Mr. Eastman serves as the firm’s managing partner, and is licensed to practice law in California, Oregon, and Texas.
Sam has helped thousands of clients expunge, seal, and set-aside records across the country, and has a passion for criminal justice reform. Previously, Mr. Eastman represented a number of corporate clients, focusing on tax law, mergers and acquisitions, and a variety of corporate transactions.
Mr. Eastman earned his JD and LLM from the University of San Diego School of Law, and his undergraduate degree from the University of Oregon.
Your Past Mistakes Will Remain Public Until You Seal Them
When you’re arrested in Texas, a criminal record is created with the Texas Department of Public Safety. These records are then forwarded to the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division, making the records publicly available to be found when conducting a background check.
When you don’t qualify for an expungement or record sealing, a conviction set-aside is usually your next best option. A conviction set-aside is a form of relief that changes the result of the case to a dismissal. Additionally, a Texas Conviction Set Aside will typically restore your firearm rights, which does not occur with an expungement or record sealing.
This Information Is For You
Since the majority of people reading this aren’t lawyers, we’ve tried to simplify the legal jargon on our website, so regular people may follow along and get the information needed to understand their rights. However, before we get started, we should be clear that some of this information can get complicated, and, in many cases, it’s best to seek the assistance of an experienced lawyer.
To help you understand your rights, our lawyers have developed a tool that can be helpful in figuring out your options. This tool can’t be perfectly accurate in every situation, but our lawyers have invested substantial time and resources working to make it as accurate as possible.
You can get started by using our Secure Eligibility Test, or you can give us a call at (844) 947-3732 to see if our legal staff is available for a free consultation. Be aware that our staff is often busy with current clients and a high volume of calls and appointments. If you’re serious about getting rid of your record, your best bet is to take our secure, confidential Eligibility Test and then schedule an appointment to discuss your results and options.
Can You Set Aside a Conviction
Setting aside a conviction is typically a more involved process than expunging or sealing a record. However, it is often the only available post-conviction remedy, and it does have the advantage of restoring your firearm rights.
General Requirements to Set Aside a Texas Convictionarrow_drop_down
The general requirements for setting aside a conviction are not particularly hard to understand, but the process can be difficult and is up to the discretion of the court. Further, many Texas courts treat petitions for conviction set-asides differently than others, due to various appellate court decisions in different parts of the State.
Make Sure Your County Will Permit a Set Asidearrow_drop_down
In some counties, you cannot set aside a conviction if it has been more than 30 days since you’ve been discharged from probation. In other words, in many Texas counties, setting aside your conviction would only be possible if your petition is filed within 30 days of finishing probation.
The following counties adhere to this 30-day requirement:
Aransas, Armstrong, Bailey, Bee, Bosque, Brazos, Briscoe, Burleson, Calhoun, Cameron, Carson, Castro, Childress, Cochran, Collingsworth, Coryell, Cottle, Crosby, Dallam, De Witt, Deaf Smith, Dickens, Donley, Ellis, Falls, Floyd, Foard, Freestone, Garza, Goliad, Gonzales, Gray, Hale, Hall, Hamilton, Hansford, Hardeman, Hartley, Hemphill, Hidalgo, Hill, Hockley, Hutchinson, Jackson, Johnson, Kenedy, Kent, King, Kleberg, Lamb, Lavaca, Leon, Limestone, Lipscomb, Live Oak, Lubbock, Lynn, Madison, Matagorda, McLennan, Moore, Motley, Navarro, Nueces, Ochiltree, Oldham, Parmer, Potter, Randall, Refugio, Roberts, Robertson, San Patricio, Sherman, Somervell, Swisher, Terry, Victoria, Walker, Wharton, Wheeler, Wilbarger, Willacy, and Yoakum.
(State v. Perez, 494 S.W.3d 901 (Tex. App. 2016, 13th Court of Appeals District, Corpus Christi – Edinburg), State v. Shelton, 396 S.W.3d 614 (Tex. App. 2013, 7th Court of Appeals District, Amarillo), State v. Fielder, 376 S.W.3d 784 (Tex. App. 2011, 10th Court of Appeals District)).
These counties will not consider your petition for a conviction set-aside if it has been more than 30 days since you were released from probation. Unfortunately, most people that contact our law firm do not meet this requirement and often are precluded from setting aside their conviction. In addition, some counties such as Harris County are very difficult and do not grant many set asides.
There are also several counties that may not set aside your conviction if it has been over 30 days since you were discharged from probation, but these counties are not necessarily required to deny your conviction set-aside like the previous ones. There is case law in these counties that endorses the 30-day requirement, yet these cases are not binding as to require courts to deny your conviction set-aside, even though it may be very difficult to obtain. These counties include:
Bowie, Camp, Cass, Collin, Dallas, Delta, Fannin, Franklin, Grayson, Gregg, Harrison, Hopkins, Hunt, Kaufman, Lamar, Marion, Morris, Panola, Red River, Rockwall, Rusk, Titus, Upshur, and Wood.
