job hunting!
Ask Your Own Criminal Law Question
Customer reply replied 5 years ago
Thank you. Take care.
You too!
Ask Your Own Criminal Law Question
Customer reply replied 5 years ago
Hi again. So I was looking up my court case and the status read "disposed-probation", and I googled this and found out that in this case an agreement was met and after completing the probation the case is usually dismissed. The reason why it still shows up in my record is that I was finger printed and arrested. Is this true?
Hi Salman,

You're not going to know what the court did by Googling what generally happens.

If your case was dismissed after probation, your status should read "dismissed." It should not show as a conviction unless you were convicted. There is a danger involved in relying on web information for something like this in that it's unofficial and may not even be up-to-date. The best way for you to be 100% sure whether your conviction was dismissed would be to get yourself printed and see what it shows on your actual criminal history. That way you will get to see exactly what an employer ordering your background check would see.

You can do that via the state of Florida or through the FBI. You could also call the clerk of the court to pull up your history and tell you whether your case was dismissed.
Ask Your Own Criminal Law Question
Customer reply replied 5 years ago
I obtained my case information through the state website so I believe it is accurate. I guess my question would be that if I were convicted, would it show convicted under case status?
No. If it were dismissed it would say 'dismissed'. It would not show your status was probation.
Ask Your Own Criminal Law Question
Customer reply replied 5 years ago
thanks once again
Customer reply replied 5 years ago
sorry to keep bugging you but here is some more info, maybe you can help me a little better now. I just pulled up my complete case on the state website and my charges read as follow.

Plea
Written Plea Not Guilty-Jury


Amended Plea (Reason: Change of Plea)
Change of Plea-Nolo Contendere


Disposition
Convicted by Plea - Adjudication Withheld


Sentence (Judicial Officer(s): Rebollo - FG, Carlos S)







Comment (Docketrac Sentence Record Note: Mat Transfer Probation To Texas)







Comment (Total Amount Imposed $233.00)







State Probation (0 Yr 6 Mo 0 Days , Start Date: 09/22/2006, End Date: 03/22/2007)








Provisions (







Special ProvisionsDefendant Sentenced Under Sentencing Guidelines)




Hi,

Yes, your matter was dismisssed if your adjudication was withheld. It means you do not have a conviction. That would mean you can get it expunged in Florida. You can find out more about that here. It looks more complex than most and you might want to get a lawyer to do that for you.

Here is the problem, however. It also says your probation was transferred to Texas. That means on a 50-state check your Texas probation may turn up. You'd need a Texas lawyer to sort all of that out, if possible, since your conviction in Florida was dismissed, but your obligation transferred to another state and could have made its records.
Ask Your Own Criminal Law Question
Customer reply replied 5 years ago
I was never on probation in Texas tho, I completed my probation 6 months prior to moving to Texas. I never reported to any probation officer in TX.
Then there shouldn't be a problem.
Ask Your Own Criminal Law Question
Customer reply replied 5 years ago
Thank you soo much. Have a great evening!!
You too!
Ask Your Own Criminal Law Question
Ask Zoey_ JD Your Own Question
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 28,734
28,734 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.

Zoey_ JD is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Your Expert advise has provided insight on a difficult situation. Thank you so much for the prompt response. I will definitely recommend your website to my friends.

NormaPensacola, FL

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem.

TonyApopka, FL

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Ely

Ely

Counselor at Law

3,194 satisfied customers

Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.

P. Simmons

P. Simmons

Lawyer

2,063 satisfied customers

16 yrs. of experience including criminal law.

RobertJDFL

RobertJDFL

Lawyer

1,862 satisfied customers

Experienced in multiple areas of the law.

LawTalk

LawTalk

Lawyer

1,815 satisfied customers

30 years legal experience

Nate

Nate

Lawyer

1,736 satisfied customers

Over 10 years of criminal defense practice.

