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New EU Visa Requirement Makes Expunging Criminal Records More Important Than Ever

In early 2024, the European Union (EU) will begin requiring visas for American tourists, as well as for those from Canada, Australia and New Zealand. This is a major change, as citizens of those countries have previously been able to travel to the EU without a visa for visits up to 90 days.

The new visa, known as the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS), is being implemented for a number of reasons, including security concerns and a push to streamline immigration procedures. It will be much easier for EU officials to identify people with records of certain types of crimes, such as terrorism, drug trafficking and human trafficking, which can be grounds for denying entry into EU countries.

That is why it is essential for Americans with any criminal record to take action to seek expunction, a legal process that can remove records from a person’s history. Once a record is expunged, it is as if the criminal case never happened.

To begin the expunction process in Texas, you need to file a petition with the court where your case originated. The court will then hold a hearing to determine whether or not to grant your petition. An experienced Texas criminal defense attorney can analyze your eligibility for expunction and handle all aspects of the process.

Not all cases can get expunged. However, an experienced attorney can advise you on what your options are and if you can get your case expunged. Even if your case cannot be expunged, several other options are available. For juvenile cases, you must go through the juvenile sealing process. For certain adult cases, when expunction is not available, you might be able to seal the case under the non-disclosure law. However, records sealed under the non-disclosure process are still visible to criminal justice agencies and certain other government entities, including those contacted in running EU background checks. As such, seeking expunction is the better path to follow.

Since expunctions in Texas can take upwards of six months, it is important to take action well before the new EU visa requirement goes into effect in 2024. Also, there are waiting periods that may apply for expunction, which vary based on the level of the charges originally brought.

Tylden Shaeffer, Attorney at Law, P.C. in San Antonio assists Texas clients seeking the expunction or nondisclosure of criminal records. Please call (210) 227-1500 or contact me online to schedule a free consultation.

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Case Results
Intoxication Manslaughter – Reduced Sentence

While client was already on probation for DWI when arrested for Intoxication Manslaughter. Client pleaded guilty to the jury and jury awarded probation where State sought prison term from the jury.

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