The Governor’s reason for vetoing the expunction bill:

House Bill No. 3481 would authorize the expunction of criminal records, including law enforcement case files, 180 days after an arrest if no formal misdemeanor or felony charges have been filed. Current statutory provisions require that the statute of limitations for the particular offense, usually at least two years, expire before criminal records may be destroyed, including in cases involving misdemeanor offenses.

Actually, those statutory provisions were not put in place to deny folks the opportunity to expunge dismissed cases. It was the activist (as well as 100% Republican) Texas Supreme Court decision, State v. Beam, that incorrectly interpreted the legislature’s 2001 amendment’s to Code of Criminal Procedure Chapter 55.01 dealing with expunctions.

Continue Reading Rick Perry’s Definition of “More Harm Than Good”

Someone called and asked me this today: Why did my deferred prosecution show up on a criminal background check?

They had successfully completed a Travis County Deferred Prosecution agreement for a shoplifting (theft) charge. The terms of the agreement were:

  • Complete 50 hours of community service
  • Attend a Theft/Shoplifting Class
  • Stay out of trouble for 1 year