Some Travis County residents can clear their arrest records at the 2023 Expunction Expo

Photo by Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT. A person is arrested following a traffic protest along I-35 in May 2020.

Monday, March 20, 2023 by Haya Panjwani, KUT

Lee esta historia en español

Travis County is set to host its fourth “expunction expo” May 20, an event where people who have been arrested but not convicted can remove the arrest from their record.

Travis County District Attorney José Garza said removing such arrests can provide something of a clean start.

“The arrest on a person’s record can be a significant impediment,” Garza said. “From their ability to find and get jobs to their ability to apply for and receive housing, like apartments, and it can be a significant impediment to their ability to apply for financial aid in terms of their education.”

Garza said there are many instances in which arrests are eligible for expunction  if charges were dismissed by a judge, for instance, or the person arrested completed a diversion program. A case could even go as far as a grand jury trial, he said. As long as there’s no conviction, the arrest may be eligible to be expunged, or erased.

Expunctions are available at all times in Texas, but they require a court visit. The expo in May will expedite and simplify that process. People who want to attend must fill out an application and can do so here until April 7.

The expo is a full-day event that will look a lot like a career fair, with staff available to help with job searches, career training and legal services. Garza and his team plan to bring in partners, like the Capital Area Private Defender Service and Travis County Public Defender’s Office, to help.

Garza said quite a few people are eligible for expunction, but not many are aware of the expo.

“We normally have a fair amount of people applying and who are eligible, but it can be a challenge to get people that are determined to be eligible to actually come to the expo,” he said. “We understand that folks can face significant time barriers (and) transportation barriers. And so we’re going to be thinking through that and about how we can make it easier for people to attend.”

This story was produced as part of the Austin Monitor’s reporting partnership with KUT.

The Austin Monitor’s work is made possible by donations from the community. Though our reporting covers donors from time to time, we are careful to keep business and editorial efforts separate while maintaining transparency. A complete list of donors is available here, and our code of ethics is explained here.

You’re a community leader

And we’re honored you look to us for serious, in-depth news. You know a strong community needs local and dedicated watchdog reporting. We’re here for you and that won’t change. Now will you take the powerful next step and support our nonprofit news organization?

This article First appeared in austinmonitor

Follow by Email