(Poornan v. State, No. 05-18-00354-CR (Tex. App. Dec. 13, 2018, 5th Court of Appeals District, Dallas), Buie v. State, No. 06-13-00024-CR (Tex. App. Sep. 20, 2013, 6th Court of Appeals District, Texarkana)).
Before starting the process of setting aside a conviction, make sure that you are petitioning in a county with a record of successful conviction set-aside attempts.
Ineligible Offenses That Cannot Be Set Asidearrow_drop_down
Even if you’re in a county that will allow you to set aside your conviction, there are more requirements to meet. You cannot have been sentenced to prison or jail due to your conviction, with certain exceptions.
The following offenses do not qualify for a Texas Conviction Set-Aside
- Offenses punishable as a first-degree felony
- Offenses requiring registration as a sex offender under Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure
- Murder and Capital Murder as defined by Tex. Penal Code 19.02 and 19.03
- Aggravated Kidnapping as defined by Tex. Penal Code 20.04
- Trafficking of Persons and Continuous Trafficking of Persons as defined by Tex. Penal Code 20A.02 and 20A.03
- Injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual as defined by Tex. Penal Code 22.04
- Indecency with a Child under Tex. Penal Code 21.11
- Sexual Assault or Aggravated Sexual Assault under Tex. Penal Code 22.011 or 22.021Aggravated Robbery under Tex. Penal Code 29.0
- Burglary under Tex. Penal Code 30.02
- Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution under Tex. Penal Code 43.04
- Compelling Prostitution under Tex. Penal Code 43.05
- Sexual Performance by a Child under Tex. Penal Code 43.25.
The Legal Effects of Setting Aside Your Record in Texas
How will setting aside a conviction in Texas help me get a job?arrow_drop_down
Setting aside a conviction in Texas is a great way to improve your chances of getting a job when you have a criminal record. However, setting aside a conviction does not destroy or remove your record completely from the public record like an expungement.
Instead, when you are granted a set aside, the court reopens the case and sets aside your conviction. Setting aside your conviction indicates that you’re no longer a “criminal” and releases you from the judgement of guilt. It allows you to legally state that you have not been convicted of what has been set aside.
Will setting aside my Texas conviction restore my Second Amendment rights?arrow_drop_down
Yes, setting aside a conviction will restore any firearm rights that were taken away due to the conviction that was set aside. In many cases your firearm rights are automatically restored under Texas law, but in these cases your federal firearm rights are not never restored, making your firearm ownership a felony under federal law. The only way to restore your firearm rights in Texas is by setting aside all of the convictions restricting your firearm rights.
We will go into more detail regarding restoring Second Amendment rights in Texas on our Texas Firearm Rights Restoration page, but restoration typically involves both state and federal law that should be handled by an experienced lawyer. The lawyers in our firm regularly handle complex firearm rights restoration issues, so a good first step in exploring whether you can restore your firearm rights would be to take our Secure Eligibility Test. Then, if appropriate, set up a time to speak with our legal staff about how to proceed.
What You Need to Do to Get Rid of Your Record
If you are tired of having a criminal record hold you back, reach out to us by taking our Secure Eligibility Test or by giving us a call at (844) 947-3732. Our law firm has helped thousands of people with criminal records move on in life, leaving many of the negative effects of a criminal record behind. Our experienced attorneys and legal staff are here to help you figure out what criminal record clearing services best fit your needs, and then help you accomplish your goals. Using our secure, confidential Eligibility Test is the best way to get the process started.
Some of the potential benefits of getting rid of your Setting Aside your Conviction in Texas include:
- Removing a finding of guilt and closing the case on your criminal record to help you get a better job
- Becoming eligible for professional licenses you previously did not qualify for
- Increased eligibility for student loans, housing assistance, and government programs
- Improving your ability to obtain higher-paying job opportunities
- Improving access and admission to college and other educational resources
We Are Here to Help
Each of Texas's methods for dealing with your criminal record have different requirements and are meant for different circumstances. To move forward, it’s important to determine what Texas criminal record services are available to you, and then select the services that will provide the greatest benefit. Eastman Meyler, PC is here to help you navigate this very specific area of Texas criminal law, fight to protect your rights, and assist you in moving forward in life without the effects of a Texas criminal record.
You can trust that you will get exceptional service from our law firm, as we have an A Rating from the Better Business Bureau, and prestigious attorney rating services such as Thompson Reuters and Avvo list our attorneys as Super Lawyers and Superb Attorneys. Our law firm has attorneys licensed to practice law in all Texas state courts, provides low price guarantees, and is here to fight for you and put your criminal record behind you!