Launched in 2017, the Expunction Expo received a record number of applications in a one-week period last year, according to a press release issued by the Dallas County DA’s Office on Tuesday. That total topped 1,300.
“The Expo has continued to grow each year and that means we have been able to help more people get a fresh start and become contributing members of society again,” Dallas County DA John Creuzot said in the release.
“Many people may not be able to obtain gainful employment, attend college or serve in the military because of something on their record that can be eliminated,” he added. “This is an opportunity for them to change their lives for the better.”
Applicants must meet the program’s requirements, and it only applies to offenses in Dallas County.
You may be eligible to have the slate wiped clean, for instance, if you were charged with an offense but no-billed by a grand jury, if the DA rejected the charges or if you were arrested but never charged.
Applicants could also be eligible if they were charged with a felony, a class B misdemeanor or a class C misdemeanor and they had no community supervision or probation before the charges were dismissed.
Additionally, you could be eligible if you were acquitted by a judge, jury or appellate court. Or, for instance, if the Texas governor or the U.S. president granted you a pardon.
"This is an opportunity for them to change their lives for the better." - Dallas County DA John Creuzot
If you were convicted before Sept. 1, 2021, of unlawfully carrying a weapon (under Section 46.02(a) of the Penal Code), you could be eligible.
For a full list, potential applicants should visit the county district clerk’s website and fill out an application form before July 11, the release added.
Applicants who meet the initial qualifications will be contacted by phone or email by Sept. 12. If they meet the requirements and are invited to participate in the Expunction Expo, a private attorney or criminal defense lawyer will work with them to determine whether their offense is eligible to be cleared from their record.
If their offense qualifies for expunction, the attorney will then help the applicant gather and submit the required legal paperwork.
Those who successfully complete the program and get their offense expunged will attend a graduation ceremony on Jan. 21 next year.
Throughout the last five years, the Expunction Expo has seen upward of 1,700 people have criminal records cleared, the DA’s office said in the statement.
The Dallas County DA’s Office says more information is available online or by phoning 214-653-2905.