If You Completed Pretrial Diversion, Get an Expunction. Now.

If you were accepted into the pretrial diversion program and you completed that program, you need to get an expunction. Now. In many situations, even if you’ll be eligible to get your record cleaned up with an expunction you have a waiting period before you’re eligible to clean up your record. When you complete a pretrial diversion program in Texas, there’s no waiting period and no reason to wait.


I have consultations with people being charged with crimes all the time. Almost every one of them comes in telling me they want their case dismissed. It’s what I want to happen too. There are two reasons that people want their case dismissed. They don’t want any punishment (fines, jail time, probation) and they don’t want this to follow them around for the rest of their life (they want to be able to clean up their record). Unfortunately, a dismissal isn’t always possible.


The district attorney’s office has a pretrial diversion program for certain first-time offenders. If the state has a strong case against you and you are accepted into the program, it’s usually a great deal. The reason that it’s a great deal is that you can completely clean up your record afterwards.


If you’re case isn’t dismissed and you don’t take your case to trial and get a not guilty verdict, there are three ways your case could end. You could have a conviction, you could get deferred adjudication, or you can get pretrial diversion. The main difference between these is the extent you can clean up your record afterwards, if at all. When you’re arrested and charged with a crime, all the records are public record which means that they can show up on background checks. If you don’t or can’t do anything to clean up your record, your case could follow you around for the rest of your life.


Getting into the pretrial diversion program and then completing that program is the hard part. Congratulations on getting that done. Don’t stop now. To get the full benefit of pretrial diversion, you need to get your record cleaned up. The great thing is that unlike a dismissal, where you must also wait for the statute of limitations to pass, when you complete pretrial diversion, you can immediately get an expunction.

What is an Expunction

An expunction is an order from the court that goes out to every agency that has any record of your arrest telling them that they must destroy any record they have of your arrest. It also lets you deny ever having been arrested for this offense. That means that it will stop showing up on background checks and you shouldn’t have to check off that box on applications asking if you’ve ever been arrested.


The expunction doesn’t happen automatically. You need to either file it yourself or get help from an attorney to get the expunction. The problem with filing it yourself is that expunctions are technical. If you don’t add every agency that has any record of your arrest, that agency will not have to destroy their records. That could lead your charge to continue showing up on background checks. I recommend calling an attorney in the county you were arrested in to help you. They should know all the agencies that need to be served and they should know the process for getting that expunction in that county.


If you completed pretrial diversion in Bexar County, use the link below to contact me or give me a call. I will meet with you and confirm that you are eligible for an expunction and discuss the process with you so that you can get your record cleaned up as quickly as possible.


Texas Code of Criminal Procedure


(a)  A person who has been placed under a custodial or noncustodial arrest for commission of either a felony or misdemeanor is entitled to have all records and files relating to the arrest expunged if:

(2)  the person has been released and the charge, if any, has not resulted in a final conviction and is no longer pending and there was no court-ordered community supervision under Chapter 42A for the offense, unless the offense is a Class C misdemeanor, provided that:

(A)  regardless of whether any statute of limitations exists for the offense and whether any limitations period for the offense has expired, an indictment or information charging the person with the commission of a misdemeanor offense based on the person’s arrest or charging the person with the commission of any felony offense arising out of the same transaction for which the person was arrested:

(ii)  if presented at any time following the arrest, was dismissed or quashed, and the court finds that the indictment or information was dismissed or quashed because:

(c)  the person completed a pretrial intervention program authorized under Section 76.011, Government Code,

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Sean Henricksen

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