Marsha411JD

Marsha411JD

Lawyer

1,631 satisfied customers

Licensed attorney with 29 yrs. exp. in criminal law

AttorneyTom

AttorneyTom

Lawyer

1,242 satisfied customers

Attorney

< Previous | Next >

Related Criminal Law Questions
I got charged with a misdemeanor possesion of drug
i got charged with a misdemeanor possesion of drug paraphernalia. I got it dismissed. how hard is it to get it explunged in illinoise and how long does it take?i … read more
Alex Esquire
Alex Esquire
Managing Attorney
Doctoral Degree
153 satisfied customers
How can I get my misdemeanor expunged without going through
How can I get my misdemeanor expunged without going through a lawyer? Can I file it myself? Also how long is the process?… read more
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD
JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
28,734 satisfied customers
How to expunge rec? I'm get uber a job. My case cr-13-00287.
how to expunge rec? I'm get uber a job JA: What was the conviction for exactly? Have all appeals been exhausted? Customer: my case cr-13-00287 JA: In what state did this occur? Customer: san benito co… read more
Michael Gonzalez
Michael Gonzalez
JD
524 satisfied customers
In criminal court, I understand that when an accused has
In criminal court, I understand that when an accused has Clemency from the State Board of X that it can not be held against the accused.So what about in civil court?… read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
30,899 satisfied customers
How can you expunge a misdemeanor conviction in pennsylvania
how can you expunge a misdemeanor conviction in pennsylvania for a minor domestiv violence incidnet where the father in law and boy friend came to grappling with each other no one was hurt. the old ma… read more
WiseOwl58
WiseOwl58
JD Honors Graduate
3,720 satisfied customers
Can I get a 2005 felony conviction expunged with a 1994
Can I get a 2005 felony conviction expunged with a 1994 misdemeanor conviction in NC … read more
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD
JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
28,734 satisfied customers
In criminal law, if someone is awaiting sentencing of a
Second opinion] In criminal law, if someone is awaiting sentencing of a Federal Felony and I have evidence that should be considered by the sentencing Judge, how can one ensure the evidence is brought… read more
James Daloisio
James Daloisio
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
84 satisfied customers
I have a question about procedure in criminal court in
I have a question about procedure in criminal court in Texas; specifically if there is any way to request a pretrial hearing prior to indicment of a felony … read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
30,899 satisfied customers
Is it not uncommon for criminal court judges or their
Is it not uncommon for criminal court judges or their court's administration (e.g. bailiffs) to manipulate the only clock on the wall in the courtroom (e.g. set it purposely ahead of or behind the act… read more
PaulmoJD
PaulmoJD
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
106 satisfied customers
I had a criminal court hearing and was sentenced, but was
I had a criminal court hearing and was sentenced, but was never sworn in can this be thrown out… read more
Nisha Jones, Esq.
Nisha Jones, Esq.
Juris Doctorate
1,811 satisfied customers
I have a court da on October 30 for a misdemeanor without a
I have a court da on October 30 for a misdemeanor without a bail and they didn't took my passport, can I leave the country? … read more
Nisha Jones, Esq.
Nisha Jones, Esq.
Juris Doctorate
1,811 satisfied customers
I was wondering if someone with a obstruction of justice
I was wondering if someone with a obstruction of justice charge in illinois get it expunged. they drunkenly lied and said they were driving … read more
Michael Bradley
Michael Bradley
JD
1,193 satisfied customers
Just wanted to know if using my name in a justice court
Just wanted to know if using my Nick name in a justice court would make a difference I been going by my nickname k name my entire life I won the civil suit in court but then she tries to tell the judg… read more
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD
JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
28,734 satisfied customers
I am trying to find out if misdemeanor theft can be expunged
I am trying to find out if misdemeanor theft can be expunged in MD … read more
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD
JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
28,734 satisfied customers
Have previous criminal record in NM with deferred sentence
Have previous criminal record in NM with deferred sentence for soliciting a prostitute in 1998. Would like to have this record sealed or "expunged " . Was told I could apply to court to have this done… read more
Ely
Ely
Counselor at Law
Juris Doctor
3,194 satisfied customers
I need a criminal justice lawyer knowledgeable on advocacy
I need a criminal justice lawyer knowledgeable on advocacy for substance abuse crimes … read more
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD
JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
28,734 satisfied customers
In Ohio, how many criminal cases can be expunged/sealed? I
In Ohio, how many criminal cases can be expunged/sealed? I have been told that the answer is 2 -- whether 2 misdemeanors, or 2 felonies, or 1 misdemeanor and 1 felony. (I realize there are some feloni… read more
lucy7368
lucy7368
Juris Doctor
763 satisfied customers
In the criminal justice arena there are different sentencing
In the criminal justice arena there are different sentencing schemes. They are determinant, indeterminate, and mixed sentencing (a combination of the first two). I'd like to know which states use whic… read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
7,403 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x