TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Elected officials in Travis County are opening online registration to help people remove old Travis County arrest records from their criminal history.
Next year, residents can attend an “Expunction Expo” — where county officials and volunteers will help them get Travis County arrest records expunged from their criminal history.
Travis County District Attorney José Garza, Travis County Attorney Delia Garza, Travis County District Clerk Velva Price and Pflugerville City Council member Rudy Metayer opened registration on Wednesday during a briefing at 12:30 p.m.
In 2020, Travis County officials served 241 individuals and expunged 400 offenses during a similar event. The 2022 event will be held Jan. 15.
Metayer helped a veteran get charges removed from his record during the first Travis County Expunction Expo in 2020.
“In the case that I had, we found five other cases, and the person I was dealing with was taken aback, saying ‘wow I didn’t even know these were here,’ and I said, ‘not only are they here, but guess what, we are taking care of them today, and you won’t have to worry about them again,'” said Metayer.
Metayer says many of those he helped were trying to seek better opportunities in housing and employment. County leaders say that can lead to bigger challenges for the local workforce with potential employees getting overlooked because of their arrest records. The expunction event is aimed at removing some of those challenges and barriers.
“Members of our community have the opportunities to have good jobs, access to education and access to housing, that makes all of us more safe,” said DA Garza.
Travis County staff and volunteer attorneys will work over the next few months to help hundreds who have been arrested but never convicted of a crime.
According to Texas law, your case MAY qualify for an expunction if any of the following apply:
- You were arrested but a charge was NEVER FILED or was no billed by the grand jury,
- You have a criminal charge that was DISMISSED,
- You successfully completed a DIVERSION PROGRAM, such as Pretrial Diversion, Drug Court, etc.,
- You were ACQUITTED on your charge by a judge or jury (usually by a finding of “Not Guilty”), or appellate court.
- You were convicted of a crime but later PARDONED by the Governor of Texas or the President of the United States.
If any of the above apply, officials say your case may qualify for an expunction. They say felony cases that may qualify based on one of the categories listed above can be discussed with Paul Quinzi at the Travis County Law Library or an attorney.
If you would like to see if you qualify and to apply, the online registration form is live on the county’s website.