Texas readers may remember that Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy was charged with domestic last year in connection with an incident involving an ex-girlfriend. Hardy was later found guilty of assault and making death threats, but he later appealed that ruling. The convictions were later dismissed when the ex-girlfriend refused to cooperate with the district attorney’s office, apparently following a civil settlement with Hardy.
Last Friday, photos depicting the bruised body of Hardy’s ex-girlfriend were released, though there is dispute as to whether the bruises were caused by Hardy. He has declined to comment on the photos. In any case, an expungement order was signed last week, effectively scrubbing the charges from Hardy’s record.
Expunction is an important tool the criminal justice system makes available to those who have been arrested, charged or convicted. Expunction allows for permanent removal of such information in certain circumstances. Once a criminal record is expunged, one is able to deny that an incident ever occurred and can move on with one’s life without the burden of the record.
Only certain types of offenses are eligible for expunction. These include: affects for crimes that were never charged; charges that ended up being dismissed; certain misdemeanor juvenile offenses; conviction of a minor for certain alcohol offenses; arrests, charges or convictions for identity theft when another individual was arrested, charged, or convicted of the offense; convictions for offenses which were later acquitted by a trial court of court of appeals.
In addition to qualifying offenses, the individual requesting expunction has to be eligible as well. We’ll take a look at this issue in our next post as we continue looking at the topic of expunction.
Krgv.com, “Hardy's charges expunged as photos emerge,” Nov. 6, 2015.
Texas Young Lawyers Association, “Expunctions in Texas,” 2010.