Texas Expunction Waiting Periods

Criminal Record document sitting on a desk, with Expungement written on top of it

What is the waiting period for an expunction in Texas if my case has been dismissed? 

Under Texas law, an expunction is the best way to clean your record and put an arrest in a criminal case behind you. An expunction results in the physical destruction of all records relating to your arrest by any law enforcement agency in possession of the records. Once an expunction is complete, you will even be able to deny the existence of the arrest on job or housing applications. 

However, in order to obtain an expunction, you must be eligible for one. Most people who apply for an expunction of their criminal records do so after their case is dismissed and apply for an expunction under Texas Code of Criminal Procedure 55.01(a)(2)(B). If you are seeking to obtain an expunction of your records after your case is dismissed, your case will be subject to a waiting period that is determined by the statute of limitations (the time period the State of Texas has to file a case). 

The table below contains the statute of limitations for some of the most common criminal offenses in the State of Texas. The below information is provided for educational purposes only and you should always consult with an experienced expunction attorney to verify your eligibility for an expunction of your criminal records. In many cases, a District Attorney’s office may agree to an expunction of a criminal case before the expiration of the statute of limitations and it is possible for an expunction attorney to verify whether the District Attorney might agree in your case. 

OffenseStatute of Limitations
Misdemeanors (DWI, theft, assault-family violence, etc.)2 years
Abandoning a child5 years 
Aggravated kidnapping of a child and the defendant committed the offense with the intent to violate or abuse the complaining witness sexually20 years from the 18th birthday of the complaining witness
Arson10 years 
Assault of public servant, correctional officer, security officer, emergency services personnel, process server, staff at a civil commitment facility, or a judge 3 years 
Assault-family violence with a prior conviction for assault-family violence3 years 
Assault-family violence involving impeding breath 3 years 
Assault of a pregnant person or if done to force an abortion 3 years
Bigamy unless the “spouse” is under 187 years 
Bigamy if the “spouse” is younger than 18 years of age at the time the offense is committed10 years from the 18th birthday of the complaining witness of the offense
Burglary unless the complaining witness is a minor5 years 
Burglary if the complaining witness is a minor and committed with the intent to commit sexual performance by child, aggravated kidnapping with intent to commit sexual abuse, or sexual assault/continuous sexual abuse of child or disabled person 20 years from the 18th birthday of the complaining witness
Compelling prostitution of a childNone
Compelling prostitution under 43.05(a)(1)10 years 
Continuous sexual abuse of young child or disabled person under 21.02None
Continuous trafficking of persons under 20A.03None
Credit card or debit card abuse under 32.317 years 
Endangering a child5 years 
Exploitation of a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual 7 years 
Failure to stop (leave scene of accident) if accident causes death None
False statement to obtain property or credit under 32.327 years 
Forgery or the uttering, using or passing of forged instruments10 years 
Fraudulent securing of document execution7 years 
Fraudulent use or possession of identifying information under 32.517 years 
Health care fraud under 35A.027 years 
Indecency with a child None
Injury to a child under 22.0410 years from the 18th birthday of the complaining witness 
Healthcare fraud under 35A.0210 years 
Injury to an elderly or disabled individual that is not punishable as a felony of the first degree under 22.045 years 
Insurance fraud5 years 
Kidnapping except as provided below5 years 
Kidnapping if complaining witness is a minor20 years from the 18th birthday of the complaining witness
Medicaid fraud under 35A.027 years 
Misapplication of fiduciary property or property of a financial institution7 years 
Money laundering7 years 
Murder None
Robbery5 years 
Securing execution of document by deception7 years 
Sexual assault of a childNone
Sexual assault if the DNA matches five or more other John Doe casesNone
Sexual assault punishable as a state jail felony 2 years from the date the offense was discovered 
Sexual assault, except as provided above10 years 
Sexual performance by a child 20 years from the 18th birthday of the complaining witness
Tax Code violation if a felony7 years 
Theft of any estate, real, personal or mixed, by an executor, administrator, guardian or trustee10 years 
Theft by a public servant of government property 10 years 
Theft 5 years 
Trafficking of children None, some circumstances 10 years from the 18th birthday of the complaining witness of the offense
Trafficking of persons 10 years 
All other felonies3 years 
Statute of Limitations For Most Crimes in The State of Texas

At Ceja Law Firm, we understand how important it is to put a criminal arrest behind you. Ceja Law Firm regularly obtains expunctions for people throughout the Greater Houston area after their case is dismissed. If you are interested in having your records expunged after your case has been dismissed, contact Ceja Law Firm today to verify your eligibility and begin the process of clearing your name.