Travis County announces 'Expunction Expo' to help clear eligible arrest records

Screen shot of Delia Garza speaking at a press conference
Travis County Attorney Delia Garza and other county officials announced an Expunction Expo would be held in Pflugerville Jan. 15. (Courtesy the Travis County District Attorney's Office)

Travis County Attorney Delia Garza and other county officials announced an Expunction Expo would be held in Pflugerville Jan. 15. (Courtesy the Travis County District Attorney's Office)

Travis County will hold an "Expunction Expo" in Pflugerville over the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend in January as an opportunity for residents to have old arrest records cleared.

County representatives, including District Attorney José Garza, County Attorney Delia Garza, District Clerk Velva Price and Pflugerville City Council Member Rudy Metayer, announced Nov. 10 their offices would host the event. Travis County residents hoping to participate have until Nov. 30 to register using an online registration portal. Only preregistered applicants will be served.

"Most individuals who have their cases dismissed incorrectly think that it means it is off of their record. That is not true, unfortunately. Completely clearing records after a case has been dismissed is a complicated and expensive process," Delia Garza said at a news conference.

Expunction, the term for clearing an arrest record in Texas, is possible for many individuals with arrest records, and may include those for whom a charge was never filed following an arrest; those who had a criminal charge dismissed; those who completed certain diversion programs; those were acquitted on charges; and those who were pardoned of a crime by the Texas governor or President of the United States.

People who pursue expunction tend to be those who can afford an attorney and who have access to information about the workings of the criminal justice system and arrest records, Garza said. Those individuals tend to have improved access to jobs, financial services and assistance, and housing once their arrest records are cleared.

At the expo, expunction services will be free to all participants, and volunteer attorneys from various groups, including the Capital Area Private Defender Service and the Travis County Public Defender's Office, will be available to represent applicants.

“With this event, we have the opportunity to immediately and significantly impact the lives of members of our community in a positive way,” Pflugerville City Council Member Rudy Metayer in a news release. “As lawyers, and as public servants, we have the power, the ability and the responsibility to serve our community in this way.”

The Jan. 15 Expunction Expo will be the second in Travis County, and the first to occur since February 2020, when 241 residents had 400 offenses expunged.
By Olivia Aldridge

Reporter, Central Austin

Olivia joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in March 2019. She covers public health, business, development and Travis County government. A graduate of Presbyterian College in South Carolina, Olivia worked as a reporter and producer for South Carolina Public Radio before moving to Texas. Her work has appeared on NPR and in the New York Times.


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